The Scientific Explanation Of A Gut Feeling + Why You Need To Go With It

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I'm a Certified Health Coach, longtime blogger, and host of Elizabeth Eats on YouTube. In addition to writing recipes (I love to eat!), I'm a strong believer that life is too short to settle for anything less than living your best life.


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Deepak Chopra Gut Feeling

This past week I won the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) Day In The Life video contest. I can’t stop thinking about how I was so close to not entering the contest but had a strong gut feeling that I should do it.

Every time I get one of these strong gut feelings I think of the capstone course in the IIN curriculum where Dr. Deepak Chopra explains – in a very scientific way – that a gut feeling is actually every cell in your body making a decision.

That sounded like a little too much fairy dust to me until I listened to the rest of the lecture.

Since then I’ve listened to the class at least 10 times to really dive into and understand this concept and, I have to tell you, it’s pretty spectacular.

Dr. Chopra is a neuroendocrinologist (i.e. MD specializing in the study of brain chemistry) and for years he has studied the connection between our consciousness and physical body. What he and his colleagues have found is that our gut is actually it’s own nervous system, and potentially more powerful that our central nervous system. Whoa! Not only can every cell in our bodies think, they also have a strong memory to tap into to help you make decisions. Double whoa!

He even states: “If you say ‘I have a gut feeling about such and such’ you’re not speaking metaphorically, you’re speaking literally. Your gut makes the same chemicals that your brain makes when it thinks.”

So, when we get a strong “gut feeling” it’s actually every cell in our body remembering, thinking and deciding on the matter at hand.

Here’s the kicker: the nervous system in your gut doesn’t have the ability to doubt itself like your central nervous system does. ***Epiphany!***

That strong gut feeling you get is every cell in your body making a decision that is without-a-doubt right for you.

When I heard about this contest, I immediately felt like I should enter it. The concept, look & feel of the video I would produce went through me like a lightening bolt.

Then the doubt crept in. I don’t have enough time. I might look silly in front of a lot of people. I might spend a bunch of money on a flop.

But I trusted my gut. I heard about the contest on a Thursday afternoon, contacted the videographers that night then met with them Friday morning. I wrote the concept over the weekend and we shot it Monday, they edited it Tuesday and I submitted it Wednesday.

I trusted my gut and left my doubt at the door – and it payed off big time.

Your brain will always create doubt and question your judgements – as it probably should to keep up safe and allow us to rationalize. But your gut just knows when something is RIGHT for you.

So save your brain for the analytical stuff and trust your gut. It’s science.

More food for thought…

This concept goes far beyond what I’ve touched on here; Dr. Chopra helps us understand that our consciousness does not exist within our physical body – it’s the exact opposite. Our physical body exists within our consciousness. It’s a super deep, super scientific concept that will blow your mind. You can read more about it in his book Quantum Healing, or learn the concept in depth by enrolling in the Institute For Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Training Program.

Cheers to your gut feelings!


Read the Comments +

  1. Bobby Bhathal says:

    Enjoyed the read Elizabeth, keep up the excellent writing. Congrats on the victory!

  2. Deepak also speaks a lot about how synchronicity shows up regularly in our lives

    which you also may have experienced here!  Good for you and congrats!  It is a good video! 🙂

  3. Joy Dixon says:

    Thank you sooo much for this post, I really needed to hear it at this moment. Many times, people tell us to shrug off “gut reactions” as pure emotions that are rooted from insecurity, jealously, indecisiveness… the list goes on and on. But one can’t dispute the science. Many thanks for Dr. Chopra for enlightening you and my hats off to you for sharing. Great video by the way, you are the picture of confidence in your personal and professional life.

  4. HopemarieM says:

    I bought Quantum Healing the second I finished your post! I love his words on consciousness and trusting that part of ourselves that we tend to dismiss. IIN sounds like a great school that incorporates all aspects of wellness. I am apart of Happiness Series, a blog on finding happiness through all areas of life, and one of our bloggers completed the program as a health coach just a few years ago. Check us out you might just know each other!

  5. Congratulations, Elizabeth!  I loved your video!  Great article, as I too have had to learn how to listen to what my “gut” is telling me.

  6. Congratulations on  winning!  I also voted for you.  I really appreciated your blog post.  I needed to hear that.  I will listen to Deepak Chopra’s class again.

  7. Congratulations on winning!  I also voted for you!  Great blog post.  I needed to hear that today.

  8. Nice post! And congrats…that is awesome! 

  9. This is such a great article! Really interesting. The sad part about this natural chemistry is that I believe many peoples guts are not functioning properly because of the havoc we are wreaking on hour diets due to poor nutrition. Do you think that this is affected with all the other obesity factors that contribute to our bodies not functioning properly ever?

    • Elizabeth says:

      Katrina! Yes, you are SO right. Health gut function is so important for so many reasons, this being one of them! I will for sure add this topic to my list for a future post, thank you for mentioning it here! xx

  10. Congratulations! As a soon-to-be graduate of IIN, you are definitely an inspiration that BIG things can come my way : )

  11. Congratulations! As a soon-to-be graduate of IIN, you are definitely an inspiration that BIG things can come my way : ) 

  12. My left brain thanks you for the science behind it. My right brain screamed “I told you so.”

    Great info Elizabeth!

  13. sandycovenatural says:

    Great article Elizabeth and congrats on winning

  14. Steffanie Richardson says:

    I loved this post, Elizabeth. I also loved your video (and voted for you!) because it was you just being you and stepping forward…which was lovely. Lots of love here! I am struggling with this exact thing today; listening to and respecting my gut….but it’s hard. Women are not taught to honor their gut instinct or to respect the intuition that has no rational explanation. I’m going back and listening to Dr. Chopra’s lecture again. Thank you for reminding me.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Steffanie! Yes, you are so right. And I’m glad you’re listening to the lecture again – I really do listen to it often for reminders. xo

  15. Beautiful post.  I believe this to be more true than anything else.  I have lived by my gut for my entire life.  The decisions I have made without my gut have always been lackluster and non fulfilling.  Thank you for your poignant words.

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Hi, I'm Elizabeth

I'm a strong believer that life is too short to settle for anything less than living your best life. 

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