Listen to your gut

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, October 02, 2019
By Todd D. Giardina, PH. D


“Listen to your gut” is a tip I often give my patients. But for this blog I mean it literally!

More than just a sense of danger or intuition, your gut (and the rest of your body) has great information that you’re probably ignoring 😉

For starters, track your cycle and know your symptoms. Many adult women in my office still seem shocked to realize that it’s PMS rather than depression or relationship conflict that they’re dealing with in the moment. Listen to your body and know how to spot the differences. And learn what phase of your cycle you find yourself more powerful, more in need of connection, more wanting to be productive, more sexual, etc. Then, capitalize on that knowledge!

Pay attention to that ache. Pain signals a need. It may mean you need to stretch…or see a doctor…or sleep with a better pillow. But there’s a message trying to be communicated. Use that info. Figure out the source. Pay attention to pattens (e.g., the ache is worse on the days I don’t workout?) If you wonder “Hey, do I have x injury or y illness?,” maybe look into that further. (Cough–Ignore webMD and googling symptoms–Cough)

Stick to routine. I have my patients make a log of everything they’re doing or not doing when things are feeling good. Then you just maintain those activities. Feeling anxious or depressed? Go back to the list. Don’t reinvent the wheel – just follow the routine.  Much of health is (or should be) about maintenance and prevention. If you do it right, then you’ll never need urgent care. Just find the right mix of things and sustain what’s working.

And, don’t forget the holistic whole perspective. Obviously, I’ll push mental health because of what I do, but your health is more than just sickness and disease. Check on your mood. Evaluate your relationships. Monitor your media intake. Question your faith and spiritual connection. See activity as playful time (more than simply a means of affecting weight.) Try new methods. Some treatments or activities may seem odd to you, but happiness and health may be on the other side of that initial discomfort.

(Note: discomfort is necessary for all growth! Exercise is literally meant to make the body uncomfortable to the point that it strengthens you to become more capable and less uncomfortable.)

And lastly, take time for personal reflection – alone – to learn to tune into your gut. She’s smart. Often inconvenient or annoying, but smart 😉

With ❤️
Dr G

Do you listen to your gut?
What has it told you and what action have you taken?
Leave your comments here.