Want to solidify the gains you made through Break Method? Want to up your game and maintain that clear-thinking, intentional-response existence?
You’ll have to put down the Doritos.
I’m here as your friend and defender, holding you accountable to take radical personal responsibility for your life and your relationships. Break Method students successfully rewire unconscious brain patterns, but continue to have underlying psychological challenges (anxiety, depression).
To know why and to complete the Break Method picture, we need this missing puzzle piece.
The Puzzle Piece
Those of you who have graduated Break and are reading this article know there’s no simple route to your best life. Even those of you who haven’t registered for Break Method (What’s taking you so long to sign up?!) will realize the program is not called “Cherry Blossom Giggles Healing.”
It’s called Break Method.
The rabbit hole to rewire your unconscious brain patterns is a challenge. But so worth it. Like thousands of other graduates, I've had tremendous personal, relationship, and life success. It took and takes work. And, like you, I'm determined to live my best life using the tools I mastered in Break Method. (You’re with me - I hear ya!)
But then I noticed something I would rather ignore…tried to ignore…couldn’t ignore any longer. The morning after an ice cream splurge, I’d slam back into my source belief and protective emotion. I’d get super-scrambled and “realize” my husband didn’t love me. That everyone was against me. That I was a complete failure…
WAIT A SECOND!
In Break Method, we learn the emotional re-patterning process which trains us to stop jumping to conclusions, halt our subconscious auto-response, and be in the moment. We use certain questions to examine the stimuli with intuition and logic.
So…I shift, take responsibility, and examine my emotional reaction. I know: My husband adores me. I have a deep support system with loyal and loving friends. I’m super-successful. And I don’t think this way anymore! What the heck?!?!
Could it be…the ice cream?
It’s the Ice Cream. And the Doritos…
In the last unit of Break Method, students will find the video: The Gut / Brain Axis - Nutrition & Emotional Response. It describes the effect of food on the ability to maintain a Break Lifestyle. (The Break Students enrollees and grads-only lecture is in Unit 4: Sustain.)
The fact is: Nutrition can exacerbate or improve psychological symptoms.
So, yes, you can graduate Break, master the tools, and still have anxiety, depression, and other psychological symptoms that can cloud your thinking and empower or reengage your unconscious brain patterns.
This tidbit of advice was the last thing I wanted to hear. (But what I most needed to hear!)
Come on, Bizzie Gold! I love my ice cream and cheese. And popcorn and croissants. My unconscious brain pattern ensured I rationalized that this food-digestion-brain-emotion puzzle was nonsense.
(Are you laughing because your pattern is telling you to exit stage left? Yeah, me too.)
Look, I’m not a medical doctor. But I can read and evaluate research proffered by medical doctors. And there’s a lot of research verifying the gut-brain connection.
Let’s take radical, personal responsibility and investigate the gut-brain axis.
The Tale of Two Brains
The gut-brain axis is not woo-woo or pseudoscience. This information is factual, well-researched (although still in its infancy), and largely ignored when we manage our emotional and psychological lives. It seems the world focuses on the mind as separate from the body. To sustain health, energy, and authenticity, we’ve got to face the fact: We each have two brains.
As defined in the Annals of Gastroenterology: “The gut-brain axis (GBA) consists of bidirectional communication between the central and the enteric nervous system, linking emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with peripheral intestinal functions.”
That definition makes clear the gut-brain axis is bidirectional. The gut’s microbiota and the brain communicate using chemical signals through your body’s systems (blood, fluids, glands, etc.). Systemically, the vagus nerve is a direct communication channel connecting the brain and the gut (digestive system). So, your brain communicates to your gut - and your gut sends information to your brain.
We know the cliche You are what you eat. I think we interpret it strictly in a physical sense. You need protein to build muscle. Have some pasta before a run (carb up). Take a shot of caffeine to pull the all-nighter.
The reality is much more complex than the food you digest as nutritive - although that is obvious. The GBA research shows that consuming the ice cream or Doritos is directly correlated to physical ailments and mental health challenges.
You and I know we use our grey matter, skull-brain to think. But did you know your stomach thinks? We process information through many physical pathways (sight, sound…) - including through our stomach. You have had a sinking feeling or butterflies in your stomach. You’ve had a gut feeling - or a chill in your abdomen. These are physical manifestations of your gut brain.
And it’s the gut’s microbiome that influences our mental state and feelings.
Findings and Conclusions
The medical world has known about this gut-brain connection for years, evidenced by article 1 (managing gut toxins to treat psychiatric abnormalities, 1991) article 2 (microbiome influences anxiety and depression, 2013), article 3 (correlation between gut microbes and depression, 2014), article 4 (gut-brain axis impact on autism, 2014)…
Medical doctors across many specializations are exploring how imbalance in the gut microbiome relates to physical and mental conditions. For example, research discovered that:
Compared with others, patients suffering with depression had a microbiome imbalance.
The intestinal microbiome can prompt immune cells to produce pro-inflammatory cytokines that can induce depression and anxiety.
Research is confirming that not only IBS, but anxiety, depression, hypothyroidism, Crones, diabetes, and even schizophrenia have root causes (or correlations) in the digestive system.
Imbalance in the gut microbiome (dysbiosis) is linked to anxiety and depression, schizophrenia, diarrhea, cramping, constipation. When in dysbiosis, you are more prone to cardiovascular issues, obesity, and even cancer.
An imbalance in the gut damages villi along the lining of the small intestine, so the body cannot absorb nutrients or minerals - leading to malnutrition. And, the more toxic we become, the more those toxins and pathogens want to feed. A toxic microbiome will demand - crave - additional toxins on which to feed. Therefore, the more sugar we crave, leading to ongoing malnutrition and damage.
Compounding these negative effects, the imbalance (toxins, pathogens) causes intestinal permeability (also called leaky gut). In layperson’s terms, the microbiome imbalance damages the lining and villi of the small intestine. Particles sneak through that damaged lining. Those particles leak into the bloodstream (causing nutritional and psychological harm). For example, microbes in the gut produce metabolites - including tryptophan - which travels to the brain and alters neurological function.
But there’s more time to take radical personal responsibility news: The body recognizes these invader proteins (outside the intestine where they are not supposed to be) and attacks the “intruder!” This immune system inflammation response triggers mild issues or symptoms which become chronic to difficult-to-treat immune issues (like Celiac).
Neuropath, Doctor Jeremy Appleton stated: “The autonomic nervous system, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, and nerves within the gastrointestinal tract, all link the gut and the brain, allowing the brain to influence intestinal activities, including activity of functional immune effector cells; and the gut to influence mood, cognition, and mental health.” (emphasis added)
Healing Our Gut Brain
So, what principles can we distill from the data?
What we consume directly influences our emotional and mental state and can either enhance or impede our mental health - and our ability to rewire our subconscious brain patterns.
Consuming a diet that maintains a healthy, balanced, microbiome is a necessary puzzle piece to take radical, personal responsibility.
Stop eating the Doritos.
This is how I think about it (and I welcome your feedback): We have to Break the unconscious brain patterns to negate the lies the brain tells us. We know that. But what we didn’t know (or want to know!) is that we have another brain. The one in the gut.
Managing the lying trickster brain between my ears was enough of a challenge. Oh, man!! But here’s a perspective: Break Method taught you to recognize how your brain lies to you. If you ignore or neglect your gut brain, and it becomes toxic, it will lie to you, too.
So, we should “rewire” our gut-brain. Just as we rewired our skull-brain, we achieve gut symbiosis with active intervention. Visit the blog next week when we learn these routes. (Students and grads - you can also check out The Gut / Brain Axis - Nutrition & Emotional Response in Unit 4: Sustain.)
Or, if you are ready to get healthy and live your best life, take the Break Method Brain Pattern Assessment.