Home / Resources / Butterflies before an event? – 4 tips to help calm that brain-gut conversation

Butterflies before an event? – 4 tips to help calm that brain-gut conversation


On the surface we can take those feelings of nausea, butterflies or a churning stomach as nervousness about an upcoming event or a difficult conversation we need to have.  We can put our inability to eat and having no appetite whatsoever down to the argument we had earlier in the day. They are just the physical manifestations that we’re upset, aren’t they?

We probably know ourselves that the answer is no.  Scientists have found that there are communication channels from the gut to the brain and vice versa.  For example, when our brain thinks about food, our stomach can start releasing the juices necessary to start digesting it even before the food arrives; conversely an unsettled intestine can send messages to the brain to stop us from sending any food down to it, whether we choose to listen to that message is, of course, another matter!

However, in recent times, there has been an increase in research into the relationship between the mind, the gut and the micro-organisms that live inside it, the gut microbiome.  The human gut microbiome includes many different species of bacteria, some help process food and maintain a healthy immune system while others may cause disease.  In future, ongoing research may lead to us to have a full understanding of and answers to questions such as why we crave sugar in obesity and why chronic stress puts us at risk of developing irritable bowel syndrome.

In the meantime, there are a few stress management tips we can practice to help ease the toll we all place on our digestive systems, it may come as no surprise that they all have positive implications for our mental health too:

  1. Remember Diaphragmatic Breathing
  2. Try a Guided Mindfulness Meditation Exercise
  3. Think before we eat
  4. Use exercise to benefit both our mental and physical health

The words More Tips overlaid on a green and pink background with sharp green and pink coloured pencils laid horizontally with tips meeting

Many other stress management tips are available on our website – please have a browse to find some that work for you


Recent articles on our blog....

A white plate with a white and green flower arrangement and candles in the background

Do you seek or avoid conversations about grief at work?

December 7, 2023

For this year’s National Grief Awareness Week (2 – 8 December) we have reviewed and updated the section on grief within our mental health resources and consider why we may avoid conversations about grief at work.

Read More →

Autumn 2023 Newsletter includes tips for Stress Awareness Week

November 1, 2023

For Stress Awareness Week, the autumn edition of our quarterly wellbeing at work newsletter includes stress management tips and resources.

Read More →
Two anonymous co-workers sitting outside talking, one holding a coffee cup and the other the stump filter of a coffee machine.

Communication at work – be aware of the pitfalls of co-rumination

November 1, 2023

We offer 5 tips for helping to develop healthy interactions at work in order to increase wellbeing and avoid co-rumination.

Read More →



Our purpose is to provide training and consultancy services to enhance resilience, health and wellbeing in the workplace.


Differentiation is one of the most strategic and tactical activities in which companies most constantly engage


It's natural to have questions about training and how it fits with your organisation. Our FAQs can help you find out more.


View case studies for some of the in-house training courses we have delivered to different types of organisations across the UK.