Go with Your Gut — How To Get Better Focus and Energy at Work

May 23, 2023
Laura Bourne - Wellness Coach

Laura Bourne,

Laura Bourne is a holistic nutritionist and HR executive who thrives helping others build healthy habits and enjoy their lives to the fullest. Looking to restore your energy, improve your sleep, or manage your moods?

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When you need to make a decision (big or small), how often do you “go with your gut”?

For a very long time, the gut has been linked to the brain in folklore, traditional medicine, and well…just gut feeling. Links to the gut and your brain are so conventional that you probably don’t even think about them. Not only have you “gone with your gut,” you’ve likely done a “gut check,” advised someone to “trust your gut,” or had a “gut response” to an idea or proposal.

Far too long, science has ignored the real connections that exist between the gut and the brain. But now studies are proving that what we had a “gut feeling” was true – there is real science behind the gut-brain connection. And in fact, many are calling the gut your body’s “second brain.”

Focus On Gut Health and Improve Workplace Performance

Leaders — have you ever struggled to focus at work, or make clear, quick executive decisions?

When we lose focus at work, or when our ability to see a clear choice, or make a decision weakens, we often blame it on not having the right information, or perhaps our mindset in the moment.

But what if performance isn’t just about capabilities, or mindset, or goals? What if it’s about gut health too?

Gut health plays a crucial role in focus and concentration at work. The gut and brain are connected through the gut-brain axis, and imbalances in gut health can directly impact brain function. I learned how to diagnose and address these issues through my training as a holistic nutritionist, and I see the impacts of improved gut health with my clients every day.

But no one really wants to talk about it. That’s one of the reasons I developed one of my signature talks “Everybody Poops” as an attempt to approach a sensitive (but crucial) subject with openness and humour.

Because if we don’t start going with our gut, our performance at work will continue to suffer.

How Poor Gut Health Affects Performance

Poor gut health affects performance in a number of ways, and for a number of reasons. 

Here’s what the science is telling us:

  • Poor gut health contributes to inflammation: chronic inflammation in the gut can impact brain function and lead to symptoms such as brain fog, difficulty concentrating, and memory issues. A healthy gut is essential for reducing inflammation and maintaining optimal brain function.
  • Poor gut health can cause neurotransmitter imbalances: your gut produces important neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which regulate mood, motivation, and focus. Imbalances in gut bacteria can lead to low levels of these substances, resulting in fatigue, lack of motivation, and difficulty concentrating.
  • Poor gut health can lead to nutrient deficiencies: one of the gut’s key jobs is to process and absorb essential nutrients from your food and drink, and feed them to your body. Many (most) of these nutrients are crucial for brain health and function. So if you’re not getting them, you’re more susceptible to feelings of brain fog and difficulty concentrating.
  • Poor gut health can increase stress levels: this one becomes an endless cycle. Imbalances in your gut bacteria and inflammation can increase stress. In addition, chronic stress can impact your gut health, creating an unending loop of stress and poor gut health that can be difficult to check.

Stop Working Your Guts Out…And Start Focusing On Gut Health

By taking steps to improve gut health and maintain a healthy gut, individuals can reduce inflammation, optimize neurotransmitter levels, and absorb essential nutrients, leading to improved cognitive function and increased focus and concentration at work. 

Through my work with clients or through my workplace wellness programs, I teach simple steps to help individuals improve eating habits and enjoy a more balanced diet, manage stress, and sleep more soundly. All these actions can have a positive impact on work performance and overall well-being. Are you ready to “go with your gut?” Reach out to me today to discuss private coaching, or booking me for a wellness talk at your organization.

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It’s time to learn how to help your body work for you. It’s time to regain control of your health. It’s time to set yourself up for success.
Visit my website to learn more about what I can do for you.