The new Disney movie “Inside Out” gives a great insight into the interplay of our emotions – one of which is sadness. Sadness is a real and useful part of our lives WHEN it’s in balance, and I feel that it is important to allow sadness – but not to let it rule the roost.
When our systems get out of balance, sadness can become depression for physiological reasons, not just emotional ones.
Recent research is showing that gut health is important to our emotions, and indicating that probiotics can reduce over-reactions to sadness such as:
- aggressive thoughts – internal blaming self or others that is never voiced
- stewing over the past – ruminating on what life could have or should have been
The brain and the gut are part of one integrated system – the person. Much as we may love the message of “Inside Out”, our emotions don’t only live in our heads. Our body and its physiology play their own roles.
Researchers did a triple-blind study of 40 healthy adults without mood disorders over four weeks. They found that probiotics reduced cognitive reactivity to sadness, such as the above examples. While more studies are needed, it’s worth noting what’s been found so far and checking how well your gut is working.
The research was by Steenbergen, Sallaro, van Hemert et al, published in 2015. It’s documented here: