Social Anxiety | 19 Feb 2020

Why do I get butterflies in my stomach?

What are the butterflies in my stomach?

Okay, so that’s a really good question!

First, I feel I must state something which may seem obvious. There isn’t actually butterflies flying around your stomach. So, now that’s out of the way.

What are the sensations that cause me to think I might have butterflies in my stomach?

It’s actually a symptom of adrenaline and cortisol being released into your body after your brain has decided that you are under threat. Yes, that’s right, your inner chimp (limbic system) has decided you must be switch to ‘fight or flight’ mode, which sends a surge of stress hormones roaming around your body and in turn results in a rush of blood moving away from your stomach and other non-essential fight/flight organs, and into places like your legs. To help you run for your life!

But what actually makes the feel of butterflies in my stomach?

Scientists believe it is simply the blood flow moving away from your stomach causing your stomach to be extra sensitive. At the same time we all know now about our second brain in our gut, if you don’t read it all about in my blog all about the gut brain connection here. So, if our brain has gone into overdrive, with 100 million neurons in the gut that are linked to the brain, there’s no surprise I have butterflies in my stomach when my world feels like it’s turning up-side-down.

How can I stop the butterflies in my stomach?

Be prepared. Absolutely, don’t you think? The more prepared you are for an upcoming event, maybe public speaking? Or maybe a networking event? The easier it will be on your brain and the less likely your body is going to respond in fight/flight mode. Is it that simple though?

Butterflies in my stomach

Can being prepared stop the butterflies in my stomach?

If you are prepared it really can make a huge difference, but please prepare in the right way. I have a lovely blog all about the power of visualisation that you might find particularly useful. The trick is to stop planning disasters ad start planning success.

What if I don’t know when the butterflies in my stomach are going to show up?

Of course, sometimes we are surprised by some news that sends our body into panic mode and on these occasions we haven’t had any kind of opportunity to prepare. So, let’s look at what we can do on those occasions. We might want to use some of the extra energy pumping through our bodies first of all. Maybe a quick jump and jiggle about on the spot? Or if that’s not appropriate for your surroundings, tense and relax each muscle in the body in turn, nice and discreetly.

What can I do to calm the butterflies in my stomach?

A nice breathing technique wouldn’t go amiss. You may have one you know already? IF you not take a look at my Calm Your Mind free relaxation group. I’ve got lots of video tips in there, including breathing techniques for you. You will know already what kind of techniques help you to relax. It could be exercise like yoga or cycling, maybe aromatherapy oils, a short hypnosis track, or even talking to a friend.

Butterfly in your tummy

Are butterflies in my stomach normal?

Yes, they are absolutely normal. But, if you are getting them regularly they could be a sign of a gastrointestinal or anxiety condition so please do speak to a professional.  When I suffered with anxiety I rarely had an hour go by when I didn’t have butterflies in my stomach and that resulted in Irritable Bowel Syndrome that left me debilitated in so many ways. It turned into a vicious cycle and just got worse and worse. If this is you right now, please know that there is hope. You’re welcome to get in touch with me for a free 20 minute phone call if you wanted to discuss how I can help and find out more about hypnotherapy.

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