I have a gut feeling that this may surprise you — you have a second “little” brain that your big brain is always depending on.

Actually your second brain is really not so little. It’s called your Enteric Nervous System (ENS) and it consists of 100 million nerve cells hidden in two thin layers of your intestinal system. It actually contains about five times the number of neurons more than your first (cognitive) brain.

Yes, lurking in the walls of your gut is your second brain.

If you’ve ever had a “gut reaction,” “gone with your gut,” or even felt…

Trent Dilfer is owning his anger.

Recently former pro football player Trent Dilfer, who is now a high school football coach, seem to lose self control when addressing a player recently on the sideline during a game.

In a moment of frustration during a game, Dilfer aggressively yelled at his player and even put hands on the teenager, pushing him away as he yelled at him.

The player, who was not physically injured during the heat of the moment exchange, recoiled from his coach’s aggression and was finally calmed by teammates as Dilfer walked away. …

Do you tend to yell at your children when you’re angry and your patience runs out?

Put your clothes away. Get off the computer. Come down for dinner. Take the dog out. Stop hitting your sister.

Sure, yelling when you’re angry is a great way to release energy, and also a loud way to exert your power and control.

Depending upon the age of your children you may even get behavior change and instant compliance after yelling.

But consider that the impact of your loud emotional catharsis may extend much further than the immediate situation that has caused you to…

Do you remember the last time that you worried about someone or something?

Were you worried about someone close to you, a challenging event coming up, or the outcome of something else going on for you?

Do you remember the way your body felt and the thoughts that raced through your head?

Well, now you remember the intense feeling of self harassment.

Don’t waste your time!

Your worry serves no purpose to calm or mollify you. Worrying wastes your energy and distorts your logical thinking.

It’s almost like worrying is like a poisonous potion that disguises as an emotional relief elixir.

When thinking about…

Do you like to dance?

Dancing is incredibly healthy for you and can actually help slow down your brain and body’s aging process.

Your brain loves rhythm.

Rhythm helps regulate your moods. In fact, steady rhythm has been sensorily and emotionally regulating you since even before you were born. Your mom’s heartbeat was your first connection to rhythm.

Your brain yearns to connect to synchronous rhythm and dance can help you with that. This has been known for a long time.

Way back in 1871, Charles Darwin concluded that “before acquiring the power of expressing their mutual love in articulate language, (most people) endeavoured…

Are you taking opportunities to get away from your daily routine and the things that may be causing you stress and anxiety?

Maybe your day is feeling stale and uninspired and you could use a jolt of fresh energy and passion.

Moving out of your normal surroundings and changing the energy sensations around you can be healthy and make you feel calmer and happier.

Your brain will bathed in pleasurable neurochemicals like dopamine, serotonin and more!

There are probably some really brain healthy and body healthy things just waiting for you closeby to explore and experience.

Have you connected with…

Healthy connection with others will help your brain and body.

Your brain is a social organ that feeds on social interaction. Healthy relationships will help calm you and perhaps even heal parts of your brain that may be injured by extreme stress or emotional trauma.

Your body is also healthier when you connect with others too. Healthy connection releases endorphins and healthy hormones throughout your body and improves your blood flow, and your cardiovascular, digestive and immune systems.

Your brain’s wiring, which controls what you think and how you feel, is impacted by your connections and relationships. Your earliest relationships…

One of the most effective ways to help calm you down when you feel stressed or anxious is by listening to music and other aural regulation.

The part of your brain that becomes inflamed when you’re feeling intense emotion or other stress can be soothed with calming sound.

For some, the most relaxing thing to listen to is natural sounds of the ocean, light rain and more. For others, music is what’s needed to calm the anxious brain.

Choosing the right music is vitally important. Your favorite tunes may or may not be what your brain needs to calm down.

Can you hear me now?

Yeah, I hear ya.

But are you listening?

Healthy communication depends on respect and understanding. Whether it’s between you and your spouse or partner, your kids, friends or co-workers, you will have closer, more trusting relationships with healthy communication.

The first step of healthy communication is active listening.

You have two ears and one mouth, so the evidence suggests that you should be listening first — really listening without shifting to the need of wanting to state your opinion on whatever topic is being discussed.

’Tis the season! As you polish your holiday gift list for others this year, you definitely want to include some affordable items that will help your family and friends lower their stress and anxiety.

And maybe you want to put some of these on your gift list, as well.

These inexpensive items are brain strength tools. They will help calm and regulate the parts of the brain that become inflamed when feeling stressed or anxious.

Most of the items offer sensory regulation and/or creative expression. It’s the sensory part of the brain that needs attention when feeling dysregulated.

And, as…

Marty Wolner

Marty Wolner is a certified mentor trainer and trauma and stress impact coach for Lakeside Global Institute in Philadelphia, PA

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