Those Butterfly Moments
Those pesky, little butterflies are at it again. They’re doing a little dance in my stomach, fluttering up and down, flitting this way and that.
Whenever these little creatures commence their pirouettes in my core, I expect something pleasant to happen. I know I’m excited about an approaching occasion.
Perhaps it’s a major event, like my youngest daughter’s upcoming graduation and celebration or the semi-annual family trip to a far-away beach at the end of the school/work year.
Or those flapping wings might be materializing because of a different affair, like a birthday or a getaway to a favorite place.
Along with the anxious anticipation in my tummy, I’m also a bit short of breath, my hands are moist and slightly shaky, my mouth is dry and my heart is beating a bit faster.
What’s going on with my body? Why if I’m so excited about something does it seem that I am sick?
According to scientists, what I’m experiencing is perfectly normal when a person is excited or stressed. I am experiencing the “fight or flight” reflex. Our bodies have the ability to get us out of dangerous situations or stand up to defend ourselves if need be. In today’s world, we very rarely have those moments where we might lose our lives if we don’t run away quickly or stand and fight bravely, but we do still have moments that trigger this reflex in us. Our pituitary glands haven’t figured out that we are no longer in the Stone Age, so when we get excited, they send out a run-or-wrangle notice to the adrenal glands, which sit atop of our kidneys.
Those adrenals then shoot some chemicals into our bloodstream which causes our heart rates to increase. Our circulation gets better, hence the moist and shaky palms. Our breathing gets faster to keep our heart rates up.
Since our blood is being shunted quickly to our hearts, lungs, and muscles, some of it has to be taken away from other places, like our stomachs. Other hormones are discharged and all of this interaction results in that flip-flop feeling.
I love that swirling, fluttering commotion that we call “butterflies in the stomach.” It means I’ve got something exciting getting ready to happen in my life. I embrace those butterfly moments.
I hope you do, too!