When the brain perceives a potential threat to survival, it increases alertness by raising heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York. The enteric nervous system and neurogastroenterology. So when we feel nervous before a stage debut, the brain communicates that anxiety to the gut, sometimes causing a case of the butterflies.At the same time, the nervous system stimulates the adrenal glands, which release hormones including adrenaline and cortisol that can turn the body into a tense, sweaty mess. But to fully understand the reasons behind the butterflies, we may have to look back hundreds of thousands of years.In this ‘Reptile of the South and Southwest in Folk-lore,’ John K.Strecker relates this belief in a somewhat more poetic way than I have done, and shall I cite but the last sentence of his engaging account: ‘Unless you cut off a snake’s head, a ‘snake doctor’ can bring it back to life, even though its body may have been badly mutilated.’The story does not end here, for there is a species of snake in the Ozarks call the snake doctor, which, like the darning needle, ready to warn the rattlesnake of the approach of danger.In Sweden, folklore suggests that we dragonflies come around to check for bad souls, to weigh souls to be more ‘accurate’, believed to sneak up to children who tell lies and also adults who curse and scold, to stitch up their eyes, mouth, and ears respectively.For a species of insects that have inhabited our planet for almost 300 million years, it is only natural perhaps that they have such a wide and varied perception amongst various civilizations. In many regions and as a norm of this day, the dragonfly is considered to be an agent of change and presumably symbolic of a sense of self realization.“In European folklore, calling the dragonfly the witches’ animal and that Satan sent it on earth to cause chaos and confusion, to calling it, Ear Cutter, Devil’s Needle, Adderbolt and worst of all Horse Stinger, which soon spread Down Under when the British colonized Australia.
A frequent nervous stomach may be a sign of an anxiety disorder or even a gastrointestinal issue Irritable bowel syndrome--irritable bowel or irritable mind? Pomeranian Medical University of Szczecin, Poland, Department of Gastroenterology. Role of stress in functional gastrointestinal disorders. Department of Medicine, Division of Hepatology and Gastroenterology, Universitätsklinikum Charité, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany. Neurotic butterflies in my stomach: the role of anxiety, anxiety sensitivity and depression in functional gastrointestinal disorders.
Almost everyone has experienced that fluttery feeling in the stomach before a big presentation or a first date.
Most of us know this feeling by the un-scientific name “butterflies,” but it turns out there are some scientific reasons behind the sensation.
As humans continue to study and learn more about nonhuman animals and the ways in which they are different from humans, I think it is important to share the ways in which we are the same.
I hope by presenting the presence of human-nonhuman connection through historical stories, which still is present in modern stories, the animal experience and animal emotion, especially during mourning and grieving, will allow for more connectedness with all animals.