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Stress and Digestion- 5 Things You Should Try

I had been fairly lucky on my health journey to not have the major digestive symptoms I see some of my clients having. Until the stress was too much and tore my world and my stomach apart.

You have heard it before but I will say it again stress affects everything. Our mental and physical well being are highly dependent on our bodies ability to handle stress. Many people under chronic stress start experiencing new symptoms on top of their usual culprits. Often these symptoms include, you guessed it... digestive issues. For some it's diarrhea. others chronic constipation. Then for some it is that constant anxious wired feeling in the pit of your stomach.

While you may just want to hide in bed...close to a bathroom. There are some suggestions I have for stress and digestive issues.

Five Things You Should Try:

1) Breath Work:

While it seems to simple breath work can actually help lower stress and improve your bodies ability to carry out functions. The reason I love breath work is it can be done anywhere with no tools. It also acts fast, most people feel at least some stress relief immediately afterwards.

There are many breathing techniques you can try but a simple place to start is is the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for seven seconds and blow out for 8. Don't be afraid to be loud with that exhale! Focus just on your breathing and the counting. Repeat as many times as feels good to you.

2)Less Caffeine More Water

I know...I love my coffee as much as the next person but unfortunately caffeine can make digestive issues worse. If you have to have that pick me up try drinking only one cup of coffee in the morning and water the rest of the day. Hydration is key when dealing with digestive issues.

3)Gentle Exercise

Walking and Yoga are two of my favorites when dealing with stress and digestive issues. When walking if you can do it outdoors it's even better. Movement, fresh air and sunshine can do wonders for mood and digestion. Gentle types of yoga such as hatha yoga are preformed at a slower pace, making them a great choice. Yoga is both great for stress relief and aligning the body. Which can help regulate the digestive system.

4)Slow Down

Self care, what is that? It's hard with the many demands we face every day, but at some point you have to slow down and take care of yourself. This doesn't have to be hours of me time(although that would be great). It can start with taking 20 or 30 minutes for yourself. Take a bath or shower, journal, read, do art. Whatever you like to do that helps you reset.

5) Eat and Eat Well

Although digestive issues related to stress are not necessarily due to diet, you can use food to help. Often times when we are having digestive issues we stop eating or just eat a very small variety of foods. Even though we are experiencing digestive issues we should still try and maintain a well balanced nutrient dense diet. Make sure you are not skipping meals. Your body needs fuel (food) and nutrients to carry out all of its functions including digestion.

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