digestion and stress

Healing the digestive system will be different for everyone depending on your individual situation. A practitioner may recommend different options with dietary changes and supplements, but I’m pretty certain that they will recommend that you reduce stress in your life.

To briefly explain, when you experience stress, whether it be acute (such as giving a speech in public), or chronic (such as long-term difficulties at work), your body goes into ‘fight or flight’ mode and diverts energy away from your digestive system which can cause so many digestive issues.

You know the feeling you get when you are nervous, that nauseous feeling, the butterflies, the stomach pain. It’s all connected.

Sometimes we can’t avoid the situations that make us feel stressed. So what can you do to counterbalance these situations?  Well take a look at this list, is there something here that grabs you? Something you can do to bring some balance into your life and kick start that other part of your nervous system, the ‘rest and digest’ mode?

  • Walk or hike outside in nature
  • Have a bath, spa or relaxing swim
  • Download a meditation or mindfulness app
  • Try Tai Chi or yoga
  • Be creative and crafty
  • Sew, knit or make clothes
  • Join a sports club (golf, netball, tennis etc.)
  • Get a facial or massage
  • Learn something from YouTube (how to count to 10 in Chinese, how to poach an egg, how to paint a tree)
  • Build something
  • Start a herb garden
  • Play board games or start a jigsaw puzzle
  • Visit the beach or the mountains
  • See a counsellor
  • Reconnect with old friends or family
  • Start a gratitude journal
  • Explore your spirituality
  • Get involved in community work and volunteering
  • Get into the garden
  • Read a novel
  • De-clutter and spring clean
  • Spend time with your pets
  • Go to bed earlier
  • Now after reading this list, do you feel a little more relaxed, can you prioritise one of these activities to improve your gut health? Are you important enough to nourish yourself? I hope the answer is a big YES and YES!

P.s. if you try something and it makes you feel stressed (like trying to build some Ikea furniture but then getting so frustrated you throw the allen key down in disgust. Try something else instead!)