Today, I’m going to talk about how stress affects your digestion and what you can do about it. Stress impacts digestion directly.
Check out the video below!
We all have our own definition of stress. It is anything that puts us into fight or flight mode. In today’s world that could be too much on your plate and our go go go lifestyle. There are also stressors we might not think of like our environment, chemicals in the air, products we use, cleaning products, etc. The stressors I think that have the most impact are emotional stressors and food stressors.
But all of these stressors impact digestion.
Emotions and food I feel are 2 areas we have the most control over. Once we learn how to process emotions and choose the foods that are ideal to us we can be in a better place.
The reason stressors affect digestion.
Our nervous system can be in either rest and digest or fight or flight. It can only be in one or the other. We need to be in rest and digest so our body is ready for food and is able to secrete gastric juices and enzymes and can digest (break down) our food . In this calmer state we will also be more mindful about chewing and allowing the food to settle.
Would you want to be running and eating?
Not a very calm digestive picture!
In flight or fight the body would not be able to digest well. Even if we are not physically running around we are in mental fight or flight.
You want to be in the calmest state to digest food to eliminate or minimize digestive distress.
If we are eating in a rush and not able to fully digest foods this leads to digestive issues like gas, bloating, feeling heavy and tired after a meal.
To reduce indigestion caused by stressors look through your stress list. Yes, I know this is a lot but it is important. Start with food and emotions as they are the ones we have the most control over, and I feel they have the most impact. For example if work was an issue you would evaluate that and incrementally see what you need to change. You can look at your environment, cleaning products, etc. and start minimizing those stressors.
One change at a time.
Start slowly, one at a time. All the stressors may be impacting your digestion but do the best you can each meal.
Here are a few tips:
- Eating in calm environment
- Breathing deeply for 1-2 minutes before a meal
- Telling yourself mentally that the next 15-20 minutes is for eating
- Eating in a less crowded or crowded space (which feels calmer to you)
- Think about areas that make you feel the most relaxed
- Hydrating well before a meal
- Chewing well
- Veggies to help digest your meal (1/2 plate at least)
- Giving yourself enough time to eat
Hopefully this helps, If you are having a lot of digestive distress please reach out and book a 20 minute complimentary call to see if we can work together!
To better digestion!
Certified Holistic Nutritionist.