Today I wanted to talk about emotions and digestive issues like bloating and how it is so interconnected. If you are an emotional eater this is a double whammy with the emotions and digestive issues.
Sometimes we think our emotions are outside of us, out there but this could not be further from the truth. Whenever we feel more of a lower emotion (like sadness, anger grief) or those uncomfortable emotions they produce stress in our body. Note: even positive emotions produce a physiological response in the body.
Fight or Flight vs. Rest and Digest
Our nervous system can be in stress mode or in rest mode. Stress can be fight or flight and rest is rest and digest. In rest mode we have good digestion. So if our nervous system is in a sympathetic mode it is riled up and it is not in digesting mode. This puts a hamper on our digestion.
For example if you are upset and angry and it’s lunch time and you are not tuned into your body and you are eating, your body is not prepared to digest the food. It’s not going to have enough enzymes and gastric juices and you will feel more heavy, bloated and full. You’ll feel like this meal is taking forever to digest. What’s happening is your body was not prepared to digest the food.
This is really uncomfortable, really frustrating and you’re already not in a great mood and your body doesn’t feel great as well.
When you have poor digestion your gut is not happy and the bacteria found there are not happy. Your gut produces a lot of your neurotransmitters. And if you gut is off you are not producing as much of those neurotransmitters to feel good. This further escalates our current mood and we are more likely to have bad moods.
If you are an emotional eater it’s almost a double whammy. So if you are not feeling great and go towards food in that moment to cope, you’ll have poor digestion and throw off your gut and that impacts your mood. This is a vicious cycle.
How do we interrupt it?
1. The more in tune with your body you are the better at noticing hunger cues you will become. You can see if you are in an emotional state or truly hungry.
2. Process the emotion. Be with it , write it out in a journal. If it is something harder to process do deeper work with a practitioner to help clear it out and find out what is under it.
3. Tune into the body and if you are truly hunger, eat in a calming environment (for you). This will help with digestive issues.
We think we eat and fill our bellies. We feel something and it’s in outer space but everything is so interconnected. And the more connected we are to our bodies and our emotions the easier it will be to see what needs to shift and change in our life.
If you have any questions please leave a comment below!
To better digestion and moods 🙂
Certified Holistic Nutritionist.