Chronic Stress and its Negative Impact on Your Digestive Health

December 29, 2018

Living in a constant state of stress affects you not just mentally but also negatively impacts your digestive health. Here is a lowdown on this fact along with ways to combat chronic stress and safeguard your gut.

Your first instinct when you decide to lead a healthier life is to strip off all processed snacks and junk foods from your kitchen and your refrigerator. However, even after restocking your pantry with healthy edibles, you may still fall short of achieving your health goals if you lead a stressful life. Studies indicate that high stress levels can disturb the delicate balance of gut microflora and lead to digestive issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. Prolonged stress may even hamper the proper movement of food through the digestive tract as well as the absorption of nutrients. It is, therefore, crucial to practice effective stress-management techniques so that it does not have long-term consequences on your overall well-being. Here are a few suggestions that you may want to try to deal with stress better.

  1. Concentrate on Your Breath – Meditation techniques that advocate focusing on your breath are useful in soothing a frayed nervous system.  Breathing in deeply through your nose and exhaling slowly through your mouth for a couple of minutes especially at an anxiety-laden time may help you think more clearly and feel calmer than before.

  2. Speak to A Friend – Talking about how you are feeling is the oldest trick in the book when it comes to managing stress. You can choose to pour your heart out to a friend or seek the help of professionals like therapists or health coaches.

  3. Maintain a Journal – Many of us are not comfortable talking about our woes. For such people, jotting down their thoughts may prove to be just as cathartic as talking. Penning what you feel every night for 10 to 15 minutes can help calm you down by reducing your stress levels.

  4. Try a Probiotic Supplement – Since stress has such a significant impact on the microbial environment in your gut, taking a probiotic that helps gut-protecting bacteria thrive can be beneficial in curbing stress-induced stomach problems. If you are not fond of taking supplements, you can consider adding foods like yogurt and kefir that are infused with live bacterial cultures.

  5. Exercise Regularly – A brisk walk around the block or a quick spin on your cycle can help release some of the built-up stress by stimulating the production of endorphins. Outdoor activities also give you a chance to breathe in fresh air that can clear up your mind and provide instant relief.

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