I’m gonna ask you to do something a little weird right now.
I want you to imagine your favorite, most decadent thing to eat.
Maybe it’s a thick slice of chocolate cake … a slice of gooey pizza, hot from the brick oven … a warm buttery croissant with aroma coffee on a cold morning…or your favorite sizzling meal.
Did your mouth start to water? You probably couldn’t tell, but your stomach actually started producing juices to digest those amazing foods.
If you ever doubted that if what you’re thinking about could have an impact on what happens in your gut … well, you just experienced the proof that it really does!
And this brain-gut connection doesn’t only involve thoughts about food. It includes STRESS, which can play a tremendous role in the workings of your gut (like digesting food) … and also the health of your gut microbiome.
And wow have we ever been under a lot of stress lately, am I right? Even if we haven’t been caught up in the concerns about coronavirus, it’s stressful to watch other people get stressed.
We can get so accustomed to living a high-stress lifestyle that we start to believe that stress is normal, and that it doesn’t have any impact on us.
But it sure does. Among other things, stress is associated not only with an upset stomach … but actual conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, and gastrointestinal reflux disease.
This is why it is SO important to make time to actively DEstress on a regular basis!
Here are a few ideas:
- Take a day completely off every week if possible! Do something fun.
- Meditate or practice deep breathing.
- Catch yourself when you think stressful or negative thoughts, and think positive thoughts instead.
- Spend time with loved ones.
- Say NO more often and guard your time wisely.
- Eat a healthy, gut-friendly diet to support your digestive system.
- Practice yoga to help build a mind-body connection (vs. trying to excel at it).
The deeper you dive into the things that make up a healthy lifestyle, the more you realize it is all connected!