Stress is one of those members of a party that you’d never want to invite. This is because not only is it harmful in itself but it can also encourage other health concerns. For instance, stress can negatively impact your gut health.
To begin with, short-term stress can promote lost appetite. It can also slow your digestion. This is probably one of the reasons why stress and weight gain are interlinked. Similarly, long-term stress can culminate in gastrointestinal issues such as indigestion, an upset stomach, diarrhea, and constipation.
Moreover, chronic stress over an extended duration can lead to serious issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and other GI disorders. The solution to this is simple – stress management. You need to concentrate on managing stress so that your gut issue due to it can abate.
To this end, here are some steps that you can take:
1. Include probiotics in your diet
Your gut is packed with lots of bacteria, both of harmful and good ones. These are responsible for promoting improved digestion among other things. However, several factors including stress can upset their population. Luckily, prebiotics and probiotics can fix this concern.
Food items such as asparagus, garlic, onion, banana, and inulin are packed with prebiotics. At the same time, you can get your share of probiotics via fermented foods such as yogurt, tempeh, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut among other things.
2. Quit smoking
While smoking is notorious for impacting your respiratory and heart health, it can also negatively affect your digestive system. Smoking can increase the risk of gastrointestinal disease as well as peptic ulcer. So, it is best to either quit smoking or, in the least, reduce it.
3. Practice mindfulness meditation
Research applauds the role that mindfulness meditation plays in improving your health on the whole. Particularly, however, it can work to lower inflammation, which causes stress. This can help correct an overstressed digestive system.
What you can do is very simple. Try to sit up straight and away from distraction before your next meal. Take a few deep breaths, say 2-4 rounds of deep breaths. Then, hold your breath at the count of 4 for four more counts and exhale for four counts. This will help you relax and will also aid your meal’s digestion.
Stress management is not a child’s play. If you feel that nothing that you do works to reduce your stress, then it is best to take matters to a specialist who can help you manage your stress better.