When the body is stressed, it cannot digest, properly function, or effectively transform food into energy, or perform all of its other jobs and metabolic processes. The gut and the brain are in constant communication with one another. Stress interrupts this brain-gut communication and as a result, can trigger pain, bloating, and overall gut discomfort.
When stressful situations arise, so often we are told to just deal with it. Get over it. Move on. It’s not that bad. And so we learn how to take our stress and shove it down inside of us. Never really dealing with it and why it’s there in the first place. This can wreak havoc on the digestive system and the unmanaged stress can literally start to eat at you. I truly believe that most of us are walking around with toxic stress balls in our guts because we’ve never been taught how to properly handle the daily stresses of life: work, parenthood, relationships, school, disappointment, unmet expectations, etc. Some are balancing ALL of these at the same time!
What can we do about it? Life will always bring stress. There is no way to escape it, so we HAVE to learn how to handle it in a healthy way. We need to remember to stop and breathe and break the never-ending stress cycle.
So, if you find that you’re constantly burning the candle at both ends and are feeling burnt out…
TRY THESE SOULFOODS!
Make sure you are laughing daily. This means letting go of things that are out of your control and laughing at life. Too often, we take ourselves so seriously that we feel drained.
Unwind. Take the time to enjoy the break you have with each meal. Make sure you eat lunch away from your desk and avoid eating while standing at the counter at home.
Make sure you are taking a break in your day and finding some time for yourself. Take a walk or listen to your favorite music. Step outside for a daily dose of vitamin D.
Set the alarm on your phone periodically as a reminder to stop and take a few deep breaths to reset your nervous system.
Commit to one affirmation a day – you can say it at any point of the day. A good example would be, “I deserve to be healthy and feel good.”
Nourish your relationships. Take time today to call a friend or a family member and tell them you love them. So often we communicate with people through email, Twitter, and Facebook rather than picking up the phone. Take time today to talk to your loved ones and nurture the relationships that will feed your soul.
Put down your phone, step away from your computer. Turn off the TV, sit down, and just breath. Be grateful. Commit to this every day. You’ll be amazed at the difference.
In the next segment, we’ll discuss cleaning out the junk and how we really are what we eat.