Eight Ways You can Reduce Stress and Heal Your Gut
It’s no surprise that in today’s world of stressful schedules, work loads and pandemic that your digestive system will end up paying the price. This can be in the form of gas, bloating, upset stomach and a variety of other gut-related symptoms which are exacerbated by stress.
Having alternative modalities to reduce stress can be as simple as spending a few quiet minutes in mediation, working through a restorative yoga session, or finding a massage or reflexology therapist for treatment. Using a massage therapist on a regular basis can relieve the tension built up in our shoulders and neck; improving the parasympathetic nervous response and reducing stress.
If yoga, massage or meditation aren’t your cup of tea, try one of these modalities to bring comfort and peace to your life and your digestive system.
#1 Be active
Activity, activity, activity! Go for a trail hike, ride a bike, go to an indoor rock climbing gym, swim, or do water aerobics. Movement increases circulation, which naturally improves energy, and releases endorphins.
#2 Herbal Tea
Chamomile tea is a time-tested stress reliever. Have a warm cup of tea at the end of a day to signal to your body it’s time to rest. Chamomile is a natural antispasmodic helping the body release tension.
#3 Be Inspired
Read an uplifting or inspiring book. Wind down at the end of a day by reading an engaging article or book to boost your mood and prepare your body for sleep.
Essential oils are a wonderful way to relax using natural therapeutic compounds that help relieve anxiety and improve mood; rub on temples, put a few drops in a diffuser, or add to oil as a relaxing aromatherapy massage.
Magnesium and calcium help relieve tense muscles and headaches.
#6 Listen to Music
Listening to or playing music, including singing, releases stress and brings your sympathetic nervous system back online.
#7 Be Outdoorsy
Getting out into Nature by going on a short walk in the woods. Take several deep breaths. This is an ancient practice called forest bathing. Breathing in the antimicrobial organic compounds from the plants decreases cortisol levels and blood pressure.
#8 Deep Breathing
Deep breathing, along with meditation listed above, are two ways to reduce your stress level and create a more peaceful place for your autonomic nervous system. In addition, prayer, gardening, yoga, tai chi, painting, singing, acupuncture, probiotics, strength training, gargling several times a day, and other relaxing hobbies increase vagal tone, signaling to our body that all is well.