The emotive digestive system is the connection between the brain and gut.
Do you ever feel stomach ache when you feel anxious or stressed?The feeling of indigestion and heartburn also stems from the same. Nowadays, when stress because of the COVID-19 pandemic is on rise, a lot of people are also suffering from gastric problems.
Stress and anxiety trigger contractions in the gastrointestinal tract which cause these stress-related digestive problems. Stress can also cause symptoms like nausea, heartburn, bloating or a change in rectal patterns.
Why does the stomach feel stress?
The enteric nervous system is one that is housed within the GI tract. There is a strong connection between the brain and this part of the nervous system. In times of stress, signals might force the GI tract to behave differently. The stress also makes the nerves become sensitive, thus things that are not perceived as stressful in normal situations, make a huge impact in anxious situations. It is quite normal for everyone to experience mild symptoms when they are stressed. When we are stressed, we also tend to look for comfort in food. Stress eating is also a major reason for GI tract problems.
Here are six tips to help you soothe your gut when it is stressed.
Mediterranean dietStay as close to the Mediterranean diet in times like these. The foundation of this diet is vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains. You can also add the rare poultry, eggs or dairy to your meal.
Create a schedule
You should create a proper schedule for your meals as well as snacking so that you end up eating too much and aggravate the already existing gastric symptoms.
Getting enough sleep is very important during times like these. It helps your body recover from the symptoms as well as the stress that caused them in the first place.
No matter how much you are attracted to just sitting on the couch and watching TV these days, it is important that you stay active. A small at-home workout will do that trick. Staying active makes you feel good and prepared to handle the pandemic, reducing stress and thus reducing stress-related digestive problems.
The key is to be happy and keep stress at bay. It is important to keep in touch with your family and friends through video calls. It makes you feel much better and reminds you that everybody is in this together.
It is advisable to follow diaphragmatic breathing for some time during the day. It is good for calming your nerves and also helps you maintain good lung health. Make sure you use your stomach to breathe. To check, put one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. The hand on the stomach should move in and out with the stomach as you breathe.