How Stress Effects Digestion

Ever notice how your thoughts and emotions can influence or create a certain physical sensation in the body? This happens throughout our day, sometimes without conscious awareness.

What stress does to your body. 

When you are stressed, the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) is affected. Parts of your physical body gets affected when this is activated, which includes your digestive system. Digestive issues like heartburn, ability to produce stomach acid, and how we absorb food and our waste is negatively impacted. In addition, it can change to the composition of gut bacteria, which plays an important role in digestion, the immune system and neurotransmitters. 

3 ways to de-stress before you eat.

If you are stressed, it’s important to get back to a parasympathetic state (our relaxed state) to get the most out of what you are eating. Here are some ways to get back to that calm state before eating. 

  1. Belly Breaths

Try taking some deep belly breaths before you sit down to eat. This will directly communicate to your physiology that it’s time to relax and prepare for digestion, allowing your digestive enzymes and stomach acid to activate and start flowing. 

  1. Chew Consciously

Don’t rush the eating process. Stay in the present moment and connect with the sensory experience of eating this delicious food. This allows for slowness to enter into experience, allowing the mind to quiet and experience only what is happening right now. 

  1. Ditch the Distractions

We all like to multitask and munch on food while completing tasks. Try to avoid this and get away from as many distractions as possible. This will help your body digest and relax as much as possible.