How to Prevent Stress from Causing an Upset Stomach
Who hasn’t felt stressed? Our bodies are designed to feel stress and react to it, but it can be really annoying when stress insists on staying and causes an upset stomach. There are many ways to get out of that state of mind! You can try going to the gym, attending to a yoga class, cooking and even enjoying an anti-stress massage.
As some of you may know, the brain and digestive system are so intertwined that some scientists call the stomach the “second brain.” This “additional nervous system” in the stomach helps explain why some of us are prone to tummy troubles during stressful situations. When the brain’s stress system sends signals to the millions of nerve cells in our guts, we may experience everything from indigestion to nausea or even vomiting.
So, here are a few tips to prevent stress from causing an upset stomach:
Try diaphragmatic breathing
In moments when you feel anxious, you can practice this breathing method. You can start by lying on your back on a flat surface and bending your knees, with your feet on the floor. Then, place one hand on the upper part of your chest and the other below your ribcage. Breathe in slowly through your nose and feel your stomach press up against your hand. Lastly, tight your stomach muscles and then let them relax while exhaling through pursed lips.
Practice meditation to prevent an upset stomach
Many know that meditation is helpful in regulating stress and maintaining a healthy gut-barrier function. If this is your first time meditating, you can start with just 60 seconds where you sit quietly and try to focus on your breathing. You’ll end up feeling so relaxed!
Get up and move!
Sometimes, when we’re stressed, all we want to do is stay in bed all day. But, according to Harvard Health Publishing, aerobic exercise can help reduce stress hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol, and boost endorphins, which are the body’s “natural painkillers.” Just by starting the day with a walk, your day will be different. Stress will no longer be part of your day.