Posted on January 15, 2019 by adminYour Digestive Problems The majority of us have direct experience of how chronic, or extreme psychological stress can affect the digestive tract. Historical practitioners of Chinese Medicine also theorized that the gut (particularly the Liver) was the seat of feelings. Modern science explains this phenomena, detecting that around 90% of our hormones and hormone are in fact produced in the gut. What Happens to Digestion When We Are Stressed Something not many of us know, at least logically, is that the digestive tract is in fact governed by the Central Nervous System, namely a sub-branch of the nervous system known as the”parasympathetic nervous system”. In essence, the parasympathetic system is our”rest and digest” state. Only if we are relaxed and free of stress does the parasympathetic system and therefore digestion, activate. When we enter a state of anxiety, the counterpart to the parasympathetic system; the sympathetic system, activates. When the sympathetic system is chronically stimulated by prolonged stress, it may lead to gastrointestinal disorders, inflammation and weaken the immune system. One example of how stress can cause common digestive difficulties is by causing the esophagus to spasm and changing stomach acid secretion. This results in heartburn, acid reflux and can make you feel nauseous. Another example is the effects stress has on the colon. Intense stress increases the secretion of stress hormones cortisol, prolactin and serotonin, which can cause the colon to become hyperactive or stressed, which contributes diarrhea or constipation. The Way to Handle Stress for Better Digestion Reducing total stress is not a straightforward job, it takes a holistic, multi-factorial approach. But, psychological stress is one of the primary, dominant stressors that negatively affect the digestive system. While getting a handle on the source of psychological stress can take some time, there are some simple things you can do to mitigate their effects. 1 simple method to de-stress is to take part in fun, moderate exercise. Physical exercise relieves tension, gets us out of our heads, improves our mood by releasing endorphins but also helps with the elimination of stress hormones. Other Wonderful ways to reduce stress include: Relaxation – People with digestive issues are often overly stressed and do not relax enough. Getting authentic, profound relaxation is harder in today’s world, but can be accomplished through yoga, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, cognitive therapy, biofeedback, superior music, spending time in nature, swimming, love-making, and working on a fun project or hobby. Communication therapy – A significant source of psychological stress dwells in the area of communication. In actuality, most stress and problems in life have their origins in communication trouble. If you have ever been in a situation where you did not know what to say, or somebody was not speaking to you, you know the stress associated with poor communication. Taking courses or reading books communications can be helpful for enhancing our quality of life, relationships and reducing a great source of stress. But simply having a good friend or loved one you can talk to freely about your stress can be a significant stress reliever. Personally, I have found cognitive therapy to be a major aid in relieving chronic stress in my life. There are even studies that have demos rated a 70 percent increase in anxiety symptoms after 12 months of cognitive therapy. Nutrition – A poor diet can ruin a good digestive system. Inadequate nutrition can be a source of biological stress, but also, eating the correct foods can help curb the effects of anxiety. Generally speaking, it is helpful to eat more salt and protein when stressed. In actuality, soldiers in the army are required to consume a higher protein diet to mitigate the catabolic effects of battle. So, it is best to take a two-sided approached nutritionally, in which you avoid junk foods that add to your stress, and eat nutrient-dense, wholesome foods which help replenish a stressed body. Choose your battles – An interesting thing about life is that problems seem to be valuable. If we had no problems at all, we’d be existentially bored. So, the objective isn’t to eliminate all problems and stress form our lives. Instead, we will need to pick our problems wisely. By way of instance, beginning a new fulfilling relationship will have its challenges, but in the long run, the problems are usually worth it. Same is true for starting a new project or goal. A good rule of thumb is that any given condition in life would ideally be 80% enjoyment with 20% pain, the pain being the best amount of stress that only makes like interesting and helps us grow.