It's natural for most people to think that stress is physically located in our head. After all, stress often gives rise to headaches. But most of us also notice that familiar churning feeling in the belly associated with anxiety and worry.
Stress goes deep
All of us undergo some stress in our lives. We probably also have our own ways to deal with stress. But when stress occurs too often and becomes a constant in our life, it's time to pay attention to what is happening in the gut, because the gut affects our overall health significantly.
When the gut is under stress, it may not work efficiently. For example, the digestive system may slow down its absorption of nutrients and leave you undernourished. That in turn may make you feel tired and unproductive. In extreme cases, a troubled gut may lead to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and food allergies, among other conditions.
These gut ailments often keep us away from work and all the things we enjoy. They can even turn into debilitating emotional illnesses such as anxiety and depression.
Numerous researches have shown that that the brain and the gut are linked. In fact, almost 95% of serotonin (the mood influencing neurochemical) is made by our gut microbiota. We owe it to our overall well-being to be mindful of how important the gut is in our daily life.
The gut affects health significantly
Fight stress from the gut
While it is a sound strategy to fight chronic stress through prescribed medication, it is also a great idea to get back to basics in our life. Start with a healthy and balanced diet.
Eating well also means making meal times calm and pleasant. We need to remember that just as stress builds up over a period of time, there are no instant cures in getting our body back to health.
Create more calm in your life
Commitment to a calmer way of life is equally important, so that stress does not make a return. Regular exercise will help greatly in improving your mood. Spending more time with people you like and love will be a healing experience. You should also do yourself the favour of getting a full night's sleep, putting aside all your devices early. Finally, make sure you sleep in a dark room with a comfortable temperature.