Ever wonder why when you undergo nerves, stress or anxiety, your digestive system responds through indigestion, discomfort, constipation or bloat?
Our minds and our gut are directly intertwined and connected. The enteric nervous system in our guts is often called our “second brain,” and it communicates all the time with the actual brain. This is why many people manifest gut symptoms during times of stress, whether a flare of autoimmune symptoms for people living with Crohn's or colitis, or an increase in either diarrhea or constipation.
When we experience stress, your brain releases corticotropins (CRH). CRH travels through the bloodstream to the gut and alters certain receptors that are part of the immune system. CRH then activates the immune system. This leads to inflammation that damages the microbiome, alters it, and results in dysbiosis. On the other end of the spectrum, gut dysbiosis can manifest as feelings of depression and anxiety. Without intervention, it’s a vicious cycle.
A way to naturally heal this ongoing pattern is through meditation. Meditation is a powerful tool for healing. From a spiritual point of view, our thoughts create our reality. It is truly fundamental that in order to heal from within, we must be in charge of our thoughts. If we are in charge of our thoughts, we can direct that energy into relief. Daily mindfulness and meditation does not have to be complicated. It is simply a tool to help you effectively manage stress and anxiety so that you can support your gut-brain connection.
— If you are new to the space, begin with this exercise...
Start small. Take just 5 minutes per day.
Sit in a quiet space, in a comfortable position.
Set a timer for 5 minutes
Take a few deep breaths and close your eyes to help center yourself.
Begin to focus on something you are grateful for.
Allow thoughts to leave your mind. If something comes into your mind, simply notice it and allow it to keep moving without focusing on it.
When the timer goes off, take a few deep breaths, and open your eyes.
Take the power into your own hands. Drive the outcome you want by being in control of the narrative. This will not only improve your overall attitude and energy levels but will without a doubt aid any discomfort connected to your gut.
Note that this is especially true for women who are in the preconception phase of their lives and looking to get pregnant. Those with gut issues may not realize that the two may be related. It is very important to pay close attention when our bodies are trying to tell us something.
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