Stress and Gut Health: How to Manage Digestion

Stress and Gut Health: How to Manage Digestion

Posted by Bridget on May 27th 2020

Stress and digestion are two areas that we would venture to say most people struggle with on a fairly regular basis--especially with all the craziness going on over the past few months. If you've been paying attention to studies over the past years, you probably already know that the two are very closely related. The gut has even been called "the second brain." Because of this, one of the best ways to improve digestion is to reduce stress. Here are some of the best ways to help improve both digestion and stress:

1. Exercise often: Exercising is essential for both stress relief and optimal digestion. Exercise releases endorphins in the brain that help improve mood and reduce stress. It also gets your systems moving and can help digestion run more smoothly. 

2. Be mindful of stress and taking time to unwind: Knowing that stress can completely throw off digestion, if you are struggling with the two, try being mindful of your stress levels and keeping them to a minimum. You probably know your body's favorite ways to unwind, but healthy options include exercising, yoga, meditation, reading, and spending quality time with love ones. 

3. Consume probiotics and prebiotics: Probiotics and prebiotics are essential to good gut health, especially if you are having any sort of digestive distress. By boosting your body's good bacteria, you will be creating a much healthier environment. A great option for targeting stress specifically is Garden of Life's Mood probiotic. It's got all your essential probiotic strains as well as ashwagandha and blueberry for mood. 

4. Notice what foods you put into your body: Pay attention to how certain foods make you feel. Does dairy make you gassy or bloated? Does sugar make you feel sluggish or anxious? Nobody reacts the same way to foods, so pay attention to how your diet makes you feel. You could even try keeping a food diary to get more specific. Also notice what foods you are eating when you are stressed or if you do any kind of emotional eating. 

5. Try a CBD oil: CBD oil can help with both mental and physical stress. Try a high-quality CBD supplement and see if it helps reduce stress or with any inflammation of the gut. One that was specifically formulated to help with inflammation due to IBS and Crohn's disease is Sunsoil's capsules.

6. Regulate your sleep schedule: You've heard it before, but sleep is so essential to all bodily processes. Try to get a regular 8 hours of sleep every night (so, going to sleep and waking up at the same time) and see if it improves your stress and digestion. 

Those are just our top 6 tips to try; other tips would include drinking more water, monitoring fiber intake (not too much or too little), eating more greens, etc. Focus on one tip at a time and see what differences it makes in your body. Then once you've mastered that, tackle the next tip on the list. You'll be surprised the difference seemingly "little" steps can make!