What Is The Brain-Gut Connection? Does Stress Really Cause an Upset Stomach?

Ever wonder why you feel like there are butterflies in your tummy when you are in a stressful situation? Or have you ever found yourself complaining about the sensation in your stomach in the words “tied in knots”? If yes, you need to read this! Stomach problems are the most common sign of anxiety and stress.

There is a direct connection between your brain and gut. Your stress and anxiety can cause an upset stomach, and an upset stomach can also cause stress and anxiety. Stress can have an effect on your digestion. When you are experiencing anxiety, some of the hormones and chemicals that your body releases enter your digestive tract where they interfere with normal digestion. Their negative effect on your gut flora end up decreasing your antibody production.

Here are the Most Common Stress Related Effects on Your Digestion:

  • indigestion
  • stomach cramps
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • loss of appetite
  • unnatural hunger
  • nausea
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • and peptic ulcers

Now that you know there is a definite brain-gut connection, it is time to move on to all the ways you can learn to manage your stress and anxiety.

4 Ways to Manage Your Stress and Anxiety:

1.Breathing Exercises

These work like a charm. Take a deep breath through your nose and hold it for 3 seconds and then breathe out through the mouth in a slow manner. Repeat 30 times and you’ll notice an instant relaxation in your neck and shoulders.

2.Yoga or Exercise

Any form of yoga and exercise can be great for your body. The release of endorphins can leave you feeling more happy and less stressed out.

3.Change Your Focus

Instead of focusing on all the things you can’t change and then stressing about them, it might be time to change your perspective. Focus on the good things in your life, and try to remember that your reaction is in your control. So learn how to manage your reaction better. Repeat after us: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.

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4.Seek Help

Seek the help of a therapist who specializes in anxiety. It’s often too difficult to deal with chronic worry and complicated anxiety on your own. There is NO shame in asking for help.

Finally, take a look at your diet. With our desi food cooked in so much oil and spice, it is important to remember that certain foods can irritate the stomach. Consult a doctor and try the recommended medical treatments. Many stomach disorders cannot be resolved with stress reduction alone – you might need a complete change in diet too. 

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