Do you often find yourself having difficulty managing your day-to-day life and feel stressed and overwhelmed? While you know, you should stop “sweating the small things”, it’s easier said than done. Stress is a natural part of life, but if not managed effectively it negatively impacts our digestive system and every system of the body. Stress can cause constipation, which can make you feel bloated, heavy and low in energy.

But no need to stress.  There are many gentle, no invasive natural remedies and holistic practices, you can explore to help manage and reduce stress. 

Unlocking the connection between stress and constipation

In times of stress, your brain signals your adrenal glands to release the hormones adrenalin and cortisol, which can result in an increase in blood sugar, heart rate and blood pressure. Long term stress can lead to many common chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, depression, insomnia, weight gain and digestive issues. When it comes to digestion it can present itself in a myriad of issues like nausea, bloating, stomach cramps, reflux and alternating bowel movements, including constipation.

So, to get your bowels moving regularly, it’s crucial to recognise the connection between stress and bowel function and to ensure you are taking steps to keep your stress under control. Everything is connected, some key points:

1, The release of cortisol during times of stress, influences our food cravings.  We tend to overeat and crave sugary, fatty, and salty food. These foods are often devoid of any fibre resulting in a sluggish bowel. 

2. Adrenalin diverts blood flow, away from the intestines and to the vital organs like the heart, lungs and brain. This slows down gut motility resulting in constipation.

3. Stress can alter the release and functioning of chemical messengers in the gut, this affects bowel function and can result in constipation or diarrhoea.

4. Stress impacts the community of organisms living in our gut, resulting in gut bacterial imbalances and decreased diversity (amount and different individual species). This impacts digestion, contributing to constipation. 

Stay calm, natural ways to beat stress.

So, stress is taking a toll on your overall health and stopping you pooping, right? That glass of wine, endless scrolling, the couch, and Netflix, hasn’t really helped you unwind? Why not try a different approach to manage your stress.

Here are 5 tips I give my clients, to help them cope with stress.

  1. Go bush – Enjoy a long slow walk in nature, enjoy the smell, sound and sights. Smell the air, listen to the birds, touch the tree trunk, take some deep breaths, slow down and enjoy. Refrain from using your phone or the camera.
  2. Try a short meditation – Download the app Insight timer or Headspace and tap in daily.
  3. Sustenance – .Follow a Mediterranean diet style diet, the key is to eat a wide variety of food. Include fibre rich, fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and some oily fish and olive oil. Don’t forget to stay hydrated, 2 litres of water daily.
  4. Move – Exercise reduces stress hormones and increases the production of endorphins, the feel good brain chemicals. Choose exercise you enjoy such as walking, swimming, pilates,  a bike ride or yoga.
  5. Have some fun – Make time, at least once a week to catch up with friends and do something you enjoy. (Go to a gig, catch a show, have a dance, play a board game, go for a bike ride)

Stress is a natural part of life, but it doesn’t have to dominate your existence. By practising healthy habits and incorporating self-care techniques as part of your daily routine, you can help manage your stress levels and improve your digestive function and overall health.

If you are struggling with stress and experience constipation, I am here to provide you with support and have proven methods to assist you. Book in a discovery call to find out more. 


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