With modern day life, everybody will experience stress to some degree or another. Small amounts of stress may actually be good, as it keeps us alert and energised. However, too much stress may result in problems!
One of the first parts of the body to react to stress is our digestive system, causing gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, constipation and diarrhoea.
The release of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, makes our heart beat faster, this will in turn influence the motility and the natural movement of our digestive system. Hence, after an episode of extreme stress, people are more than likely to suffer a bout of diarrhoea, and in some case even vomiting. Long term stress can increase the risk of chronic conditions such as ulcers and a range of gut complaints.
Not only stress itself can affect the digestive system, being stress also means we may be more likely to indulge in lifestyle habits that are not ideal for our digestive system, such as excessive smoking and drinking, less exercise, poor eating habits resulting in an unbalanced diet, in turn causing an unbalance of good and bad bacteria in our gut.
A few points to consider in relieving stress:
- Breathe deeply – take long deep breaths which may calm us down
- Plan ahead – make plans for your commitments so you feel more in control
- Limit intake of caffeine – stimulants can worsen stress levels
- Exercise – exercise dissipates the adrenaline that builds up within us during stress
So make sure you take time out to relax and enjoy life!
Did you have some “me time” this bank holiday?