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We made it through one of the big year-end holidays and the big guy is right around the corner!
With all that is associated with Christmas and the holidays- the shopping, all the spending, coordinating events and getting the home ready for hosting, I wanted to check in with you….
How is your stress level?
I ask because stress plays a HUGE role in our overall health and is one of the big 7 gut distruptors. Managing stress is vital to a healthy gut, and remember, a healthy gut equals a healthy body. An unhealthy gut equals an unhealthy body.
Today I’m going to quickly go over the biggest gut disruptor we overlook- stress! Here is why and how stress negatively impacts the gut and how to manage it. Let’s go!
Cortisol- the stress hormone. Our body creates this hormone when we are under stress. Back in the day we needed this stress hormone. It would tell our body- "HOLD EVERYTHING! Stop digesting, stop pushing things down. We need all hands on deck to fight or flee this situation!"
Our hearts would start pumping and we would either fight or flight. Our whole body was working on either fighting whatever we were faced with or running from it. SUPER helpful when we are running from sabertooth tigers. We don’t want to be pooping ourselves while we are running from life threatening things.
Fastforward to today, we aren’t typically faced with these crazy, life or death situations. At least not often, hopefully. However, our body doesn’t know the difference between low-grade work stress because of too many emails and running from a life-threatening situation, so it still reacts the same way by spiking our cortisol. That means we stop digesting, our body stops pushing things through us, and we get backed up. Eek! No good.
So I have an awkward question for you- how often do you poop?
If you aren’t easily pooping 1-2 times a day, or are relying on stimulants like caffeine or over the counter supplements to poop, stress might be part of the issue, along with your diet.
If we are stressed, aren’t pooping, and constantly living in a spiked cortisol state, our gut is really thrown out of whack. It has to work overtime to try to digest, its hormones are imbalanced, and we start to suffer with more serious, chronic health issues than just not being able to poop.
Ok, so what do we do? How do we manage stress is a world that feels overwhelmingly stressful?
Here are my three *realistic* tips to managing stress-
Rewrite your stress story- I’ve heard hundreds of times that the happiest people in the world are people that see gratitude in everything, not just the good stuff. Rather than seeing your overloaded inbox as a stressor, remind yourself how lucky you are to have a job that is supporting your lifestyle. A friend that is stressing you out? Think of a friend that lifts you up, think of why you are so grateful for them, and then reach out to them. Put your energy into that friendship so your focus in on something positive. The stressors in our life are stressors because we frame them that way. If we find ways to be grateful for them and for the things that make us feel good, than we can lessen the stress.
Manifest- I’m new to this manifesting thing but I’m really digging it, so here is just a chunk to start with- visualizing. Picture something that makes you stressed and the story you tell yourself about it. I will use the example of a coworker that seems to bring about a lot of negativity and puts down your ideas. Now, visualize your exchange with them going well. What would that look like? What would you say to them to keep it positive? How could they react positively to you? How would you both feel after that exchange? Is there anything positive you can say to them that might make them feel a little better? After you visualize this, send them some good vibes by thinking positive things for them or actually saying soemthign nice to them. THAT’S one step of manifesting- visualizing your stressor going well.
Do something fun- Choose one thing every day to do that you enjoy. It can be 5 minutes, but do it, and do it consistently, without guilt. Everything else will get done, I promise, but you need this time to dedicate to your health. Make a list of things that make you feel good and pick one a day. Some ideas? Listen to a favorite podcast, go on a walk with the dogs or a coworker, sit in silence during your lunch (if that’s what you need), read a few pages of book you are into (Super Attractor by Gabby Bernstein is my current obsession), make a card for someone, do breathing exercises, cook! It doesn’t matter what it is, just do something that brings you joy every day.
One of the best things you could do that is fun and a de-stressor is joing my January Gut Health Gorup! We will meet 1 hour a week for 8 weeks and will be going over everything you need to know about how to support a healthy gut (aka support a healthy you).
The waitlist is open which will give you early bird access to register for the group in a couple of weeks and will get you more detailed info. Click here to enter your name and email address to join the waitlist!
Sending you all my best and lots of love!