Tips to Relieve Stress and Heartburn
04. 07. 2017
Want to take a glimpse into your emotional health? You may not need to look any further than your gastrointestinal tract. Our digestive health is intricately linked to our emotional well-being, and we often have the symptoms to prove it. From knots in our stomach to severe bouts of acid reflux, there’s no denying that our mental state affects digestion.
April is Stress Awareness month, a thirty-day observance aimed at raising awareness of the causes stress and the treatments to relieve it. Stress is a well-known trigger for heartburn. And if you’re one of the 60 million Americans suffering from acid reflux, stress can make your existing symptoms even worse. Researchers believe that stress stimulates changes in the brain to turn up pain receptors and make you more sensitive to the effects of acid reflux.
Dealing with stress-induced heartburn can feel like fighting two battles at once, but there is good news. Taking steps to manage your stress levels can help reduce the occurrence of digestive symptoms. You may also find that your stress levels continue to decrease as you get your digestive issues under control. Try making these simple changes to improve your digestive and emotional health:
Physical activity naturally reduces stress hormones and stimulates the production of endorphins, the chemicals in your brain that boost your mood and relieve anxiety. Exercise also promotes digestion and can help you maintain a healthy weight to prevent the occurrence of heartburn.
Eat a nutritious diet
When you fill your body with garbage, you usually end up feeling like it. Steer clear of processed junk foods and convenience foods which will sap your energy and leave you feeling guilty. Center your diet around fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. Not only will this fuel your body for the day ahead, it will curb your acid reflux symptoms.
Get to bed earlier
Have you ever noticed how a good night’s sleep can change your outlook on things? Sleep acts as a natural stress reliever and keeps you functioning at your best. Aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep per night for ultimate stress-relieving benefits. Getting plenty of rest can also help keep heartburn in check!
If stress has gotten the better of you, take some time to rest and recuperate. Book a spa day, get a massage, or schedule a date night with your sweetie. Setting aside time to unwind can help ease the tension that is contributing to your stress levels and digestive issues (Source: Healthline).
Stress management is one area where we can all use a little improvement. Let Stress Awareness Month inspire you to make some much needed changes. Addressing your stress levels head-on will lead to clearer thinking, elevated moods, better sleep, and improved digestion.