Digesting Life: Your Emotions Affect Your Digestion

Believe it or not, how you digest your food depends on how you’re digesting life.

  • If you’re happy, your body is relaxed and absorbing nutrients properly.
  • If you’re stressed, you’re body halts digestion, and that can contribute to further digestive conditions and diseases.

Surprisingly, there is an easy way to improve digestion without altering your lifestyle.

Two Quick and Easy Ways to Improve Your Digestion

  1. Tap into your “rest and digest” response.

The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) regulates a variety of body processes without our conscious effort. Digestion is one of them.

ANS consists of two main divisions: parasympathetic and sympathetic.

  • The parasympathetic system is responsible for the stimulation of the “rest and digest” response that occurs when your body is at rest. Only then is your body able to fully assimilate valuable nutrients.
  • When you’re feeling stressed, the sympathetic nervous system is activated, and your body’s “fight or flight” response shuts off digestion.

Good news: when you’re stressed, you can ‘trick’ your body into triggering the parasympathetic system, here’s how:

The 5-10-15 Breathing Technique

  • Breathe in quickly for a count of 5.
  • Hold it for a quick count of 10.
  • Release your breath slowly for a count of 15.
  • Repeat 3 times.

Now your body thinks you’re relaxed and will turn on digestion.

  1. Master Your Emotions.

One of the best gifts you can give yourself is to become the master of your emotions instead of letting them take control over you and your digestion.

Many women with digestive diseases (diverticulitis, colitis, IBS, and acid reflux, to name a few) tell me, “When I’m emotional, I feel a tension in my abdomen.”

That’s because digestion halted due to emotional stress.

Recently I wrote an article on the effects of emotions on the body. When you read Emotions and food: Who or What is in Control?” You’ll better understand how stress and tension negatively impact your body’s ability to function in a healthy state and what foods to eat to stabilize your emotions.

What’s at stake?

Your life!

How you digest life either sets up your body for optimal absorption of nutrients or stops it from happening making you vulnerable to further digestive discomfort and diseases.

Since our bodies are designed to halt digestion when we’re under stress, and most of us eat when we’re stressed to relieve tension, just how well do you think we’re digesting food?

Why Is This a Problem?

According to the National Institute of Health, in 2010, 36.6 million people made appointments with their primary care physician and another 7.9 million went to the emergency room because of digestive complaints.

People are in pain. Their quality of life is deteriorating. Prescription drugs cause more harm than good.

My friends, we must get control of our emotions!

Emotions have a powerful effect on how you digest food and can contribute to digestive diseases. You can avoid digestive diseases or improve them by being cognizant of your emotional state before eating.

How you digest life is how you digest your nourishment. Setting your body up to assimilate valuable nutrients is essential for life. Use the” rest and digest” breathing technique, and read my article on emotional eating so you can become the master of your emotions instead of letting them take control over you and your digestion.

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