STRESS AFFECTS HOW YOU DIGEST?!?!?
ARRGGG to stress!
It effects our health greatly! Do you know how or why?
Well, let’s talk about the connection between stress and metabolism.
The autonomic nervous system is responsible for digestive activity, and there are two branches, parasympathetic and sympathetic.
Let's break that down---
The parasympathetic is also known as the rest and digest response. Or feel and heal, response.
This is the optimal state for digestion and healing. When the parasympathetic is activated, metabolic power increases. This means when we are relaxed, we actually BURN more FAT!
Then there is the the sympathetic, y'all know it as the FIGHT OR FLIGHT response. This is our stress response. When we are stressed out, guess what happens to digestion? It shuts down!! Say what?? YUP SHUTS DOWN!!!
The classic textbook example is that if a lion was chasing you after lunch, you wouldn’t be concerned about digesting your sandwich. The sympathetic nervous system would act effectively to shut down digestion, direct blood flow away from the belly and out towards your arms and legs for quick moving and up to your brain for quick thinking.
This is a brilliant mechanism in place for our survival. But while most of us do not have to confront lions on our lunch hour, we do encounter stress. And who's to say our stress doesn't FEEL like a lion chasing us at the time! ;)
On a physiological level, your body doesn’t differentiate between a lion chasing you and your boss yelling at you, or getting tense in a traffic jam. Only one is life-threatening.
The others are not. But guess what? On a physiological level, they are all the same. They all trigger the body to shut off digestion and store fat. This decreases our metabolic
When your sympathetic is activated, which is all day for most of us, even at a chronic low level, our parasympathetic is shut off. These do not go ON at the same time. If one
is on, the other is off. If we don’t learn how to relax, we won’t be able to tap into our natural mechanism for burning fat and keeping us at an ideal weight!
So with that all being said---SLOW DOWN and chill out! Activate that parasympathetic system to help digest your food and relax! Find something that will help you de-stress/relax and then ACTUALLY take the time to do it. It will be worth it. It will give you something to look forward to during your busy work day and help your body out in the process!
Mediation, walking, yoga, sports, singing, dancing, travel, massage, hot showers...even just learning how to connect with your breathing can help! I have learned many breathing techniques to help me throughout the day!
So I am curious? What is an activity that YOU do to relax or de-stress? Share your comments here so that we can get extra ideas and help others as well! That way we can Positively Love Our Lives!
Want to learn more....connect with me direct and we can discuss your transformation into the best YOU possible! Or if you know someone who is interested, let me know or share my page with them! <3
Resources: Health Coach Institute