Why Deep Breathing is Important for Meditation & Stress Relief

Why Deep Breathing is Important for Meditation & Stress Relief

Did you know that our breathing can actually lower the amount of stress hormones circling around our bodies?

Yep, that’s right!!

Deep breathing (also known as Diaphragmatic breathing) can help us signal to our bodies that we are safe.

This prompts our bodies to deactivate the Sympathetic Nervous System and activate our Parasympathetic Nervous System.

The Parasympathetic Nervous System is designed to bring our bodies back to a balanced and relaxed state and is responsible for calming our bodies so we can rest, digest and repair.

You can read more about how stress impacts these bodily systems here.

When it comes to deep breathing, the best way to master it is through regular practice.

 

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    The Benefits of Deep Breathing

    There are many health benefits of incorporating deep breathing into your day to day life.

    Some scientifically proven benefits include:

    • Help to get more oxygen to your brain which can help with focus and concentration  (1) 
    • Reduce stress and anxiety symptoms by promoting relaxation, and in some cases PTSD symptoms  (2) (3)
    • Can relieve Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)  (4)
    • Improve sleep
    • Can reduce harmful physiological damage from chronic stress on the body (5)
    • Lowers your heart rate and blood pressure (6) (7)

    To remind yourself to breathe deeply it can be handy to set times in your day to do it.

    eg. During your morning meditation, at lunch on a walk, whilst driving in the car to work or even when sitting at your desk before a meeting.

    When doing deep breathing for the first time it can feel a bit weird…

    But it is SO GOOD for your body!

    It’s also a great technique to heighten the quality of your meditation, which is why it’s used at the beginning of meditation and yoga.

    You can also incorporate it alongside some other stress relieving activities and natural remedies for optimal results.

    Diaphragmatic Breathing (Deep Breathing) - Man breathing deeply

     

    Deep Breathing – The 4-7-8 Rule

    The 4-7-8 rule breaks down deep breathing into three memorable and easy steps.

    1. You breathe in deeply for 4 seconds (Breathe deeply into your belly, not your chest)
    2. Then hold your breath for 7 seconds and
    3. Breathe out for 8 seconds

    You then continue to repeat this process until you can start to notice you body relaxing and returning to state of balance.

    Personally, I find it helpful to rest my hand against my diaphragm, which is located just slightly above your belly button, as shown below:

    Resting your hand on your diaphragm can act as a reminder to breathe deeply into your stomach rather than your chest.

    You can recognise when you’re doing this process wrong because you’ll see your shoulders rising with each breath. An easy way to check this is to watch yourself in the mirror.

    Yes… I know sometimes this can feel a bit weird and awkward.

    But it’s the best way to see what’s really going on.

     

    Deep Breathing Tips for Newbies

    Apparently, we take up to 17,000-30,000 breaths per day!

    So, breathing is definitely not a new concept for most of you. Well, it shouldn’t be…. otherwise you may have another problem!

    The trick is to become more mindful of your breathing and extend your breaths over a longer period of time.

     

    Here are some additional tips that may help:

    1. Avoid breathing in too much, otherwise your lungs may literally explode by the time you’ve finished holding your breath.
    2. Ideally, when holding your breath, you should still feel comfortable and relaxed.
    3. If you start to feel light headed understand that this can be quite normal, but stop if needed or you feel like you may faint.
    4. The reason you could be feeling that way is because you are not breathing in enough oxygen compared to the amount of CO2 you are breathing out.

     

    Diaphragmatic Breathing (Deep Breathing) - Man breathing deeply

     

    How to Use Deep Breathing During Meditation

    Deep breathing is regularly used in meditation to help you relax and get yourself in the zone.

    Alongside the many other benefits of meditation, breathing properly can really help to improve your focus, mood, stress tolerance and blood pressure.

    Here are some basic steps you can follow to add deep breathing into your meditation practice (if you haven’t already).

    1. Find a quiet space
    2. Close your eyes
    3. Take a deep breath in for 4 counts (4 seconds)
    4. Hold your breath for 7 seconds (breathe into your stomach not your chest)
    5. Gradually, let go of the air and breathe out consistently for 8 seconds
    6. Repeat this process until you start to notice your body relaxing
    7. Return your breathing to a natural breathing rhythm as you begin your meditation practice

     

    Master Deep Breathing Through Meditation

    If you’d like to learn more about deep breathing and how to do it, we teach this and more in our Journey to Calm Meditation Course.

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    If you’re not ready to start the complete 14-Day meditation course, you can learn about the basics of meditation with our FREE / Lite version.

    Get started with the Journey to Calm Lite Course, by entering your details below.

     

    Related Articles of Meditation for Beginners Series:
    Overcoming Stress | 10 Stress Relief Tips for Women

    Overcoming Stress | 10 Stress Relief Tips for Women

    Sadly, chronic stress and anxiety are becoming a normal occurrence within society these days.

    With many finding it more and more difficult to manage the multiple demands in their lives and find stress relief.

    In Australia alone, nearly 5 million people are feeling more stressed than ever due to a lack of sleep, work pressures, juggling too many things at once and even expectations set by social media, a Medibank health study revealed. 

    Prolonged stress not only causes us to feel awful, highly strung and on edge a lost of the time, but it can also severely damage our health in 3 ways.

    This is why it is more important than ever to take back control and learn of ways to manage stress effectively.

    In this article, I’ll be highlighting 10 stress relief tips to help you regain control over your life and reduce stress and anxiety symptoms during your day. 

    But firstly, let’s cover the basics so we’re all on the same page.

     

    What is Stress?

    Stress relates to the body’s reaction to a specific stimulus that requires an adjustment or response. This biological response can be physical, mental or emotional and can often cause physical or mental tension.

    The stressing stimulus “stressor” can be external (within our surrounding environments, psychological or social) or internal (health, illness, etc).

    For many, stress can be caused by things such as work demands, financial pressure, poor health, family conflicts, self-expectations and more.

    BUT stress is not all bad.

    As an example, acute stress can help us to perform at heightened levels for a short period of time or even respond more rapidly when in danger (eg. A car accident).  However, exposing our bodies to stress over prolonged and extended periods of time creates havoc in our bodies (eg. Chronic stress).

    Chronic stress can negatively impact our digestive system, sleep, weight and our reproductive systems. It can also lead to stress or emotional eating and deplete our systems over time.

    We must decrease the stress in our bodies for optimal health. If you’d like to read more about how prolonged stress negatively impacts our health, you can click here. 

     So you’re probably thinking, “Ok great, thanks! But how do I actually get better at managing my stress!!”

     I’d now love to dig deep into some stress relief tips for you guys, that you can use in your daily life to better overcome and manage you stress and/or anxiety symptoms.

     

    10 Stress Relief Tips for Women

     Here is a list of stress relief tips to help you cope more effectively with stress during the busyness of your week ahead. 

     1) Identify the Stressor

     The first step to coping with stress is to identify what it is that is stressing you out. 

    Is it:

    • Your job
    • Money frustrations
    • Excessive exercise
    • Self-expectation
    • Pressure from others
    • Family conflits
    • Juggling too much at once, etc.

     

    A little tip to remind yourself…

    If it’s: 

    • Out of your control – there’s not point stressing yourself over it. If you can’t control it, learn to let it go.
    • Within your control and you can change – take note of it and address it.

     Yes, I know! Sometimes this is easier said than done. BUT, the more you train your brain to do this as a method of reflection, the more you’ll reduce the amount of stress you’re experiencing in your life.

     I love this quote:

    “Grant me the serenity  to accept the things I cannot change,  the courage to change the things  I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  – Reinhold Niebuhr

     

    Another way to flip your stressor into a positive is to ask yourself: “Is this something I can be grateful for?”

     

    2) Choose How You Respond to the Stress

     The second stress relief tip is better management of HOW YOU RESPOND to the stress in your life. 

    How do you typically respond to stress? Do you get:

    • Angry?
    • Emotional?
    • Anxious?
    • Passive aggressive?
    • Introverted?
    • Super calm/?

    The way that you respond to a stressful stimulus can be productive or destructive, as can the way you perceive the world around you.

    If you constantly see yourself as being victimised or attacked, the emotions you feel in response to stress could act as a catalyst for even further stress and even create havoc to your body.

    Whereas, if you take the same experience but perceive it as a chance to grow, learn and empower yourself, you’ll likely find yourself coping in a much more effective and productive way. 

    Our expectations on ourselves and our own perceptions of how urgent something is can heighten stress. In some circumstances it may not even be needed.

    Sometimes, I find myself setting unachievable deadlines for my to-do list for no apparent reason. It’s almost like I like to be running around with a sense of urgency. In this case, my stress is all self-inflicted.

    I’d love you to take a moment to reflect on how you typically respond to stress. Rather than stressing yourself out in response to a demanding situation, is there a better way you could respond?

    Ask yourself:

    • What can I do to feel better about this?
    • How can I feel less stressed right now?

    “Between stimulus and response there is a space, and in that space is the power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.”

     

    3) Diaphragmatic Breathing for Stress Relief

    Did you know that our breathing can actually lower the amount of stress hormones circling around our bodies?

    Deep breathing can help us signal to our bodies that we are safe. You can follow the 4-7-8 rule which means a deep 4 second breath, hold for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds.

     To remind yourself to breathe deeply it can be handy to set times in your day to do it – eg. During morning meditation, at lunch, in the car home from work.

     Deep breathing can activate our parasympathetic nervous system which is designed to bring our bodies back to a balanced and relaxed state. It is responsible for calming our bodies so we can rest, digest and repair. 

     This is why it can also be a great technique to help reduce anxiety symptoms naturally.

     

    4) Meditation for Stress Relief

     Meditation is an amazing technique you can introduce into your days as stress relief.

    Meditation has a range of health benefits but from a stress perceptive it is particularly great because it can help us to:

    • Train our mind and body to slow down
    • Brings peace and calm to the mind
    • Activate our parasympathetic nervous system (as mentioned above)
    • You can picture stress or anxiety leaving your body through visualisation

     Even just 5 minutes day can make an incredible difference to how you feel. It doesn’t need to be demanding or excessive, and no you don’t have to be spiritual or a religious person to master it.

    I sure wasn’t!

     If you’d love to learn more how you can use meditation to relieve stress & anxiety, ensure to sign up for our FREE 5-day “Journey to Calm” Course for Beginners:

     

     

    5) Exercise Regularly (Low vs High Intensity)

    Exercising regularly can be an important way to relieve stress as it can help to rid our bodies of “stress” energy.

     Depending on what you prefer or find best for you, there are so many different exercises you can use for stress relief. When it comes to exercise, the truth is that we’re all individual.

     The energy that comes when stressed can cause some to feel hyper and overly energetic. Whereas for others, it can make them feel lethargic and fatigued.

    Using me as an example: 

    • I tend to feel ultra hyper, anxious or fidgety – so I feel a great NEED to get this energy out of my body by running or with some high intensity exercise. But, to prevent myself burning out or draining my energy from running off adrenaline over time, I also balance this high-intensity exercise with some restorative activities like meditation, yoga, stretching or walking.

    If you generally prefer high intensity exercise to release stress (like I do), there is something you need to keep in mind: Too much high intensity exercise can actually be BAD!

    To much high intensity exercise can actually lead to the release of cortisol (the stress hormone) into your body, due to the physical stress you’re putting it under.

     Elevated cortisol in the body for long periods of time can cause disruptions to our menstrual cycles and how we burn fat in our bodies.

     This is why it’s key to have balance! Mix things up.

     Do some high intensity exercise during your week but also schedule time for restorative and low intensity activities such as meditation, yoga and walking.

     

    6) Give Yourself Permission to Slow Down

     Stress relief tip number 6 is to give yourself permission to slow down. This is so important, guys!!

     As we mentioned above, slower forms of exercise like yoga, meditation, stretching and walking can help to balance out your parasympathetic nervous system.

     

     But some other ways you can slow down your mind and reduce stress is to pre-schedule down time during your week. Set a night aside which is for relaxation time.

     As an example, here are some self care activities you can do:

    • Have a bath one night a week
    • Catch up with friends.
    • Have a movie night
    • Get outside. Immerse yourself in some nature and breathe in the fresh air and nourish your body with some Vitamin D.
    • Schedule in white space in your calendar to break up your day
    • Do at least one thing that makes you happy during your daily routine
    • Practice gratitude each day – slow down and enjoy the present moment
    • Place your legs against the wall (apparently highly calming and resorative)
    • Establish a morning and bedtime routine that you love (eg. No phone at certain times)
    • Get enough sleep each night – 7 – 9 hours.

     It’s important to give yourself time to switch off rather than being go go go all the time….which in the long term, isn’t sustainable.

     

    7) The Power of Whole food Nutrition

     Stress is not just about what is going on outside of your body. It can also be influenced by what you put INSIDE your body too.

     If you’re fuelling your body with crap (sugar and fatty foods), you’re not nourishing your body the way it needs to be nourished and will likely feel lethargic and unbalanced.

    Let’s be completely blunt and honest…

     Most of the highly processed junk foods you’re putting into your body these days aren’t real “food”. Sure it may taste good at the time… but it can have a significant negative impact on your mental and physical health long term.

    This is why it’s so important to fuel your body with good whole food nutrients and plant-based ingredients.

     For optimum functioning and performance, the USDA MyPlate guidelines recommend that we have 3-5 servings of vege and 2-4 servings of fruit every day and eat a variety off whole grain foods, fruits, and vegetables is the basis of healthy eating.

     Eating a wide variety of nutritious plant-based whole foods helps our bodies get the levels of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that we need for optimum health and performance.

     For many of us though, when we feel stressed, our diets are almost the first thing to go out the door!!!

     A super simple and great way to combat this and ensure that your body is getting the right level of nutrients every day is to take a simple and convenient whole food supplement such as these.

     

    The Benefits of Taking a Whole food Supplement

    They are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and great for pregnant or breast feeding mummas. 

    I take these babies twice a day because they contain 33 varieties of whole food nutrition, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants which help to combat the negative ways stress affects our health and bodies.

    Scientifically proven health benefits include:

    • Improved heart and cardiovascular health
    • Strengthened Immune System & reduced severity of colds
    • Maintains healthy DNA
    • Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables fight oxidative stress (eg. from exercise) and help you maintain optimal health.
    • Improved gum health
    • Better skin health by increasing blood flow and skin oxygenation

     And some other benefits people experience include:

    • Decrease systemic inflammation
    • Reduced cravings
    • Increased energy
    • A decrease in gut inflammation and IBS symptoms
    • Improved digestion
    • Healthier nails and hair
    • Improved sleep

     

    If you’d like to learn more about these capsules and how they can help you to cope with the negative impacts of stress on our bodies, click here. 

     When we fuel our bodies correctly, our bodies are able to repair themselves.

     

    8) Reduce Caffeine and Sugar Intake

     For those avid coffee drinkers out there, don’t worry! I’m not going to ask you to completely remove coffee from your diet. That would be like you telling me to remove chocolate from my life…

     Grimace faceit ain’t going to happen!

     But something I did really want to point out is how too much caffeine and sugar can heighten our feelings of stress ands anxiety.

     The reason for this is because caffeine blocks receptors in the brain that help us to slow down. It also activates our stress response causing us to release more adrenaline.

     Sugar, on the other hand, causes peaks and troughs in our blood sugar levels. This can lead to short bursts of energy which feels awesome, but often causes us to hit a wall shortly after.

     When it comes to coffee and sugar, I suggest reviewing how much coffee you are drinking each day.

     Is it more than 3-4 cups?

     If so, it may be time to cut back a bit, even just to 2-3 or maybe even just one in the morning.

    Just some food for thought… or should I say.. coffee for thought? hehe.

     

    9) Social Media Detox

     Are you in desperate need of a social media cleanse or tech detox?

     These days social media is also being considered a stressor for a lot of people. All that comparison, judging and social pressure. Sometimes we just don’t need it!

     Here are some cool stress relief tips that can help you take back control over that device of yours:

         1.  Turn all your app notifications OFF

     I can already hear some of you gasping in devastation:

    • “OMG! What!”
    • “But but but….”

     No guys. Switch them off!

    If you’re truly serious about feeling less stressed and scattered in your life, rip the band-aid off and get it done. Stop taunting and distracting your brain with meaningless alerts and vibrations. I promise you won’t look back!

     Continuous phone and social media alerts can actually create additional stress that you honestly do not need in your life…especially not 24/7.

     I did this a year or so ago, and my gosh the FREEDOM you feel!!

     No more buzzing! No more alerts! No more pop-ups and text rushing across your screen with people’s demands.

     People can wait for you… Empower yourself. Check your phone on your terms, not on the terms of everybody else. 

     

         2. Unfollow people who make you feel bad

     If you’re following someone who is always posting photoshopped photos of themselves or are constantly negative, UNFOLLOW them.

    You have the power over what comes up on your news feed. Follow people who inspire and motivate you or who make you feel good about yourself.

     Some other stress relief tips relating to your phone:

        3. Put airplane mode on when you don’t need it (eg. At work, sleeping) 

        4. Set time limits on your apps

        5. Keep your phone away during meal times

        6. Don’t bring your phone to bed with you – keep it out of your room

        7. Avoid using your phone as the last thing you do before night / first thing in the morning

     These can really help you to keep a clear head and also reduce distractions during your day.

     

    10) Set Personal Boundaries / Choose your circle

     Guys this is a biggie…. Remember that you’re important too.

     Just like everyone else, you deserve to set boundaries and be protective of how you spend your time and energy.

     Time is our most precious commodity, yet many of us are so willingly to waste it on meaningless sh** or giving it away to others without even having a second thought.

    Consider:

    1. Where do your priorities lie?
    2. Are you delegating things that someone else could do for you rather than you doing it ourself?
    3. Do you allow time for “you” and self-care during your week?
    4. Are you doing things that make you happy?
    5. How many things are you wasting your time on that don’t serve you?

     To reduce stress, another great thing you can do is SIMPLIFY.

    Simplify how you spend your time and how you live your life each day. Set boundaries for what you are and are not willing to do. Also be kind to yourself regarding what is achievable in a given day.

     Break your to-do list into “Do, delegate, dump.”

    • What do you need to DO for the day?
    • Is there anything you can delegate to someone else?
    • What can you dump? Is there a task that doesn’t need to be completed right now?

     It’s time to get rid of the clutter around your mind and also in your environment.

    That way you will be able to maintain focus on the things that are most important to you and of the highest priority to complete by the end of the day.

     

    At the end of the day, feeling stressed and overloaded sucks!

     I really hope that you can take away some of these stress relief tips to help you better manage stress and anxiety during your day.

     Whilst you’re here, ensure to get your FREE copy of the Stress and Anxiety Relief Printable. That way you can keep this handy as a reference to help you throughout your journey.

     Enter your details below to get your free checklist.

    Stress and Health | 3 Critical Ways Stress Affects Our Health

    Stress and Health | 3 Critical Ways Stress Affects Our Health

    Never before has stress been considered such a normal way of life than in the 21st century. Yet, research is revealing the numerous ways that stress critically affects our health – physically and mentally. 

    In this current era, we are regularly finding ourselves with:

    • exploding calendars
    • overloaded to-do lists
    • never-ending work
    • family and health concerns
    • social media influencers
    • and multiple financial demands and burdens

    It feels like there’s just never enough time in the day to do the things we want to do!!

    Strangely, it’s become the norm to glorify the term “busy”, almost using “being busy” as a way to justify our self-worth, being enough and desirable to others.

    Take exhibit A:

    Person A: How are you? How’s work? We should catch up soon!!

    Person B: “OMG I’ve just been sooo busy! Work’s been full on, I’m constantly on the run. I’m sorry but I just don’t have time atm.

    Person A: Cool…

    Sound familiar?

     

    The problem with being “busy” all the time is that we’re not giving our bodies the rest it needs. We also put ourselves in a state of constant stress and overwhelm, which severely affects our health long term.

    Back in caveman days, our fight / flight response was only activated in times of imminent danger. For example, when we were in fear of our lives.

    These days, with our demanding jobs, constant distractions, self expectations and social pressures we’re finding ourselves activating this flight / fight response for longer than our bodies can handle.

    In most instances, this can lead to chronic stress which can have a significant affect on our health. People can become sick – mentally, physically and emotionally.

    This is why it’s important to talk about stress, what it is and how stress affects our health in a negative way.

    If you’re someone who regularly feels stressed out, it’s time to understand what this constant stress is doing to your body and take action to reduce it.

     

     

    What is Stress?

    Stress relates to the body’s reaction to a specific stimulus that requires an adjustment or response. This biological response can be physical, mental or emotional and can often cause physical or mental tension.

    The stressing stimulus “stressor” can be external (within our surrounding environments, psychological or social) or internal (health, illness, etc). For many, stress can be caused by things such as work demands, financial pressure, poor health, family conflicts, self-expectations and more.

    BUT stress is not all bad.

    As an example, acute stress can help us to perform at heightened levels for a short period of time or even respond more rapidly when in danger (eg. A car accident).  However, exposing our bodies to stress over prolonged and extended periods of time creates havoc in our bodies (eg. Chronic stress).

    Chronic stress can negatively impact our digestive system, sleep, weight and our reproductive systems. It can also lead to stress or emotional eating and deplete our systems over time.

    We must decrease the stress in our bodies for optimal health.

     

    3 Ways Prolonged Stress is Bad for Health

    Chronic stress is bad for our health because it can cause us to:

    • Be more susceptible to illness
    • Have less energy
    • Struggle to get good sleep
    • Experience headaches
    • Judge things poorly
    • Gain weight
    • Develop anxiety and depression

    Chronic stress also impacts the functioning of our central nervous system and autonomic nervous system.

     

    1) How Stress Affects Our Health: The Autonomic Nervous System

    The autonomic nervous system is designed to keep us alive and is made up of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.

    The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for our fight / flight response. It releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline to prepare our bodies for a quick response if required.

    Whereas, the parasympathetic nervous system is designed to bring our bodies back to homeostasis. It is responsible for calming and relaxing our bodies so we can rest, digest and repair.

    Having a balance between these two systems is crucial a healthy life.

    One of the downsides of the autonomic system is that it can’t differentiate between an actual threat and a perceived threat. That is why, when we are stressed about something (regardless of what it is), the body’s natural response it to activate the sympathetic nervous system.

    This drains our energy and also activates the release of numerous stress hormones into our bodies which can be detrimental to our health long term.

    The Impact of Stress Hormones

    The release of adrenaline actually signals danger to every cell in your body stating that you’re not safe causing the following natural reactions to occur:

    • Increased heart rate
    • Enlarged pupils
    • Rapid and shallow breathing
    • You start burning glucose rather than fat, so naturally start to crave sugar
    • Blood is directed away from vital organs, to the arms and legs so you can run if needed
    • Blood directed away from your digestive and reproductive systems
    • Start to sweat

    Having large amounts of adrenalin circling around in your body is bad, because it creates inflammation. This inflammation can lead to chronic health conditions, illnesses and also shorten our life span.

    If adrenalin levels remain too high, the body will start to release cortisol.

    Cortisol is our long-term stress hormone and is designed to keep us safe when food is scarce. It deposits fat around the body as a resource to be used to maintain survival.

    This used to be really effective when we were cavemen. It would allow us to survive if we were in a famine with food not readily available. This is because cortisol helps to prompt our bodies to store and preserve fat for energy.

    But overtime, too much cortisol and adrenaline in our bodies can lead to:

    • Reduced Sleep quality
    • Poor memory
    • Poor gut health & decreased metabolism
    • Decreased libido
    • Visceral fat storing and fat retention around key organs
    • Muscle break down
    • Inconsistent energy
    • Poor nutritional choices due to emotional/ stress eating (sugar or high carb) or not eating at all
    • Insufficient vitamin, mineral and anti-oxidant intake
    • The body wanting to use only fast burning fuel such as glucose, rather than fat
    • We lose the ability to burn fat because our parasympathetic nervous system remains out of balance.

     

     

    2) The Reproductive System

    Too much stress in our bodies can impact our sex hormones – oestrogen and progesterone.

    Oestrogen is responsible for prompting our bodies to lay down the lining of the uterus.

    Progesterone is then released into the body when we ovulate. Progesterone is also known to be a natural reliever of anxiety & depression and acts as a natural diuretic. (I did not know this originally!)

    As women, we want our body to naturally produce progesterone for these reasons, but being in a state of constant stress can shut down production.

    After all, why would it want to bring a baby into the world when there is a perceived danger or threat to our survival?

    Our bodies are seriously SMART!!

    This is why we must take better care of ourselves!

     

    3) The Digestive System

    As more research is revealing, our digestion is one of the most important systems in our body. Poor digestion is often a signal that something isn’t right in your body.

    Did you know that these days, 1 in 5 people in Australia have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), and unfortunately stress worsens these symptoms.

    Prolonged stress has the tendency to negatively impact our digestive systems by:

    • Diverting blood away from our digestive organs
    • Limits the resources that the gut has to digest our food
    • Worsening IBS symptoms
    • Altering what we discrete from our digestive system
    • Altering our gut bacteria profile
    • Increasing intestinal permeability (also known as leaky gut).

    There are some ways you can reduce the impacts of stress on your digestion.

    For example, you can eat more mindfully.

    Being more mindful when you eat gives your body more time to process your food and also trigger when you are full. This is important because it can reduce weight gain and also prevent you from hitting that “way too full!” feeling. 

    Be present when eating your food – savour each mouthful, take time to chew it properly, enjoy the flavours and put your cutlery down between bites.

    When you take the time to notice just how much you scoff down food on the go, you’ll understand why mindful eating is becoming a really important thing for our digestion (whether stressed or not). 

     

    The Importance Wholefood Nutrition

    Given many of us are finding ourselves in a state of prolonged stress state, we must ensure that we are giving our bodies the right fuel and nutrition they need to perform optimally.

    This means flooding your body with good whole food nutrition, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants each and every day.

    A simple and great way to do this is to take a simple and convenient whole food supplement such as these. They are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and great for pregnant or breast feeding mummas.

    I take these babies twice a day. They contain 33 varieties of whole food nutrition, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants which help to combat the negative ways stress affects our health and bodies.

    Scientifically proven health benefits of these capsules include:

    • Improved heart and cardiovascular health
    • Strengthened Immune System & reduced severity of colds
    • Maintains healthy DNA
    • Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables fight oxidative stress (eg. from exercise) and help you maintain optimal health.
    • Improved gum health
    • Improves skin health by increasing blood flow and skin oxygenation

    And some other benefits people experience include:

    • Decrease systemic inflammation
    • Reduced cravings
    • Increased energy
    • A decrease in gut inflammation and IBS symptoms
    • Improved digestion
    • Healthier nails and hair
    • improved sleep

    If you’d like to learn more about how you can boost your health and reduce the negative ways stress affects our health with these whole food capsules, click here. 

    When we fuel our bodies correctly, our bodies are able to repair themselves.

     

    In Summary,

    So as you have read, there are many ways that stress affects our health.

    The problem is that rather than responding effectively to stress, many assume that they’re bodies are betraying or failing them. When actual truth of the matter is that your body is just responding to the info it is receiving (Ie. what you are putting into it).

    Our bodies are incredibly smart and are usually just doing what they’re programmed to do.

    Unless we take the time to stop our bodies from perceiving stress, they will continue to send messages to our brains to prioritise survival.

    Overtime, this is what impacts the function of our internal body systems; digestion, reproduction and contributes to fat storage.

    It’s your job to look after your body and you can do that by reducing the amount of stress in your life.

    You can also get your FREE copy of the Stress & Anxiety Printable here.

    With this FREE download, you’ll learn of some simple activities you can implement into your day to reduce your stress and anxiety symptoms.

    Enter your details below to be emailed your copy of the A4 printable.