In the pursuit of our busy 21st century lives, stress has become an all-too-regular experience. What's more, stress is a common contributor to digestive symptoms.
Thankfully, stress doesn’t have to be the defining factor of your daily life. Whether you experience the occasional minor digestive symptom flare-up, or you’ve been medically-diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), following a few techniques to reduce stress may help with your digestive symptoms.
We’ve got a range of tips for dealing with the stress that can contribute to digestive symptoms,from ways to prepare for a less stressful day at work or home, to a few anti-stress lifestyle habits you can seek to adopt in the long term. With these ideas, we'll help you stay in control of your well-being including your digestive symptoms.
Did you know?
44% of Australians say personal health issues are a source of stress
40% of people are stressed by trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle
1 in 3 Australians say they’re stressed by issues in the workplace10
Lifestyle tips to help you stress less
Keep up with your exercise
Whether it's walking, running, team sport or a gym session, getting active isn’t only important for your physical fitness. Exercise releases endorphins that can help with stress. It can also help train your brain to cope better with stress, by challenging it to stay in control of your body during stressful situations. Exercise can not only help reduce stress, it may also help with digestive symptoms.
Maintain a work-life balance
Stressful situations have a habit of arising in the workplace, from last-minute deadlines to meetings with clients. But nobody wants work to take over their life. By maintaining a healthy work-life balance and hobbies outside the office, you’ll avoid being consumed by work, and the stress that can come with it.
Embrace the great outdoors
Reconnecting with nature can be a refreshing and effective way to destress. You can spend some relaxing alone time in the great outdoors with a morning yoga session or even a stroll along the water – or plan a short road trip with someone special in your life, and be sure to stop and smell the flowers along the way.
Power down your devices
As we strive to stay connected, the time we spend with our screens is only increasing. Be aware of the effect your device time is having on your happiness, and power down when the information overload becomes too much – as constantly checking your smartphone can lead to higher levels of stress.
Everyday tips for a less stressful schedule
Get enough sleep
When you’re busy with family, friends or your job, you can end up cutting back on sleep. A lack of sleep can cause stress for some people, so a good routine is essential. Set a bedtime and stick to it so your body and mind can adapt, and try to clear your mind before you go to bed by reading a book, having a conversation or just sitting quietly. Try not to use any devices before bed, as the stimulation can make falling asleep more difficult.
Stay in touch with
your friends and family
Your close friends and family are the people who know you best, so spending time with them can help make all the stresses in life seem that little bit easier to deal with. It’s good to share with them any issues you are having so you can relieve some stress. Make sure you also take the time to listen to their issues too.
Avoid the triggers of
your digestive symptoms
The triggers of digestive symptoms vary, so it’s important to be aware of your personal circumstances. You could try keeping a diary to better understand your triggers. For some people, triggers can be particular foods; for others, it may be stress from exams, travel or other lifestyle issues; or for some women their symptoms may be worse at certain times of the month. You may wish to consult with your doctor for advice.
Be prepared for an episode
Digestive symptom flare-ups can be unpredictable, which is all the more reason to be prepared. This can help you stress less too, in the knowledge that if symptoms do arise, you won’t be caught out. When you leave the house each day, carry Iberogast to have a product on hand for fast-acting relief of functional digestive symptoms including those of medically-diagnosed IBS. Find out more about Iberogast.