Does stress affect your gut?

Woman suffering from flatulence in holding her forehead in pain, while sitting next to her computer.

Our body and stress are related in many ways

Having gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as abdominal pain can cause stress, especially when it leads to missed work or important events. But sometimes, stress can trigger or worsen GI symptoms because the nerves from the gastrointestinal tract respond to the same stress hormones and neurotransmitters as our brain. Just as stress disrupts the functioning of our brain, in a similar way it can disrupt the functioning of our gut. So it’s no wonder that the mind also affects the gut. Great stress or deep grief can reduce or accelerate intestinal muscle activity, but it can also start a cycle. GI problems such as diarrhoea, pain or bloating in turn have a negative mental and emotional impact.

Smiling, bearded young man wearing glasses is working on his computer, with papers lying on his white desk.

How to reduce stress and stay motivated?

Thinking about the causes is one way to reduce stress in your life. Take a look at the following tips and ways to calm yourself down and to decelerate your daily life. The most important tip: Don’t stress yourself when trying to reduce your stress!

Charge your batteries in just a few minutes

Everybody knows the importance of regular workouts – but speaking frankly, this sometimes creates additional stress instead of reducing it. Therefore it’s important to find your very own way of workout and training methods to charge your batteries. You can try finding short, sporty exercises to support mental and physical health, to tackle the stress and to change your thoughts. Quick workout sessions can be a great equaliser for your whole body and mind. Especially sports like yoga are a pleasure and a great way to balance your physical and mental well-being. Even 10-15 minutes per day can really help.

There are many work-outs based around this idea, which you can easily adapt to your own strengths and preferences. Breathing exercises are another great example - easy to combine with a daily work-routine – they help you get a better perception of your breathing processes in order to eliminate all other sensory stimuli and to relax – that’s definitely worth a calendar entry!

Start your day right!

When handling stress, your attitude can play a big role. Mental training helps you to see things straight and to improve your stress resistance. Exercises like mindfulness training and meditation can affect the brain structures in a positive way and strengthen your inner self perception. Besides mental training, good relationships and friendships can help a lot. Lean on your friends and family for support and take your time to laugh and enjoy every day as much as possible.

Good food makes you feel good

A healthy and balanced diet can make you fitter and puts less strain on the digestive system. Take your time for lunch and enjoy your break to calm down during the day. Also try to do it without those tempting to-go lunch meals. By using vegetables and leftovers from last night’s dinner, it is easy to prepare lunch by yourself. Ease comes with practice - as soon you get into the routine of it, the easier and more effortless it’s going to get. And a small piece of chocolate from time to time can lighten up your mood.

Sleeping beauty

Man and woman lying calmly in bed and holding each other in sleep.

Do you get enough sleep? You need your sleep to recover from the exhausting day before and to recharge your batteries. While its hard to pinpoint a set amount that works for everyone, most people need 7-8 hours of sleep each night to rest.

Before you go to bed, turn off all screens at least an hour earlier, since those blue lights may disrupt a calm sleep. It may help you to start some rituals before going to sleep to wind yourself down and create some restful moments like a long bath or a beauty mask.

Take a break at work

Smiling woman sits by the table in a garden and reads a book.

Plan regular breaks throughout your day and prioritise the most important tasks and projects earlier in the day. In addition, delegate and hand over tasks more often. It also may help to try some new ways of doing things at work. It’s also always a great idea to chat with your team mates or have a coffee break with your colleagues – it doesn’t only reduce stress but also stimulates your creativity.

The sweetness of doing nothing

Sometimes just doing nothing is doing something! So just go ahead and take some time to just stare out of the window or hang out without any kind of purpose.

But if you want to do something?

Active stress prevention can be very effective. If you find that your having one or more GI symptoms, helping remedy these may help you focus on reducing stress in your life.

By combining multiple herbal active ingredients, Iberogast® is able to provide relief from symptoms of functional gastrointestinal disorders like stomach pain, fullness and abdominal cramps.

A bottle of Iberogast on green background, surrounded by herbs

Iberogast® harnesses the power of herbs to relieve multiple functional digestive symptoms

Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.