There has long been an established link between the gut and anxiety, and you may have seen that link for yourself. For example, if you’ve ever had butterflies before an anxiety inducing event, or had toilet troubles that weren’t related to something you ate, you could be feeling the effects of anxiety.
The good news is, there’s plenty you can do to calm yourself, and so lessen these symptoms in your gut. Here’s what you can do to calm an anxious stomach.
The Symptoms Of Stress And Anxiety
Firstly, you’ll need to understand just what kind of symptoms you may be experiencing as a result of stress and anxiety. Have you experienced any of the following?
- Stomach cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Unnatural hunger
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
If any of this sounds familiar, anxiety could be the cause. Now you know this, you can start looking into taking care of the problem.
Start Saying “No”
One thing you can do to start helping your own anxiety is to start saying “no” to things that you can’t or don’t want to do. A lot of anxiety in modern life comes from trying to please everyone. We feel as though we should be able to do it all. Because of this, we take on too much, and then get stressed out trying to do everything.
“Start to learn where your limits are. When you’ve started to reach them, don’t be afraid to say no to things that you can’t take on. Remember, you can’t give it your best when you’re stressed out, so you’re not doing yourself or anyone else favors by trying to take on too much” says Rosemary Bigelow, a psychology writer at Boom Essays and State of writing.
If you’re not getting enough exercise in your life, now’s the time to get started. Exercise is vital for helping anxiety, as it helps release endorphins. These create positive feelings in your brain and help counteract stress.
You don’t need to suddenly become a gym bunny in order to get the benefit of exercise. Simply going for a short walk, or trying something gentle like yoga, will go a long way towards helping you ease your anxiety.
Take Short Breaks
If you struggle with anxiety on a daily basis, you can try taking short breaks throughout the day. Every couple of hours, stop what you’re doing and do one minute of deep breathing. This should be slow and silent, and through your nose. Push your stomach out as you inhale and let it deflate when you exhale.
It’s amazing just what this can do to help you feel better in yourself. Try taking those breaks to destress, and start feeling better in yourself.
Take Over The Counter Medications
If you’re dealing with short term stomach issues due to stress, you can use over the counter medications to help. These should be used alongside the above techniques, in order to help you recover faster. You can get medications for things like nausea, heartburn, diarrhoea and so on. Talk to the pharmacist and they’ll be able to find the right medication for you. Remember, they should only be used in the short term.
Seek Medical Help
“It’s normal to feel anxiety every now and again, as it’s a normal emotion to feel. However, if you’re dealing with anxiety more and more, and it’s starting to cause you stomach issues, then it could point to something more serious” says Derrick Fischer, a lifestyle blogger at UK Top Writers and Paper Fellows.
If you feel you could use more help, then you can talk to your doctor. They may be able to direct you towards several treatments, such as medications or talking therapies. Any of them can help you manage your anxiety and get back on track. They may also refer you to a gastroenterologist, too. They’ll be able to identify any other underlying issues that you may be having, and help you get to the bottom of it.
There are lots of ways that anxiety can affect your stomach, but you don’t have to put up with it. Use these techniques to help you handle an anxious stomach, and start seeing improvements in your symptoms. If you need more help, always speak to a doctor.