We press through life, day by day with deadlines and to-do lists. We bury ourselves so deep that multi-tasking is our only way to get through the day. We sit on the computer and eat our lunch. We grab out dinner while driving home. Let's talk for a minute about how our bodies react to stress. Stress defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from very demanding circumstances. Stress is a necessary part of our day, unfortunately, most live in a chronic state of stress. During the fight or flight phase, our digestive system does not work properly. Heartburn, indigestion, cramping, constipation, and diarrhea are common symptoms of eating while stressed. Think about it, what is the last thing our bodies need while running from a bear...our food to digest! Our bodies do not know the difference between a bear chasing us or a stressful deadline at work. There are multiple ways to improve your digestion by relaxing your mind and body. Here are some small changes you can make:
Eat free of distractions: Turn off your electronic devices while eating. Play some peaceful music or have a nice conversation with a friend.
Take a few deep breaths before eating: Say a prayer, meditate, or take a few deep breaths before taking your first bite.
Show gratitude for your food: Be thankful for the farmers, truck drivers, grocery store workers etc. Showing gratitude will naturally bring your body in a state of rest and digest.
Chew, Chew, Chew: Use all of your senses while eating. Smell the aromas, taste the flavors, and feel the texture. Place your for down in between bites and enjoy each bite!
Avoid stressful conversations at dinner time: There is a time and place for these types of conversations. At the dinner table keep the conversation enjoyable and light.
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