The Stomach and Stress 

I read a great article this week regarding the way stress affects your stomach. I am sure that most of us have experienced the sensation of “butterflies in the stomach” when we are nervous and many people find themselves running to the loo or experiencing a loss of appetite, stomach cramps and nausea when faced with a stressful situation. 
According to gastroenterologist Dr Marvin Singh, stress changes the way the gut functions, which affects the bacteria balance and this is what causes the stomach problems. It may be that you don’t feel particularly stressed, yet you are suffering from stomach problems and this could be your body telling you something is wrong. It may be that you are stressed but have been ignoring it. It may be worthwhile addressing your stomach issues by working on your stress levels by using stress management techniques such as mindfulness or meditation. But if the symptoms continue do get medical advice from a licensed practitioner. You can read the full article here. 

Good Stress? 

Not all stress is necessarily bad. According to A landmark 2013 study, published in Psychoneuroendocrinology, found that moderate levels of daily, manageable stress may help protect against “oxidative damage”, commonly linked to disease. 
Many psychologists differentiate between bad stress (distress) which is often associated with traumatic events, overwork, change in work patterns, chronic ill health (either yours or a family member), divorce etc and good stress (eustress) which is associated with exciting events such as getting married, moving house, starting a new job, performing on stage etc. 
The eustress (good stress) is important as this is what gives us the push to succeed, keeps us motivated and trying hard. But we need to monitor the bad stress (distress) that we have in our life as this can lead to chronic stress and burnout. This is when the stress we are experiencing starts to impact on our health, relationships, job and more. I read a great article on this recently which you can read here. 
There are plenty of simple things you can do to lower your stress levels and you can read about them on this page on my website - Self Stress Management. 

Wearable Stress Relief? 

Finally, this week I read about a gadget which you can wear around your ankle or wrist which is apparently proven to relieve stress. According to the article the device sends silent, soothing vibrations to your body, tapping into your autonomic nervous system’s natural responses to that emotion-driving part of your brain that everything’s OK and you can relax. You can read about it here but please note this is not an endorsement from me as I have not tried it out. 
The best way to manage stress is to come up with strategies for not letting things cause you stress in the first place, including re-thinking strategies based on Neuro Linguistic Programming and other ideas. There are also practical exercises and techniques that you can do to manage stress. None of these require you to buy anything and can be practiced easily in your own home or whenever you feel stressed. 
Looking for stress interactive workshops for your workforce which can either be run online or at your workplace? Click here for more details 
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