Do you ever feel like your whole digestive system is congested? Your stomach gurgles a lot after meals, you feel bloated most of the day, you have more gas and belching than normal and maybe you are even constipated. My energy usually dips when I am experiencing these digestive issues. I don’t like the feeling at all and am often moodier because of it. All around it just sucks.
When I feel like this there are a few approaches I take. First I look at what I am eating and how much I’m eating. There are some foods that I eat that I know aren’t the best for me. They are foods that make my stomach hurt, even just the slightest bit, after I eat them. They are foods that result in inflammation in my sinuses and throat and cause me to have to keep clearing my throat. They are foods that have the potential to give me a mild headache that lasts for a couple of hours. If I eat these foods – for me they are nuts and eggs – too often they cause my digestive system to go down that uncomfortable path. So, for this approach, I completely remove these foods for a couple of week and then add them back in very sparingly – maybe once a week.
Another thing I look at when my digestive system is not working well is my level of stress and how much sleep I am getting. These two things seem to go hand in hand for me. Excessive stress can cause your body to have to work a lot harder than it normally does. When your stomach is all bound up in knots while you are eating you are almost guaranteed to have digestive distress afterwards. I know when I’m not sleeping well I tend to get more stressed out than normal. Little things will set me off and I tend to get that overwhelmed feeling. When I assess the situation and decide sleep and stress are a factor I step back and try to take more time for myself. I take a good look at what is stressing me out and what I can do to change that. I make it a point to go to sleep earlier, I take naps when I can and I meditate every day. I concentrate on my practice of active appreciation – appreciating the good in people and situations rather than complaining.
Moving every day also helps me keep my digestive system in good working order. I walk a lot but I don’t always walk for a long time, sometimes 15 minutes is all I have. But I always feel better after I walk. I’m more relaxed, more focused and I sleep better at night. Sometimes movement for me means other types of exercise – strength training, barre classes, swimming, biking, sprints, etc. I just know when I go too long without moving my body (and mind!) gets out of whack.
If you are feeling digestion congestion know that you don’t have to go on feeling that way. It’s not “normal” and there are definitely steps you can take to get rid of it. Figure out what’s going on and start feeling better!