Anxiety has a number of ways of physically impacting on our bodies.
I often find that when I’m feeling anxious my stomach is the first physical sign. I suffer from stomach cramps, gas, bloating and indigestion. My stomach just generally feels really painful and fragile. A little while ago I tweeted asking you what you did to calm an anxious stomach. I tried out a couple of these ideas alongside my usual techniques and I thought I would share with you what works for me.
Drop a comment below if there’s something you find helpful that I haven’t mentioned.
A cup of Tea –
I often have a peppermint tea if my stomach is feeling a little bit fragile. It’s also perfect if you would prefer to avoid caffeine. I often get a lot of wind due to excessive breathing when I’m feeling anxious. Peppermint tea helps with this as it relaxes the muscles preventing the stomach cramping, in addition to this peppermint tea aids the digestive system and so if your stomach is a little under the weather it can support it.
There are a number of other herbal teas which can help your stomach. Chamomile tea helps to relax you, eases stomach cramps and can help with both gas and bloating. I find chamomile tea is a great option to have just before bed, it settles my stomach and makes me feel relaxed and sleepy. If you don’t fancy peppermint or chamomile then a ginger herbal tea is another option. Ginger is well known for easing nausea.
When I sent out a tweet asking for some help a lot of people told me to have a cup of tea. Usually I avoid a cup of tea as I think the caffeine will only aggravate my stomach, however I don’t have to be told twice to make myself a cup of tea and so I went ahead and tried it. I did find that it improved my stomach but it’s possible that it could just be because I find a cup of tea calming and so my body relaxes.
I don’t go anywhere without my indigestion tablets these days. My handbag is like a walking chemist. I often find that when I get anxious my digestive system struggles resulting in indigestion. I’m really selling myself in this post! I try not to regularly take indigestion tablets but when I’m really bad I do find myself reaching for one. If you struggle with an upset stomach due to anxiety then I would definitely recommend keeping some indigestion tablets on you. If you’re suffering from indigestion then you can also try lying on your left-hand side before reaching for a tablet as this encourages digestion and helps with acid reflux.
Meditation was another suggestion that someone tweeted me and I thought that it could be a good way to relax my body. An upset stomach due to anxiety is a vicious circle, well for me anyway. As a sufferer of emetophobia any slight stomach problems have me worrying that I’m going to vomit. Therefore my anxiety heightens, which then has a further negative effect on my stomach. When I feel like this I try to do some meditation. I find that it breaks the cycle in my head long enough to give me some clarity on the situation and I feel able to tackle it in a calmer manner. Whilst this may not directly improve my stomach it does have an impact as the more relaxed I am the less my anxiety upsets my stomach.
Go for a slow walk
Going for a walk is often the last thing I feel like doing when my stomach is bad. I can often be doubled up in pain and so the idea of exercise does not fill me with excitement. However, I’ve found that some light exercise can help reduce the pain, which in turns relaxes my body. Walking can also help to regulate your breathing when you’re feeling anxious this means that you are breathing in less air and therefore you will notice a reduction in the the amount of gas in your stomach.
This isn’t a quick fix, however it is a long-term aid for an anxious stomach. I’ve found that after a bout of an anxious stomach I feel quite fragile for some time after. I did some research into the benefits of taking probiotics and found that they can help with this. Probiotics help by balancing the bacteria in your digestive system, this can settle an anxious stomach. I’ve definitely seen an improvement in my stomach since taking probiotics and so I intend to carry on.