Your Digestion System is a ‘Mind Barometer’
As funny as it may sound at first, your digestive system is a supersensitive ‘baramoter’ of what’s going on in your mind. This is because your digestion is totally under the control of your mind through the autonomic nervous system, the ENS, Enteric Nervous System (or your gut brain) and through something called the brain-gut-immune axis.
Your Gut is an Independent Agent
Nature has actually equipped your digestive system with it’s ability to funciton as it’s own special agent, with the ability to make it’s own hormones, send it’s own nerve signals, it’s own immune system and respond to your environment. This ‘control system’ in the gut is so advanced scientists have called it the little brain or the brain in the gut
Your Little Brain in the Gut
This ‘little brain’ talks to your big brain and all of this goes on without you consciously knowing it, and it’s controlled by the part of your nervous system that’s unconscious–called the autonomic nervous system. When we are healthy and happy and well-balanced, this autonomic nervous ystemis stable and strong, able to cooridate digestion, making of hormones, and all the hundreds of body processes we need to do each day just to keep on living!
Chronic Stress, Your Gut & IBS
However, unchecked chronic stress can cause this sensitive system to bcome unstable and weakened, so that it can’t respond the way it should. When this happens, we are left open to the damaging affects of stress on all of our organ systems, from our brains (causing illnesses such as depression and anxiety), to our intestines (leading to IBS, IBD, GERD, etc), thryoid (leading to low thyroid) and heart and blood vessels (leading to cardiovascular disease), just to name a few.
How to Beat the Stress Now
The solution of course is not to go into total hibernation from your life to try to avoid stress because stress is part of living–the solution is to do something each day that prevents the stressors in life from causing you to get ill, from weakening your autonomic nervous system.
A great way to start is with a simple meditation or breathing practice each day, just for 15 minutes, a quarter of an episode of your favorite TV show!