May is Mental Health Awareness Month - a national movement that aims to raise awareness about mental health. This movement strives to fight stigmas around the symptoms of mental health issues and educate our society around how you can help yourself, your family, and your community. For more resources on how you can support the movement, visit the National Alliance of Mental Illness website here.
Ones mental health refers to our emotional and social well-being and it impacts how we think, feel, and behave. Everyone, from all walks of life, may face challenges that affect your mental health - whether that is loneliness, anxiety, or feeling too stressed out. Your mental well-being takes part in how you connect with others, make decisions, and handle stress.
Since the gut is known as the "second brain," we at The Confidence Co believe it's absolutely imperative to care for your mental health just as much as your physical (and gut) health. Keep reading to learn five ways you can heal your gut and help relieve stress.
5 Gut Healing Practices that Ease Stress
1. Step up your sleep game
Getting enough sleep each night is key to bolstering your brain health. According to the Sleep Foundation, "sufficient sleep, especially REM sleep, facilitates the brain's processing of emotional information. During sleep, the brain works to evaluate and remember thoughts and memories, and it appears that a lack of sleep is especially harmful to the consolidation of positive emotional content."
Further, when don't get enough sleep, the stress hormone known as cortisol can rise, causing a hormonal imbalance. Increased stress can wreak havoc on your digestive system - making it easier for toxins and food to pass through your intestine and directly into your bloodstream. So when it comes to stepping up your sleep game, just remember to get more rest to help you digest.
2. Meditate for mental clarity
Meditation - a mindfulness technique that helps you train your attention and awareness - is a wonderful way to mentally and emotionally clear your mind and find a sense of calmness. Having a regular meditation practice can help relieve stress-related feelings like anxiety. In fact, a recent study shows that meditation improves anxiety levels 60% of the time.
By reducing your stress levels, you're less likely to eat foods that are tough on your digestive system. This is because stress can cause you to reach for foods that are unhealthy and hard for the body to process. When you're calm and relaxed, you have more mental space to choose healthier foods that boost your gut health.
3. Dance it out
Mental, emotional, and physical health are all interconnected and contribute to an overall healthier you. Incorporating regular exercise into your life helps ease mental health-related issues like depression and anxiety because feel-good chemicals are released in your brain. Dancing is a fun, creative, and easy exercise that anyone can try on. Take a dance class at a local studio or find one online, dance in your kitchen to your favorite tunes while you cook dinner, or dance in the shower first thing in the morning.
Not only is dancing great for your mental health, but it can also improve your digestive health. When you move physically your body, the blood flow increases to the organs in your digestive system - allowing those organs to do their job as intended.
4. Reconnect with nature
Modern lifestyles may have pulled us away from mother nature with nearly 85% of Americans living in metro/urban areas today. This month, reconnect with nature to soak in all of its healing benefits. Research shows that being outside, and in nature, can lower anxiety and stress levels, enhance short-term memory, promote better sleep quality, and even increase creativity. Better yet, getting out into nature can help you tap into utilizing all five of your senses - taste, smell, sight, hearing, and touch. As you now know, reducing stress and getting better sleep not only improves your mental health but they also improves your gut health.
5. Take a digestive enzyme
Although your body naturally produces digestive enzymes, it may not be enough for some people. By supplementing with a digestive enzyme complex, you'll help your body absorb more nutrients from your food. It's important to absorb specific nutrients - such as Vitamin B - because they act as natural stress relievers and a lack of these vitamins can cause brain fog, confusion, and poor memory.
A digestive enzyme supplement works to keep your digestive tract on-track. Taking Confidence regularly can lead to better absorption of stress-relief vitamins like the Bs or calming minerals like magnesium (which also helps prevent diarrhea).
More Relief in May
May is also a special month for us at The Confidence Co because it's our birthday month! To help us celebrate our second birthday, we're giving you the Stomach Soothers as a special gift with purchase for the rest of this month. Our Stomach Soothers act as the perfect post-meal companion - packed with soothing herbs like Peppermint, Ginger, and Caraway Seed that can ease any upset tummy. Shop Confidence today to get your gift with purchase.