Is your gut in a rut? Is your tummy tied in knots? Does your belly need some balance?
I know all too well how nausea, indigestion, cramps, bloating and other totally icky symptoms can take the enjoyment out of life. While these symptoms often are a sign there is something not quite right with your digestion, and certainly worth speaking to a professional who can help you decode what your symptoms mean, there are also some things you can do right now to get some relief.
Here are MY top 5 Self-Care tips you can start using today to help you to settle your digestion.
1. Investigate your thoughts and feelings
The legendary Louise Hay, writes in her book ‘You can heal your life’ that problems with digestive stem from fearful thoughts;
- fear of the process of life,
- fear of letting go,
- fear of a person, situation or idea,
- dread or anxiety about the future,
- fear of the new.
I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t take much investigation into my life to see the truth in these ideas.
Have you ever felt nauseas or lost your appetite when anxious? Gotten nervous butterflies before a big event? Gotten bloated, backed up or crampy when under stress or a deadline?
I know I certainly have.
Acknowledging that your tummy troubles could be coming from your thoughts or feelings is the first step. Once you open your mind to that option, often the thought or emotion will present itself to you for review or even to change. Such as “okay, perhaps this belly ache is about how nervous about this project at work” “I’m afraid that my work won’t be good enough”
Once you identify what your fearful thought is, it still might not be possible to change it right then and there, but affirmations are a great way to start shifting them.
Louise Hay suggests changing your fearful thoughts by repeating the following affirmations to yourself either aloud or in your head…
“I am safe. I trust in the process of life to bring only good to me”
“I digest and assimilate all new experiences peacefully and joyously”
or you could come up with your own around your fear such as
“I trust that my work is of a high standard. I approve of myself”
2. Diaphragmatic breathing
there’s no doubt about it, life demands a lot of us these days and most of us live very busy and very stressed lives, caused by everything from our boss, our mortgage, our relationship and even our email inbox.
The only problem is, to our body all this stress equals danger. If your body thinks you’re in danger, it will stop spending so much energy on digesting your last meal, and instead send energy to your legs to run away, your arms to fight and your heart to pump blood faster. Hello adrenaline.
One of the best ways to stop this cycle and calm your stressed digestive mess is with deep breathing techniques.
When you use diaphragmatic breathing, you breathe deep into your belly and you let is rise and fall with each breath. This calming breath helps to dial down the stress response and gives your internal organs a nice little massage in the process. win win.
3. Hot water bottle
Placing a hot water bottle over your abdomen whenever you are having digestive woes can help bring blood flow back to that area of your body, and acts as a calming trigger as well.
Combine your hot water bottle time with some slow deep breaths and some positive affirmations and you’re onto a self-care winner.
4. Self Massage
Just like the hot water bottle above, self massage is a wonderful way to bring blood flow back to your digestive organs, and can be a wonderful way to incorporate digestion supporting essential oils into your life.
For a beautiful belly massage, mix 2 drops of peppermint + 2 drops of DigestZen in a small dish with fractionated coconut oil. Lay down and gently massage the mixture across your abdomen. Work in small circular patterns and give extra attention to anywhere that feels particularly tense, while still being gentle.
Breathe deeply and allow the scent of the oils to work both aromatically and topically.
5. Take a tea break
Taking a tea break and brewing up some digestion supporting teas can help in several ways. The herbs of the tea can act as a digestive calming tonic, taking time out from what your doing can give your body a chance to calm and reduce stress and increasing your water intake can help keep your digestive organs stay hydrated and moving well.
My favourite teas for digestive calming include;
- peppermint tea
- liquorice tea
- fresh ginger tea (crushed ginger steeped in boiling water)
- fresh mint tea (fresh mint leaves steeped in boiling water)
Breathe, relax and take care of yourself
Now over to you. Do you have a trick that always works to settle your digestion? Share below, I’d love to add it to my tool box. xx