In the chaos of everyday life, it can be difficult to find a moment of peace and tranquility in your day. It is important to remember to stop and take a minute to check in with yourself, and your body would agree!
In honour of World Meditation Day – let’s take a minute to reflect and find your zen.
A lot of research shows the impact of your gut health on stress levels and your brain. In reality, this is a 2-way street and your stress level has a big impact on your gut! Let’s break it down:
When you become stressed, your brain responds in a variety of ways. The main thing that happens is the release of cortisol into your bloodstream. This is great if you need to run a race or fight a bear, but not so great for every day. 1https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352289515300370 This excess cortisol can travel from your brain to your gut the following:
- Damages your gut lining and mucous layer which leaves you open to ‘leaky gut’ and infection. 2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5736941/
- Stimulates inflammation within the gut, which can spread throughout your body 3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5794709/
- Suppresses your immune system and digestion 4https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5736941/
This is why your stress can trigger IBS symptoms and digestive discomfort. Therefore, taking a moment to meditate can actually help relieve your IBS! 5https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2015/05/meditation-may-relieve-ibs-and-ibd/#:~:text=Researchers%20found%20that%20patients%20with,in%20their%20quality%20of%20life
We’re a big believer in DIVERSITY, and how you meditate may look different to the next person. There are many different forms of meditation you can try! 6https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/types-of-meditation You can be lying in bed, sitting at your desk or taking a moment in the shower. Here are the basic steps to get started:
- Get comfortable
- Take deep breaths in and out
- Calm your mind and let your thoughts fade away
If you’re new to Meditation, a guided meditation may be a good place to start too. 7 https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/world-meditation-day/
Even just stopping for one minute to focus on a peaceful image and breathe in and out can provide benefits.
The important thing is building a calming routine and maintaining this regularly. A single day of meditation is a great start, but challenge yourself to stick with it for a month to see the real benefits.