Consistently checking your phone or bringing a meal to your desk while on your computer can teach your body to create digestive problems. Quickie lesson in your body’s nervous system: The parasympathetic branch supports digestive. Think ‘P’ for peace. Being relaxed and at peace when you eat enables every aspect of eating, digesting, absorbing nutrients, and eliminating waste. The sympathetic branch provides the fight or flight response which protects you against danger. Think S? for stress. This adaptive mechanism that evolved to enable our cave brethren to run from a saber tooth tiger is the same one that now protects us from business challenges and overly booked calendars. Because we are programmed to adapt to survival before we receive nourishment, the stress mechanism trumps the digestive system. In a stressed state, your parasympathetic system turns on like an alarm and the sympathetic system is suppressed. If you allow the woes of work and the demands of a screen or monitor to run rampant while you are taking in a meal, the parasympathetic nervous system overrides the sympathetic, thus inhibiting all aspects of the digestive process.
Both mechanisms are essential to your survival and neither is good or bad. Living in such a way as to create harmony in your life and your body will benefit your health, your ability to function at work, and your experience of balance. A good place to start is to separate work stress from eating food.
According to Dr. Mario Martinez, author of The Mindbody Code: How to Change the Beliefs that Limit Your Health, Longevity, and Success, a whopping 75% of busy? executives have gastrointestinal disorders. Dr. Martinez calls these illnesses learned?. Are any of these symptoms familiar to you
- Feeling overly stuffed
- Diarrhea, constipation or both
- Abdominal pain
- Chronic fatigue
If you rush to your doctor for a pill to fix these issues, remind yourself that you are?closer to naturally remedying your body with some adjustments to your habits. Plus, a pill won’t repair the damage to your body from chronically assaulting the built-in mechanisms that are perfectly designed to do the job, such as digestion, absorption, and elimination.
What to do to get great, long-lasting results:
- Look at your food before you eat it. Digestion starts in the brain. Appreciating the colors, textures, and even the smells of your food prepares your body for what is to come.
- Breathe and chew. Taking longer breaths stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system. Chewing your food to liquid rallies all of the health promoting digestive enzymes in your mouth and makes it easier for your body to assimilate and eliminate. (Good nutrition comes from not only what you eat. It is what you absorb and your body’s ability to effectively release waste toxins that define vibrant good health.) A bonus/advanced technique is to remind?yourself that when you are feeling stressed, relaxing is better than eating.
- Create good boundaries. Make time to finish your work or at least come to a good pause when it is time to take in nourishment. Leave your devices on your desk when you eat, and eliminate multi-tasking to the best of your ability. Learn to appreciate and enjoy meal time, even if you take just ten minutes to eat a salad or a sandwich. Let those ten minutes be precious, knowing that you deserve to refuel, replenish, and rehydrate for a few intervals during the day.
- Consider all natural health-promoting products that support digestion, absorption, elimination and detoxing. (See resource below.)
I hear from my clients consistently that they feel more connected to their families during meal times and are less distracted. And if you eat alone, you can feel more connected to yourself. Unlike your car, you don’t get to trade-in this body. Love your body and your body will love you back. Learn to appreciate how good you can feel when you make these adjustments and your will never want to go back to your old habits.
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Rosie Bank, Certified Holistic Health Coach. Offering you solutions for optimal health for life.
Resource: These are the products I use daily and recommend to my clients. To have your own account for significant savings please contact me directly. Voice/text 650-740-9500. firstname.lastname@example.org
Maximize the absorption of nutrients from your food. Ease your digestion by breaking down your food better. Prevent or relieve stomach upset after meals.
This extensively-researched and clinically-proven product promotes sound immune function and better nutrient absorption. Restores the balance of good bacteria in the belly.
With love and encouragement,
Board Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
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