I’ll try not to make this too hippy-dippy, but the past few months have made me a really strong believer in the mind-body connection.
I hadn’t changed anything in my diet, and nothing else had seemed to change except for the huge amount of stress that was added to my life being unemployed. I cut out coffee and started training for the marathon, and my stomach started to feel a bit better. The tons of exercising I was doing–since I was being careful to eat the right things–seemed to actually help my stomach and certainly helped my mind because it was really hard to stress out about anything when I was riding a runners’ high and exhausted after a 20-mile run.
But then I stopped training for the marathon and got a new job. I tried the first few days without coffee and felt like I was going to fall asleep at my desk. I decided that the potential stomach upset was worth it if I could be alert.
Starbucks was always the roughest on my stomach, but I jumped back into my coffee habit with my old lover because there is a Starbucks in my office building, and, really, I’m a bit lazy.
Miraculously, it didn’t bother my stomach. I should note that I started with soy lattes because I figured they’d bother my stomach a bit less since there’s less actual coffee/espresso in there. I’ve since downgraded to soy mistos since they’re cheaper and have less calories. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to my favorite Pike Place, since I think it might have just ripped a hole in my stomach, but I’ve been able to drink Dunkin’ Donuts and other coffee without a problem.
What does this have to do with the mind-body connection? I’m so happy to be working again, and I’m pretty sure that’s making my stomach happier, too. Any stress about getting back on a normal schedule and getting adjusted to work is seriously dwarfed by my relief to not be unemployed any more.
But I also think these probiotics are helping. I’d never taken probiotics before, because I never believed they work. I started taking these right around when I started my job because I knew I’d start drinking coffee again. I think it’s a combination of the reduction in extreme stress and these probiotics that have really helped me. My mom’s friend bought them for me because she read my blog and saw my stomach had been bothering me, but I am definitely going to order these every single month for as long as I need to.
I know that a reduction in stress and a supplement doesn’t work for everyone for every ailment, but I think that reducing–or at least managing–stress can have a tremendous effect on your body.
How has reducing or managing stress helped you physically?