While certain things like exercise and movement will help with occasional constipation, stress has the opposite effect. In addition to a poor diet and a stagnant lifestyle, stress is one of the leading causes of occasional constipation and difficulty having bowel movements.
Therefore, finding ways to reduce stress makes you more likely to have regular bowel movements. This article will tell you everything you need to know about stress related to bowel movements and what you can do to reduce stress in your life.
How can stress cause occasional constipation?
There are several ways that stress can prevent you from having regular bowel movements.
- If you’re stressed, the brain gets sent signals to release epinephrine and adrenaline. These hormones automatically cause most of your blood flow to get diverted to the heart and paother essential organs as part of a fight-or-flight response. When this happens, there’s less blood in the intestines, so you’ll have a more challenging time digesting food and passing it through the bowels.
- Stress will also cause your brain to release other hormones, specifically cortisol and serotonin. These hormones get released in the bowels and digestive system, making it harder for your body to digest and process food. Occasional constipation is typically the result when this happens.
- Additional research is needed, but experts also think that stress makes it easier for things to pass through the outer lining of your intestines. This can result in unhealthy bacteria and inflammatory compounds entering your gut and hindering your bowel movements.
5 tips to reduce stress and relieve occasional constipation
As you can see, stress is very closely linked to occasional constipation. If you think your inability to have a bowel movement is related to stress, here are some things you can do to help.
Eat healthier foods
Changing your eating habits to incorporate a healthier diet will help with occasional constipation in several ways. First, it will help reduce stress. Second, a healthy diet will be easier to digest, aiding in regular bowel movements. Adding fruits, veggies, greens, and healthy juice to your diet will make you regular in no time.
Drink stress-reducing teas
In the same way that healthy food can aid in bowel movements, so can healthy, stress-reducing tea. Chamomile, black, green, and peppermint are some of the best choices.
Exercise is another excellent way to relieve stress and occasional constipation. As with a healthy diet, exercise has a dual effect on keeping you regular. In addition to reducing stress, exercise also increases blood flow, elevates heart rate, and gets the bowels moving, all of which are crucial for a bowel movement.
Hang out with friends or family
Socializing with friends and family is one of the best ways to reduce stress in your life. Humans are social beings, and hanging out with people we love will cause your brain to release hormones that aid digestion.
Get professional help if necessary
While self-help and lifestyle changes are great ways to relieve stress, don’t be afraid to seek help from a professional. Stress can lead to chronic mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. If you’re dealing with these issues, occasional constipation will be the least of your worries and could develop into something more serious.