Written by Christine Couch, Mustard Seed Coaching & Mediation
More Stress-Busters for the Busy Bride (and wedding party….and guests!)
In our last blog post about managing stress, we chatted about food as medicine and how it affects our mood, energy, and motivation. Click here to refer back to that post!
Probiotics for Gut Health!
Turns out you want to eat some bugs…..whaaat?!
“But Christine, eating bugs doesn’t appeal to me!” I know. It didn’t sound appealing to me either. Hear me out. Your gut health directly impacts your stress level. You want a healthy gut. I know what you might be thinking; “Gut health doesn’t really sound like it goes with wedding party favors.” I hear you.
It doesn’t does it? But play it forward with me. You are on the countdown to your wedding, you have a couple of weeks to go and still have so much to do! You not only have table favors to finish up with, but you have the final fitting of your dress, a shower or two to go to, the rehearsal dinner to finalize with your soon-to-be mother-in-law, a visit with the caterer, etc… This could translate to a bunch of stress!
Others in your life might also be stressed, which can be increasing your stress. Think the mother-of-the-bride, she is probably a little stressed, I mean, there is only one you and hopefully this will be your only wedding – so she is likely fully invested in this day. The weight of this season could get heavy.
Let’s ‘load’ the equation for you to feel great and have great gut-brain chemistry to give you the best chance at feeling good that we can! So you may ask, “what’s a good gut/brain chemistry and where can I get one?” I’m glad you asked…
Stress alone can decrease healthy gut bacteria (the good bugs that make your gut happy). Studies have shown that taking a probiotic as a supplement can increase the good bugs, with a resultant decrease in anxiety symptoms, better sleep, calmer state of mind, and better ability to cope. Add to the probiotic supplementation a decrease (towards elimination) of most simple sugars (which feed the bad gut bugs) from your diet and you will enhance a healthy gut environment. Bad bugs can cause the gut to ‘leak’ toxins that enter your bloodstream, causing all kinds of havoc, loading the stress equation on our bodies (and minds). I know, it doesn’t sound sexy, like mimosas. It probably sounds pretty boring! That said, I am a believer in probiotics having been taking them for a few years now. They make my gut happy. Everything works as it should if you know what I mean… yes, this might be TMI – (as you age this will become an even greater incentive to have healthy gut bugs!)
Dr. Daniel Amen, M.D., is a neuroscientist, and psychiatrist, heading the Amen Clinics and recommends exercise. Of course, always check with your physician before engaging in an exercise program. That said, Dr. Amen recommends burst training: a 30-minute walk every day with 4-5 ‘bursts’ of go-for-broke intensity (walking or running as fast as you can for one minute), followed by lower intensity exertion throughout the 30-minute walk. Studies show that burst training helps increase endorphins, lift mood, and makes you feel more energized. He also recommends calming exercises such as stretching, tai chi, or yoga can help relax you. Compulsive, overfocused, and impulsive types can benefit from aerobic exercise in your overall exercise plan. (being impulsive myself-I can attest to the benefit of aerobic exercise – I would likely have done very poorly in school without it!).
Speaking of relaxation – get your Z’s! Get plenty of sleep, it will help you be more productive during the day, will increase the likelihood of staying on track with consuming good-for-you foods, reduce cravings and all around think better.
Anxiety? Eat bugs and exercise. Happy (peaceful) Nuptials!