Does work affect your gut?

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Does work affect your gut? 

Woman suffering from flatulence in holding her forehead in pain, while sitting next to her computer.

Is stress the price of a rewarding job?

It’s a thin line between exciting challenges and stressful overload in today’s professional world. There are many individual reasons why stress situations can occur at work. For example:  

23 % do not take breaks at work and every eighth person even comes to work sick. Other reasons may be overtime, labour intensity and the feeling of having no control over one's own work. Regarding the most common reasons of stress worldwide, many countries like Spain, France, Italy and USA name lack of money as first cause of stress followed by own high expectations. Though stress at work is not listed as first cause of stress in many countries you can see that those reasons – lack of money and lack of time as well as applying the highest standards to oneself – are linked closely to professional triggers. This in turn can cause the gastrointestinal tract to lose its balance and cause discomfort as well as psychological problems.

Smiling, bearded young man wearing glasses is working on his computer, with papers lying on his white desk.

Our body and stress are related in many ways

Having abdominal pain can cause stress, especially when it leads to missed work or when you are facing big issues. But more often, stress can trigger abdominal pain or can make it worse, because the nerves from the gastrointestinal tract are influenced by the autonomous nervous system and can respond to the same stress hormones and neurotransmitters as our brain: so we don't only have a “head brain”, but also a “gut brain”. In some stressful situations the usually finely tuned stomach functions can be disturbed. So it’s no wonder that the psyche also affects the gut. Great stress or deep grief can reduce or accelerate the intestinal activity. But it can also start a cycle: bowel problems such as constant diarrhea, pain or bloating in turn have a negative impact on the psyche, the patients feel unwell and withdraw from their social life. If the psyche is attacked, the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome may be triggered or increased by it at the same time – and everything comes full circle.

How to make excitement win over stress at work? 

Thinking about the causes and questioning the backgrounds is one way to reduce stress at work. Take a look at the following tips and ways to calm yourself down and to decelerate your daily life. The most important tip: Don’t stress yourself while reducing your stress! 

Charge your batteries in just a few minutes

Everybody knows the importance of regular workouts – but speaking frankly, this sometimes creates additional stress instead of reducing it. Therefore it’s important to find your very own way of workout and training methods to charge your batteries. You can try finding short, sportive exercises to support mental and physical health, to tackle the stress and to change your thoughts. Quick workout sessions can be a great equaliser for your whole body and mind. Especially sports like yoga are a pleasure and a great way to balance your physical and mental well-being. Even 10-15 minutes per day are more than fine to stimulate the cardiovascular system. There are many work-outs based around this idea, which you can easily adapt to your own strengths and preferences.  

Breathing exercises are another great example - easy to combine with a daily work-routine – they help you get a better perception of your breathing processes in order to eliminate all other sensory stimuli and to relax – that’s definitely worth a calendar entry!

Start your day right!

Handling stress is always a matter of attitude. Mental training helps you to see things straight and to improve your stress resistance. Exercises like mindfulness training and meditation can affect the brain structures in a positive way and also strengthen your inner self perception. Besides mental training, a good relationship or friendship with colleagues can help a lot. Lean on your friends and family for support and take your time to laugh and enjoy every day as much as possible.

Good food makes you feel good

A healthy and balanced diet can make you fitter at work and puts less strain on the digestive system. Take your time for lunch and enjoy your break to calm down during the day. Also try to do it without those tempting to-go lunch meals. By using vegetables and leftovers from last night’s dinner, it is easy to prepare lunch by yourself. Ease comes with practice - as soon you get into the routine of it, the easier and more effortless it’s going to get. And a small piece of chocolate from time to time can light up your mood.

Sleeping beauty

Man and woman lying calmly in bed and holding each other in sleep.

Get enough sleep: as it’s highly personal, there is no set ideal amount. However, you need your sleep to recover from the exhausting day before and to reload your battery. Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep each night to rest.  

Before you go to bed, turn off all screens at least an hour earlier, since those blue lights may disrupt a calm sleep. It may help you to start some rituals before going to sleep to wind yourself down and create some restful moments like a long bath or a beauty mask.

Take a break

Smiling woman sits by the table in a garden and reads a book.

Plan regular breaks throughout your day and prioritise the most important tasks and projects earlier in the day. In addition: delegate and hand over tasks more often. It also may help to try some new models of work like agile project management to get a new point of view on things you are already used to. Furthermore, it’s always a great idea to chat with your team mates or have a coffee break with your colleagues – it doesn’t only reduce stress but also stimulates your creativity.

The sweetness of doing nothing

Now its official - doing nothing has become a trend: NIKSEN. After the Danish hygge (the concept of cosiness) NIKSEN from the Netherlands encourages a balanced lifestyle. It’s is a stress-reducing method that literally means doing nothing at all. So just go ahead and take some time to just stare out of the window or hang out without any kind of purpose

A bottle of Iberogast standing on moss, with packaging next to it, surrounded by forest.

Herbal assistant for your daily life

Active stress prevention can be very effective – for your stomach, intestines and your overall well-being. In addition, a preparation, targeting several gastrointestinal symptoms at once, can be helpful for relieving symptoms of functional gastrointestinal disorders like stomach pain, nausea or abdominal pressure: the herbal ingredients in Iberogast®. Especially with different or ever-changing symptoms, medications with herbal ingredients containing many active components, are a preferred treatment option. Their therapeutic efficacy may be increased due to the combined ingredients - compared to chemical drugs, which often rely only on a specific mechanism of action. By combining multiple active ingredients, Iberogast® is able to provide relief from symptoms of functional gastrointestinal disorders like stomach pain, fullness or abdominal cramps and is able to protect the gastric mucosa. Due to its easy mode of intake and small pack size, you can always rely on this preparation, especially during busy working hours, when associated stomach issues strike.

 All About Iberogast®

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