Brain-Gut connection: Calming your Anxious Stomach

BY SECOND CONSULT Published on July 19, 2021
Everyday stressors like unrealistic deadlines, traffic jams, and overwhelming tasks can cause physical reactions in our bodies such as racing heart, accelerated breath destroying the brain-gut connection. These symptoms are signs of the gut-brain connection, which can lead to stomach distress. Stressful events can continue to affect our stomachs even after they've passed. People tend to overeat and consume too much alcohol when stressed, both of which can negatively impact gut health. The ongoing global epidemic has caused an increase in stress-related panic rates due to job loss, financial struggles, and isolation. Stress can have negative effects on the digestive system, damaging gut microbes and reducing immunoglobulin synthesis. The resulting chemical imbalance can lead to various gastrointestinal problems. Additionally, there is a significant brain-gut connect, with the intestinal tract and brain sharing neural connections. Therefore, it is crucial to pay close attention to anxiety levels and gut health if experiencing frequent symptoms of an anxious stomach, which may indicate a more severe health issue in rare cases. Here are a few examples of how the brain-gut connection works and the stress manifests itself in physical difficulties other than an anxious stomach.


As a result of the anxiety, your respiratory rate may vary. It can grow shorter, shallower, or even hold your breath for an extended period of time. Owing to stress, the lungs do not fully exhale. Therefore, relaxation and breathing exercises might be beneficial.

Tight Muscles:

Anxiety causes stress to spread throughout the body, affecting various muscles. Other regions of the body are tense as well. It may be felt in the neck, jaw, chest, or stomach of certain people. There is no fixed location - the nerve signals are sent wherever the brain directs them to be. Therefore, when muscular tightness persists in a specific region for an extended period of time, it transforms into pain.

Rapid Heartbeat:

Various factors can cause changes in pulse rate, such as breathing difficulties that increase the heart's pumping of oxygen into the blood. Anxiety also affects heart rate by releasing adrenaline, typically during high-intensity activities like skydiving or mountain climbing, but it can also occur from anxiety-provoking thoughts. For instance, the fear of public speaking can trigger adrenaline, causing sweating, shakiness, and a racing heart. Therefore, to assist people in combating unpleasant gastric side effects here's a compiled list of guidelines on how to soothe an upset tummy when anxiety is unavoidable and when you should contact a gastroenterologist.


Effective stress-relieving techniques such as yoga, relaxation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and stomach relaxation training can improve the brain-gut comfort and overall quality of life. Mindfulness and emotional focus can also help ease unpleasant symptoms. Consuming probiotics and foods with active cultures can balance the microbiome, while a diet high in processed foods and calories can cause digestive issues. Avoiding spicy food, dairy, and caffeine can help relieve stomach discomfort. Over-the-counter drugs can treat acid reflux, heartburn, nausea, and diarrhea. Drinking plenty of water and electrolyte-containing fluids can help with recovery.

A Thought from Cognitive Healthcare

IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, may be the cause of anxiety and gastrointestinal pain without a physical explanation. The gut-brain link reveals that stress and anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as stomach discomfort. It's essential to seek assistance from a mental health practitioner and undergo therapies like gut-directed hypnotherapy. These tips can be effective when regularly applied, but patience is necessary as expecting immediate benefits can worsen discomfort. Tolerance of specific stomach distress is crucial.

In conclusion

It's important to manage anxiety, and it's recommended to seek medical advice and treatment. When treating stomach problems, it's important to consider the physical, mental, and social aspects of the issue. Professionals can offer guidance and treatment plans to help with anxiety and physical symptoms. Positive thoughts can have a good effect on the brain, while negative thoughts can affect the body. You can learn coping strategies to improve your health by changing how you react to difficult situations. It's about handling stress better, not getting rid of it completely.

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