This last week was intense. I wrote yesterday in the Empath Energy Report that last week's solar eclipse at the new moon was the biggest astrological event of the year. I personally believe any lunar event is a time our emotions ride the roller coaster a bit more than usual, but this one was one of those giant hills that spins into a corkscrew followed by a loop-de-loop. The moon pulls on the tides of our emotions, and so when it is disrupted by any event, we feel it in our feels, big time. But we don't just feel it in our emotional feels because our physical bodies are directly connected to our emotional feels. Specifically, our digestive system. I know that when I go through a difficult emotional time (like last week) I tend to eat a bit differently because my tastebuds and tongue have different cravings. Then, my stomach and intestines react differently because my body is asked to digest different stuff. On top of that, our digestive system is greatly managed and controlled by hormones, so when our emotional hormones are off, our digestive hormone system takes a hit as well.
A Biological Explanation
I almost always come out of a particularly emotional time with a day-long bout of diarrhea. While not comfortable, I like to think of it as a symptom side effect of an Empath Hangover, and usually it is the last symptom. Once I finish worshipping the porcelain throne, I feel MUCH better both physically and emotionally. I like to think of it as a massive detox. During the times of stress, my digestive system holds onto things, waiting to process until later, and then when it's done, it lets go. All at once. It's like a big huge physical exhale. Release! AHHH!
Biologically, what happens is that when we go through stressful times, our brains spill adrenaline and cortisol into our bloodstreams. Adrenaline and Cortisol are our stress hormones that are meant to kick us into gear to deal with the stress we are facing. In our bodies, they don't really play nice with others. When they take over, they send the relax & digest hormones into hiding. Simply put, our stomachs and excretory systems turn off while we are dealing with stress. The hormones that work to digest food go on break so that the energy of the body can be put towards fighting the tigers of life. When the stress is over, adrenaline and cortisol go back to their caves and the rest and digest hormones come back out to do their jobs. during the times of stress, our body just sort of holds onto the food to process later, which can turn into constipation. For me, by the time the stress is over, my digestive hormones kick up and break down the stored food and send the waste out...diarrhea.
How to Support the Post-Stress Detox
Because I know that this process is happening, when I start to feel the emotional stress subside, I mindfully take some actions to support the detox process in my body.
Drink ONLY Water While I usually drink a healthy dose of water, during the time of detox after intense stress, I am conscious to take a day and drink ONLY water. I drink a minimum of half my body weight in ounces (I weigh 120lbs, so I drink 60oz of water). I avoid all other beverages for at least that one day. No coffee, no tea, no juice, no alcohol, no pop, etc. Just water. If I need flavor, I add a squeeze of lemon or lime to my water, and sometimes a dash of cayenne with a splash of honey.
Eat Less In the days after intense stress, I know that my digestive system has to clean out what it has been holding during the stress, so I decrease my portions. (I'm usually not hungry anyway). So I eat about 2/3 my normal portion sizes. Why add more to an already stuffed system?
Yoga Stretches While I have a daily yoga routine, immediately after an intense stress period, I purposely do poses to support digestion:
Wind Removing Pose
Knees to Chest
Sleep More I go to bed earlier, and I allow myself to sleep later, and I even take a nap or two. This isn't to say I make this a habit. Rather, just that one or two days right after the stress has subsided, I let myself rest more than usual because I know my emotions and body have been through a lot.
About the Body Wisdom Series
Our emotional issues live inside our physical tissues.
Ever since Louise Hay published You Can Heal Your Life in which she links specific positive affirmation to various body parts and ailments, the depth of information about the connections between emotional issues and body ailments has grown. You may have read the book The Body Keeps Score written by a psychiatrist Bessel van de Kolk, who studies the links between emotional trauma and physical illness. Or, I may have suggested in the past that you pick up Messages From the Body by Narayan Singh. What always frustrated me about these texts is that they focus on what is wrong and often fail to demonstrate the miraculous capacity and ability of the human body to adapt and adjust. Clients usually walk away from these books with varying levels of hypochondria, which only encourages your brain and body to believe something is wrong, thus perpetuating the wrongness.
If you listen to your body when it whispers,
you will never have to hear it scream.
This Body Wisdom Series is intended to highlight the magic and power and wisdom that lives inside your body. I also hope to teach you how to pay attention to your body, become body-mind aware so that you can better manage your introvert/hsp/empath sensitivities. If you sign up for the Membership Blog, you will receive the simple mind-body MOZI Method exercises to help you embrace and empower your brain and body to live up to its ultimate magical and miraculous potential and ability.
My goal is always to simplify and clarify the link between science of how our body works and the spirit of how we feel. This series focuses on that purpose.
Did you have an intense time through this last new moon solar eclipse? Are you having a hard time returning to normal? Is you digestive system off? Book an Appointment to help process your stress and bring your hormones back to balance.