Gut Feeling Good: 7 Steps to Happiness & a Healthy Microbiome

Feeling stressed, sluggish, or like you're just going through the motions? We've all been there. But the good news is, taking charge of your well-being is easier than you think!  This guide explores 7 actionable steps you can take to feel your best, boost your energy, support your gut microbiome and live a more fulfilling life.

1. Move Your Body & Boost Your Mood:

Exercise isn't just about physical fitness (although that's a great perk!). Getting those endorphins pumping can seriously improve your mood, reduce stress, and sharpen your focus. Find activities you enjoy – a brisk walk in nature, a dance party in your living room, or that team sport you've always wanted to try.

Your gut will love you too, as part of living a gut-friendly lifestyle aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, or break it down into smaller chunks throughout the day. 

Here are some of the potential benefits for your gut microbiome. 

  • Improved Blood Flow: Exercise increases blood flow throughout your body, including your digestive system. This could provide more nutrients and oxygen to your gut bacteria, promoting their growth and activity.
  • Stress Reduction: Exercise is a well-known stress reliever, and chronic stress can negatively impact your gut bacteria. By reducing stress, exercise might create a more favorable environment for good gut bacteria to thrive.
  • Gut-Brain Connection: The gut and brain are intricately linked. Exercise might influence the gut microbiome through the complex gut-brain axis, sending signals that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.

2.Fuel Your Body, Fuel Your Life:

Ditch the processed junk and embrace the rainbow! A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins gives your body the energy it craves and keeps your mind sharp. Check out my recipes here Don't forget to stay hydrated – water is your best friend. Basing your diet on whole pure foods will benefit your gut health and the connection between energy and mental clarity is known to be influenced by the diversity of the gut flora. 

3. Sleep: Your Body's Recharge Station:

We all know the feeling of a rough night's sleep. Prioritizing quality sleep (7-9 hours a night) is crucial for physical and mental rejuvenation. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, dim the lights, and ditch the screens – your body will thank you! This period is also a time of rest for your gut. Research suggests that adequate sleep allows your gut bacteria to replenish and maintain a healthy balance.

4. Tame the Stress Monster with Mindfulness:

Feeling overwhelmed? Mindfulness practices like meditation and deep breathing can be your secret weapon against stress. These techniques help you stay present in the moment, manage anxiety, and cultivate a calmer, more positive outlook. Meditation and mindfulness practices help you manage stress and lower cortisol levels, creating a more favourable environment for good gut bacteria to flourish. There are plenty of free meditation apps and online resources to get you started. Here is a 5-minute relaxation meditation..

5. Surround Yourself with Your Cheer Squad:

Strong social connections are like warm sunshine for your soul. Make time for friends and family, nurture those relationships, and build a support network you can rely on. Feeling lonely? Reach out, join a club, or volunteer – connection is key!  Think quality over quantity: Not all social interaction is created equal. Spending time with supportive, positive people is likely to have the most significant benefit for your gut health. Join She Got Guts® Facebook group

6. Never Stop Learning & Growing:

Stagnation is the enemy of well-being. Keep your mind sharp and your spirit curious by continuously learning and challenging yourself. Set goals, take a class, try a new hobby, or finally dust off that instrument you've been meaning to learn.

7. Cultivate Gratitude: The Happiness Booster:

Taking time to appreciate the good things in life, big or small, has a powerful impact on your overall well-being. Keep a gratitude journal, savour the little moments, and practice expressing thankfulness. The gut and brain are intricately linked, often referred to as the "gut-brain axis."  Gratitude practices have been shown to positively influence brain function, reducing stress and promoting feelings of well-being.  Since chronic stress can negatively affect the gut microbiome, it's possible that gratitude, by reducing stress, could indirectly create a more favourable environment for good gut bacteria.

Remember, well-being isn't a destination, it's a journey. Start by incorporating a few of these steps into your routine, and celebrate your progress! You'll be amazed at how these small changes can lead to a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling you. So, what are you waiting for? Unleash your inner well-being warrior today!



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