Many people think that anxiety is a psychological illness, but depending on the depth and severity of the anxiety you suffer it can have short and long term effects on your body which can really affect your personal well being and quality of life. Anxiety is a normal response to a stressful situation, it is only when this anxiety becomes constant that your mental and physical well being suffer.
When anxious or under stress your body produces higher levels of so-called stress hormones including norepinephrine and cortisol. These hormones are designed to ready our bodies for a “fight or flight” situation, pumping up all muscles and readying us for battle.
Unfortunately if the stress response continues, stress hormones will keep being produced until you begin to experience physical effects and illness.
Stress hormones increase blood flow to your muscles causing muscular tension which you will feel as a headache, backache or similar pain. Your heart is stimulated to beat faster and supply more Oxygen to your body which over time leads to rising blood pressure, palpitations and eventually risk of heart attack or stroke. Your digestive system suffers from fluctuating blood supply which can leave you with nausea, vomiting and other digestive problems.
It is important to have a work-up to confirm that no underlying causes for your excessive belching exist. Once this has been confirmed you can begin to look at possible strategies for controlling your anxiety and your burps.
Stress and anxiety make your digestive system work more slowly and less efficiently. More gas is made whilst breaking food down which unfortunately leads to increased belching. If already anxious this problem is not going to help! You become more anxious and then your stomach gets worse.
The real problem here is the anxiety, tackle that and your anxiety related problems will reduce. There are several methods which you can try before considering any medication.
Any physical activity that you can complete, especially those that get you out in the fresh air will boost your natural “happy” hormones (known as endorphins). When your body ups its’ production of endorphins, during and after exercise, stress and anxiety levels reduce and so do the symptoms. Don’t worry about the intensity of the exercise, it’s all about doing something that you enjoy. Fun things; dog walking, cake baking, whatever you love doing, will lower those Anxious feelings and hopefully reduce belching..
Meditation and yoga offer deep relaxation and stress relief; ideal if you suffer from Anxiety. Not only do they teach breathing exercises to calm and still the busy brain, but meditation has also been shown to increase production of those “happy” hormones!
Sufferers can also help themselves by eating smaller portions at meal times and taking their time over chewing and generally enjoying their food. Good chewing will not only reduce belching but also improve digestion. It’s a good idea to choose lighter meals and food which are fiber rich. Fiber is well known to assist digestion.
You may also be an “Aerophagic”, that just means that when anxious you tend to take more air into your digestive system “gulping it down”. This of course traps the air which leads to a need to belch and release it.
You can reduce your aerophagia (air gulping) by practicing deep breathing exercises, which are also helpful to reduce your anxiety which in turn will lower your digestive problems.
Remember the best way to tackle any anxiety related symptoms is to attack the anxiety itself.