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When we think about those who make a difference in our lives, we may consider close friends or favorite pets, but we never think about the bacteria in our digestive tract, which are some of our greatest allies.
Like any ecosystem, our inner ecosystem thrives on balance. Just as we can have chaos in our lives and our environment, our inner ecosystem can fall pray to imbalance and disease.
When we begin to foster an attitude of gratitude, our perspective begins to change. As Marianne Williamson teaches, “A miracle is a tiny shift in perspective”. What I would like to recommend is that we need a shift in our thinking to create a healthy and flourishing inner ecosystem.
Set intentions: One trick is to start by thinking of beneficial bacteria as our friends and being grateful for all of the amazing things they do to keep us thriving.
Studies show that bacteria, just like plants and water, respond to our positive thoughts. So when eating your yogurt, fermented vegetables, probiotic rich beverages, set an intention that it will target the issues you struggle with most—whether it be poor digestion, weight gain, acne, fatigue etc.
Keep track of how you feel after a few weeks of doing this daily.
Show interest: Getting to know the beneficial bacteria in your body means that you develop a sense of what makes these little bugs happiest.
Proper food combining, for example, helps food move smoothly from your mouth to the end of your digestive tract. When we overload our body with food, or a poor combination of foods, we are actually sending mixed messages to our body. Not all food gets digested. Undigested food will rot and ferment. While this may cause some beneficial bacteria to multiply in numbers, it happens in all the wrong places and we end up feeling abdominal pain, heartburn, or even suffering from constipation.
Smile: Smiling not only affects others around you. A genuine smile has concrete biochemical effects in the body. Smiling, laughter, and a feeling of joy actually help to balance the immune system and to strengthen it.
Your digestive tract is full of nerve tissue, neurotransmitters, immune cells, and bacteria. Is it any wonder that a smile, especially one directed toward your own health, deeply affects your inner ecology?
Be a good listener: Listening is not always about words. In fact, a great deal of communication happens without words. Learning how to listen to the body is no different than learning how to listen to those around you.
When we listen to the gut, or in this case the microbes in our digestive system, we are able to respond by giving our body the exact support that it needs.
Bloating, distention, diarrhea, constipation, cramping, chronic infections, brain fog, and joint pain are just some of the common signs of inner ecosystem that is under stress.
Show appreciation: Appreciation goes a long way in life and in relationships. When it comes to your body, the power of appreciation is no different.
With friends and family, we may show the appreciation that we feel with a touch, gifts, or a loving smile.
In the body, we can show appreciation to the microbial community living there by consuming light foods that do not stress the immune system. For many of us, this means cutting out foods like wheat and sugar, which are common food stressors.
Also, consider making fermented foods a part of your daily menu. These foods actually enhance the microbial community already living in your digestive tract!
Open yourself up to total body health. Loving your body internally and externally is essential to creating the life and body you envision!
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