My partner and I enjoy having deeper conversations and over the weekend he brought up a really interesting concept. The other day, he was listening to a podcast and the guest was talking about how we shouldn’t try to pursue happiness but we should try to pursue peace. At first, that may seem ridiculous. Americans have been raised to believe our goal in life is to be happy (it’s literally in the Declaration of Independence). But trying to always be happy is a never ending struggle. And if we aren’t in a happy state, some of us may feel we have failed our ultimate life goal. Instead, if we try to pursue peace, we are able to adapt to the ebb and flow of life. Pursuing peace (instead of happiness) allows us to make mistakes, learn, and grow without thinking we are constantly failing at life.
Let’s talk about poop. This section may be awkward for some to talk about, however, our bowel health is a window into what is happening on the inside of our body. We recommend that you should have a bowel movement every day (see below for normal consistency) and it should be easy to eliminate so you feel empty afterwards.
Even if you have a bowel movement every day, you may still be constipated! The consistency of stoll (as seen above) tells us a lot of what is happening in the body.
Signs that bowel health is interferring with your life can be:
- Pain (low back, hip, abdomen, pelvic)
- Urinary and/or fecal incontinence
- Reliance of stool softeners, laxatives, or imodium
- Anxiety around having or not having a bowel movement
Some tips to improve bowel health are:
- Drinking enough water (that always seems to be on a list)
- Eating enough fiber (25-35 grams a day)
- Trying to have a routine where you have a bowel movement at the same time every day
- Breathing techniques to limit straining
- Massage techniques or using a TENS unit to help gut motility
- Eating fermented foods or taking probiotics
- Sitting on the toilet with feet on a stool to mimick a squatting position (below is quite a funny video about this concept)