4 Habits That Are Making You Feel Bloated
Research shows that about twice as many women as men report feeling like their stomach is an inflated beach ball
. It doesn't help that we're also more likely to do these belly-distending things.
Women are more likely than men to blame their escalating stress levels for their upset stomach and indigestion
, according to the American Psychological Association. Stress contributes to bloating in a couple of different ways. First, when we're overwhelmed, we tend to do even more nail-biting, gum-chewing and smoking—all result in extra air-swallowing and, thus, bloating. Yoshida says one study found that frazzled volunteers took in three times the amount of air than those who did relaxation exercises. What's more, Yoshida says that stress makes your intestines more prone to irritation, so you'll feel blimpier even when normal amounts of gas are passing through your system. Thankfully, the same researchers found that relaxation techniques can directly slow the rate of swallowing. When your blood pressure starts to rise (or as soon as possible thereafter), try taking 10 minutes to practice progressive muscle relaxation
Next: What to eat to avoid cramps, mood swings, soreness and more