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Stress & IBD
Find ways to blow off some steam every once in a while. It could be a hobby that makes you focus all your attention on it, or when you're home alone, try to have a good cry. If crying isn't your thing, hit somethings soft like a couch or pillow and imagine it as your condition. This will help relieve some of the stress build up and boost your confidence.
Be as positive as you can be. Your disease could go on remission and you will feel like your self again..
One of the things I found helpful with stomach pain and discomfort is to take a hot bath. I know a lot of people don't have the time (including me), but sometimes you have to make time for yourself. Take about 20-30 min. and soak in the tub. It really works!
If your stomach is hurting at night, here's a helpful tip: use a heat pad that is usually used for shoulder/ back pains and stick it on your tummy. It helps!
If you have a rough day, or are having trouble getting to sleep at night because your stomach is bothering you too much, give it a heat pack. Lie down on your back, and just put a heat pack, or a hot bottle, on your stomach. It really helps sometimes.
Feeling depressed, getting angry, breaking down in tears, yelling, feeling misunderstood, and alone these are all normal grief reactions. Try not to be afraid of these emotions, since the sooner you go through them, the sooner you'll be able to accept yourself as you are. What does self- acceptance look like? It's letting go of the idea that you're too short, or too skinny, or too whatever and feeling, "I'm OK just the way I am."
Humor is also in the way you look at things. For instance, if something bad is happening to you and you're really upset, pretend it's happening to somebody else. For instance, you can ask yourself, "What would Napoleon Dynamite (or some other crazy character) do if he were getting a lower GI series?" Imagining the answer might give you a little laugh you desperately need.
Expressing thoughts and feelings through writing is one of the best ways to release anger and other icky feelings. The great thing about writing is anyone can do it; you don't have to be the class poet or a star English student. Therapeutic writing is different than writing a paper for school. It's not about spelling or punctuation or RULES it's just spewing your feelings on paper. This kind of writing is not meant for anyone to see except you (unless you want to show someone). How to begin? Get some paper or a journal and a pen that works (ballpoints write faster than felt pens). Try not to use your computer unless you have to, because writing on paper is more personal. Find a quiet place. Start small give yourself 5 minutes to write. Use a clock to time yourself. Pick something you want to write about (see below for ideas). Start writing. Try not to re-read as you go along; just keep your pen moving and write. It doesn't matter if it makes sense. Write from your heart, not your head. There is no "wrong" way to do this. Stop writing when your time is up. Re-read if you feel you want to, or put it away to read another time. Take a deep breath and check in with yourself. Did it help release some stress? Here are some ideas to get you writing: Write out your most embarrassing IBD story. Write a letter that you'll never send. Maybe it's to someone who hurt you, or who just really ticked you off last week. Write about everything you did the previous day, from the moment you woke up to the moment you went to bed. Don't skip over the seemingly mundane things -- sometimes those are the most fun to write about. Write about a new person you recently met as a result of your IBD. Write a letter to your disease about how you feel having "it" in your body. Start with the words "I'm so pissed off because" or "It just really sucks when" and see where that takes you.
How do you make this work? Well, you have to THINK about what you're doing. Our breathing will automatically speed up when we're stressing, so we need to use our MIND to say, "Hold on, I'm going to take a deep breath and relax." It may sound silly, but it really works. Focus on taking in deep breaths through your nose, then letting them out through your mouth slowly. Count to five through each inhale and exhale. After two or three breaths, you should feel more relaxed and better able to deal with whatever's stressing you out.
Meditation is done many different ways, but it usually involves getting into a comfortable position in a quiet space (no PHONES or distractions). Focus on paying attention to your breathing, simply inhaling and exhaling as you try to just "be."