What should a patient with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) do when stressed?
Article written by Master, Doctor Mai Vien Phuong - Gastroenterologist - Department of Medical Examination & Internal Medicine - Vinmec Central Park International General Hospital.
Irritable bowel syndrome, or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder characterized by abdominal pain and changes in bowel habits without finding any physical damage to the digestive system. Anyone living with inflammatory bowel disease understands the impact of stress on symptoms is not a good thing. Stress can cause abdominal pain, urgent bowel movements, and can even cause inflammatory bowel disease. So, how can IBD patients handle the stresses of life?
1. Set yourself the 3 most important tasks to do during the day
No matter how busy you are, try to make a list of things you need to get done. By putting these tasks on paper, you can spend more mental time on other things. Instead of writing down everything you can accomplish that day, write down only the 3 most important tasks to do.
Sometimes, having too much to do will make us “paralyzed” and as a result we can do nothing. Pick out the most important tasks that need to be done during the day so that you can manage them more easily. Creating this list the night before can help you feel more relaxed and less stressed the next day.
2. Do activities that make you happy
Self-care is how you nourish your mind, just as food nourishes your body.
Think about what makes you happy and comfortable, then do it. This is especially important during times when stressors are high.
You can do the following activities to help yourself have a good and happy day:
Start your day with warm lemon water. Take a walk. Meditate for 10 minutes every morning. Read a book or story before going to bed. Dance. Do yoga in the morning or evening. Draw or color. Remember that mind and body are interconnected, so taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and they must go hand in hand to help you avoid IBD symptoms. .
The doctor recommends writing down the things that make you happy and putting at least one of these activities on your to-do list every day.
3. Learn to cope when you lose control
A lot of things in life cause you to lose control. It is important that you know how to control them so as not to cause yourself too much stress, affecting your health. Here are some ways that can help you manage your stress:
Breathing From pursed lips to lion breathing (open your mouth wide and stick your tongue out as far as you can towards your chin), there are Lots of breathing techniques for you to try.
Breathing is a very liberating and very effective way to bring yourself into a state of relaxation. Try different breathing techniques to see what works for you and apply them.
Meditation You can eliminate your fear of meditating by downloading one of the many meditation apps to your smartphone. Meditations vary widely, lasting from a few minutes to hours, so you can try the ones that best suit your lifestyle.
Journaling Don't underestimate the power of expressing your feelings on paper. Try writing the following in your journal when you feel out of control:
What is stressing you out?
Why does it bother you?
Is there anything you can do to improve the situation?
If not, how can you feel better?
Go outside for a walk Breathe in fresh air and do light physical and mental exercise that can help you "light" your head from pressure and stress.
Stress comes and goes, everyone will encounter such things in life. No one expects you to be perfect all the time, so don't hold yourself to that standard. Be frank in expressing and acknowledging your feelings. However, don't forget to learn how to control and manage negative emotions. That's not only good for your mind, but it's also good for your health, especially for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Don't let stress make your IBD symptoms worse.
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