Tips For Snapping Out Of An Anxiety Flare
Last updated: July 2022
Anxiety-induced IBS flares aren’t like IBS flares caused by food. They are inherently different in the sense that they are completely unrelated to what I have eaten and can be calmed if only I can ease my anxiety. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done.
Whenever I’m anxious, and this feeling causes IBS symptoms, my mind tends to spiral. The flare triggers my anxiety even more, which triggers more symptoms. It’s such a vicious cycle that can be difficult to get out of.
But since my mind causes it, there are simple things I can do that often really help.
Do a self-care task
Simple tasks that require no concentration and no outward focus are great for calming down an anxiety flare. For me, these tasks include straightening my hair and doing my makeup or skincare. There’s something soothing in them, and they allow me to stay in my bubble while dealing with my IBS flare. The important thing is being able to interrupt the task at any time so that it doesn’t add any stress!
Watch a light-hearted video on YouTube
Videos are great ways to distract me and can be paused as many times as necessary. Watching light-hearted content on YouTube is my go-to for mild anxiety flares that allow me to sit on the couch between bathroom trips.
My favorite videos to watch during these times are fashion hauls, fun product testing videos, and beauty content. Funnily enough, these aren’t videos I usually enjoy, and I never watch them unless I distract myself. Maybe it’s because the content doesn’t really interest me that much but is captivating enough to keep me from dwelling on my flare.
Curl up on the couch with a cup of tea, alone
Whenever I experience a flare triggered by anxiety, I need to extract myself from any form of social situation (even if it’s just my family). Curling up on the couch, preferably with a cup of herbal tea and a heating pad, and doing absolutely nothing can help calm my nerves. Especially when I’m not able to distract myself (sometimes distractions just don’t work), reassuring myself in my head can ease my anxiety and IBS symptoms quite a bit.
Whenever I need to do this, I ask my partner for some alone time and retract to another room. Preferably a room close to the bathroom. Thankfully, he’s very understanding about it and lets me have this time to myself.
Write or journal about my flare
I’ve mentioned multiple times already that many of my articles were drafted during a flare. Flares don’t exactly make me creative (it’s quite the opposite, actually). But writing about what I’m going through can be really therapeutic. Especially when my flare is caused or heightened by anxiety, writing becomes a way to deal with the stress, guilt, and desperation that can arise during a flare.
Of course, this is not the time to think about grammar or formulating nice sentences. I never worry about making much sense and just jot down what’s going on in my head. If I decide to use this base for an article, I end up rewriting it once I feel better.
Journaling would probably have the same effect if you don’t write or blog about IBS. It can help so much when dealing with anxiety-induced IBS flares!
Which of the following symptoms of IBS do you experience most frequently?