How the Little Things You Do Each Day Can Affect Your IBS
Last updated: October 2018
IBS can be triggered by all sorts of things, including stress, certain foods, lack of exercise, illness, and medications. But it can be calmed by other things, including gentle exercise, sleep, different foods or drinks, calming techniques, and certain medications. So changes to any of these things can affect how you experience IBS.
Every day you do different things, which will change the triggers you experience
Humans are free-range beings, constantly changing what we do from day to day and adapting to things that life throws at us. Whether it’s work, family, friends, or our own personal choices, there is very little in our lives that stays exactly the same from one day to the next.
We like to think that we control our own lives and make conscious choices from day to day – and we generally do for the big things – but when it comes to the small things, most of those choices are made on the spur of the moment with little thought for the consequences. Yet each of those choices has the potential to affect your IBS.
Have you ever thought about how many decisions you make each day that could potentially affect your IBS?
From when you first get out of bed, to doing some exercise, eating breakfast, going to work, eating lunch, doing more work, looking after the kids, having dinner, chilling on the couch, to going back to bed and getting some sleep. And those are just the big things you’re likely to do each day!
Every time you begin a new activity in your day, you make choices on what to do and what not to do. Sometimes the choices are made out of necessity with very few available options, but other times you have almost complete control and can guide your actions as you prefer. Regardless, each choice affects your mind and body in ways that can affect your gut.
It’s no wonder that IBS can be a challenge to keep under control. But there are some things you can do to make it a little easier.
How you can have more control over the things that affect your IBS each day
The first thing you need to do is consider what affects your IBS the most, both positively and negatively. Those are the key things that you need to watch for in your day. Obviously you’ll want to include more of the positive things while removing as many of the negative things as you can.
The next thing to do is to find little ways to make less choices throughout the day. This is because making lots of choices slowly drains your brainpower, making it harder for you to make good choices for your IBS later in the day. The best way to make less choices is to make certain activities look the same each day. For instance, eating the same sort of thing for breakfast or lunch, always driving the same way to work, exercising at the same time every day, and preparing your clothes the night before. Basically, any little thing that you can do (or plan) ahead of time so that you don’t have to make a choice at the time you start doing it.
At first it may seem like these strategies are too simple to help your IBS, but you may be surprised by how much easier they make your life, allowing you the time and energy you need to do the things that make the most difference to you.
Which of the following symptoms of IBS do you experience most frequently?