A happy woman proudly strolls along a path next to a river, while ducks on the grass on either side of her cheer her on.

Proof That My Mindset Around My IBS is Changing

I had a proud moment where I changed how I dealt with my IBS symptoms and I wanted to share it because it’s taken me a while to get to this stage.

I woke up early with those raging cramps in my stomach that usually means a trip to the toilet is imminent. I tried to roll onto my side, curling into the safety of the fetal position but it was no help, I had to get up. I did that thing where I cradled my bloated stomach on the way to the bathroom. And, as predicted, I had a loose bowel movement. But the pains persisted.

I made a choice to change my mindset

Rather than sit with those feelings of frustration and annoyance I decided I would stick to my plans of going for that early-morning walk. It wasn’t worth my time getting wound up wondering what caused my symptoms, I’d rather pull on my joggers and get back to the river to stomp it out. I mean I’d already laid out my clothes the night before because it’s the best way I know to start the week. So, I did. I got out of the house as quickly as possible, before my anxiety had a chance to kick in and tell me that was a bad idea and that there were no loos on my morning walk.

Walking off my IBS cramps

And I walked it off. I started off slowly, stopping to admire the ducks and the swans sunning themselves on the riverbanks, then started to pick up my pace as I got into the groove, forgetting that I even had cramps. I kept moving, kept stretching it out. Distracting myself from falling down a spiral of unhelpful thoughts. I can’t even begin to tell you the difference it made. I felt pretty proud that I’d just gone for it. I hadn’t weighed up the pros and cons, just left the house. I felt calm and at peace with myself. I even managed to sit and practice my deep breathing exercises to break up the walk.

And do you know what? Nothing terrible happened. I didn’t have to run and take shelter in any of the bushes. I didn’t have any accidents. For most of the walk, I didn’t even notice my cramps. As I wandered back to my car, beaming at what I’d achieved, I thought to myself, look how far you’ve come. I would have never left the house previously.

My new mindset about IBS

This is my new response to my IBS. It’s me defiantly telling my body that I’m in control and if I want to go about my life as normal, I will. I will no longer be a slave to my symptoms. Instead, I’ll practice regular self-care, looking after both my body and my mind, for me, walking in green spaces along my local riverbank is perfect for that. The biggest takeaway is that I didn’t even really notice what I was doing until I’d left the house.

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