Tips on Staying Positive
The journey to better health while having IBS is a very bumpy road to travel on. There will always be ups and downs that will cause setbacks and misery, but we have the tools to help us get through the hard times. Stress and anxiety can be major triggers for most of us battling IBS, so combating that with positivity can be a useful tactic in alleviating some pain. A lot of times, we look to prescribed medication to help relieve the pain, but sometimes with that medication comes along negative side effects. The good news is there are no negative side effects to positive thinking, and I’ve created a few tips on how to be and stay positive that has helped me get through some hard times, and hopefully they will help you too. Things that I do to stay positive while suffering from an anxious flare up are:
Listen to motivational speaking
It is easy for IBS sufferers to feel depressed and unmotivated, so listening to motivational speaking on a regular basis can help you get through each day with a little extra willpower. For example, I listen to Tony Robbins and Les Brown almost every morning so that I have a great sense of self-awareness because when I’m aware of what I’m going through and how it affects me, I develop the courage to fight on and push through the day. We could use positive reinforcement while living with IBS, it’s a great form of medicine.
Listen to uplifting music
Music has a way of getting into our subconscious mind, especially when it is playing in the background of the room you’re in. If you’re listening to music that has a negative context or is down-right angry, then it might affect your mood whether you realize it or not. Playing music that has positive substance to it can be very helpful in getting out of your misery. For instance, I listen to music by Louis Armstrong and Bob Marley whenever I feel down and need help feeling optimistic. Songs like “What a Wonderful World” and “Positive Vibrations” put me in a positive mindset every time I put them on. I also listen to classical music when I need help staying focused and stress-free. Music is also another great form of therapy.
I’ve read a number of books which have greatly contributed to my positive mindset. For instance, “Think Like a Freak” by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt, is basically all about teaching people to think in creative and productive ways, which offers a different approach to solving problems. I’ve also read “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho at least five times, which is essentially about following your dreams and not letting obstacles discourage you from achieving what you want. Reading positive, problem-solving books like these not only boosts a reader’s mental strength and courage overtime, but it also teaches discipline and perseverance. These characteristics are important for IBS patients to develop because the daily struggle of symptoms can be extremely exhausting and depressing.
Now I know this is cliché, but I find that when I exercise regularly I am much happier and less stressed overall. However, exercising while having IBS has been a real struggle for me, but I manage to get in just a little work out so that I can continue to maintain a sense of strength and willpower. We’re a lot stronger than we think, and if we set aside a little energy for exercise each day or every other day, then that’s all it takes to stay consistent. Remember, you’re doing this for your own well-being and happiness, not anyone else’s. The main thing to keep in mind when it comes to exercise is to never compare yourself to others and always go at your own pace, no matter how much it varies.
We all have what it takes to get out of our negative mindsets while dealing with IBS. You don’t have to remain in a bad mood when you’re suffering from the pain. Use these tactics and make them your own, so that you have the means to get out of your undesirable funk. I don’t believe positivity is a cure, but I do believe it is a medicine that can truly help us get through anything if we allow it.
Do you have a good understanding of what triggers your flares?