Letting Go of the Stress

You can’t ignore stress, but you can learn to manage it. Whether part of major life-altering events or even just day-to-day matters, stress can have a profound impact on your mental, emotional, and physical health.

Obsessing about being stressed creates tension, which in turn can amplify a Crohn’s flare-up. This inevitably leads to greater stress, which can create an endless loop of high, red alert anxiety. Stress may not be a cause of Crohn’s symptom flare-ups, but it plays a contributing role.

Since you can’t ever control the amount or intensity of stress you encounter, your best bet is to learn how to master your reaction to stress.

Circumventing Stress

Adopting relaxation strategies will render you less likely to succumb to a flare-up’s ambush attack. Explore these methods for getting around stress factors.

Breathe deep

Concentrate on breathing in and breathing out, and note how your deliberate pace gradually helps to slow down and calm you. Buddhist meditation practices involve concentrating on breathing slowly while being mindful of the breath entering and exiting through the nostrils in slow, peaceful motions. You can use this technique at any time.

Take a Crack at Biofeedback

Hook up with a feedback machine and learn how to decelerate your heart beat and how to release muscle tension. Before long, you’ll be able to accomplish these feats without the machine’s aid.

Get Moving

Take a hike, or at least a stroll around the block. A brisk walk will clear your mind as it tones your muscles. Your lungs will appreciate the fresh air, and your outlook will improve once the endorphins kick in.

Strike a pose

Practice yoga to develop flexibility in your body and your mind. It can help to boost your immune system, elevate your mood, and regulate your breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and hormone levels.

Open Your Mouth and Say, ‘Om’

Meditate to quiet the endless chatter of your mind and detach from your worries. Your quest for the sound of silence will decrease your stress levels and increase your overall functionality. Your body will thank you for every opportunity to recharge.

Write It Down

Keeping a journal can with alleviate stress because it can help sort out your thoughts, especially when you’re trying to determine what to do next. Writing stressors down also turns them into tangible objects—words on a page—which can take some of the ambiguity and fear out of the unknown.

Picture Yourself in a Boat on a River

Visit your mind’s eye and visualize situations and settings that evoke tranquility. Vacationing in your head can lower your stress levels, and it’s cheaper than most getaway options.

One common image to visualize is a reed in a brisk wind. If the reed were stiff and brittle to the wind it would break, but instead the reed survives because is flexible and adapts to changes. Aim to be the reed upon stressful situations.