Mind Over Matter

It’s been a long, slow couple days– feeling nauseous and unable to move much. I couldn’t eat any real solid food for two days. I’ve just been taking it easy on my system with liquids and a few BRAT diet items only. I feel pain on both sides of my abdomen that throbs with discomfort. I can hear my stomach isn’t happy by the churning noises its making. It was so bad yesterday it was borderline worthy of a trip to the ER. And I genuinely believe had I not been taking my medication regularly, my symptoms would have been much much worse! Phew!

This is exactly when my brain wants to go into panic mode. Having dealt with this disease for 2 years now, I know what could possibly come next, and I DON’T WANT IT!! I don’t want to end up in the hospital with excruciating stomach pain again. So it’s now that I REALLY need to calm my mind so that I don’t make my situation any worse by stressing over it, and creating anxiety.

Since I am in the thick of these symptoms right now, I want to share with you what I do to get through this, with LESS anxiety and LESS stress. Because those two things can and will make your symptoms worse! There is such a connection between mind and gut, but that is a blog post for another day, lol! I have listed below a couple things that I personally find effective and I have used these tips during the last 3 days to de-stress while flaring!

1–REASON with yourself! Are your fears actually legitimate? Or is your mind jumping to the worst case scenario? Find a phrase that works for you and repeat it to yourself. When I feel my mind going into panic or fear mode, I say to myself. “Jana, It is what it is! There is no sense stressing over it. Whatever happens we will get through it and deal with it as things come. This is not a permanent state! This too shall pass.” I had to say this to myself the other night, when I was thinking I might have to go into the hospital! Not gonna lie, there were tears involved, that’s how scared I was. But reasoning with myself calmed me down and my emotions subsided. Sometimes my husband has to reason with me too! But when I’m honest with myself, I know from my own past experiences that truly it will be okay. It can feel like things will never get better when you are in the midst of it, but it does get better! I know this to be true! If I have to make a trip to the ER, so be it. I’ve done it before multiple times and I can do it again! I’ve already been through SO much on my short journey with this disease, I know I can face what lies ahead.

2–Find an OUTLET for your mind! If your mind is causing you too much added stress, keep it busy! I will play video games, do some coloring, play with my Origami Owl jewelry and come up with some new locket designs! Just something that requires my minds attention, so it can’t wander and think about everything that is going on with my body. {Coloring actually really relaxes me, always has since I was kid! And those new adult coloring books are fun, it’s more precision work so it does focus your mind.} My husband and I like to build legos too, that can be fun to entertain the mind as well! {Yes! We are big geeks, so all my suggestions are gonna be along those lines, ha ha ha! But you get the drift, if you have a hobby that you can do sitting around the house, do it! Paint, write, watch some movies!}

3–Breathe Through It! Sometimes the pain or nausea just hits you and you freak out! You can’t help it! You are just scared of what is it come. When I feel that happening, I just literally take a couple deep breaths and exhale slowly through my mouth each time. It truly has a relaxing effect. Tuesday, the nausea was so bad I had to physically walk slower and just take a moment to breathe through it. I acknowledged how I felt, but didn’t freak about it! Whatever happens, happens. There is no need to work yourself up.

I have found through my own journey so far, that calming the mind is really half of the battle. If you spend time to work on your mind, you will notice that it’s ONE LESS THING for you to worry about! When you aren’t worrying about worrying, you can focus your energy on healing instead! And we all know that energy is heavily depleted for us, especially when we are flaring.

~ All that being said, I want to reiterate that I am very proactive in my own health and I am in constant contact with my team of doctors and my gastro nurse. They know what is going on with me at all times and educate me on the right course of action. I strongly suggest that anyone having a flare of symptoms be in contact with their doctor or nurse as well. This disease is different for each individual so please be safe and consult a medical professional! ~


Published by Jana Rosenberger

I blog about my life with Crohn's disease and all things quality-of-life. I don't sugar coat this journey but I do find a way to laugh!

2 thoughts on “Mind Over Matter

  1. Great advice actually for anyone going through a chronic and painful situation. Stress adds so much to a disease or disorder and it can blow anything up bigger than it needs to be. I've just bought a subscription to Headspace https://www.headspace.com/ for my iPhone. It's a 10-15 min. guided relaxation exercise. I call it meditation, but it isn't that in a spiritual sense. The goal of Headspace to actually help you create more space in your head. The crammed up feeling you get with too many thoughts, too much negative mind-talk takes up way too much energy and creates anxiety that generates stress. There's even a feature that pings you everyday as a reminder – I've set mine to 4 pm everyday. Jana, I especially like that you create a self-dialogue to bring logic to your fears. Thanks for sharing.


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