9 Ways for People With Ulcerative Colitis to Handle Stress

Erica Sanderson | Feb 12th 2015 Aug 30th 2017

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Having ulcerative colitis (UC) can be very stressful, and the problem is that too much stress can help cause a flare up. Here are some tips to help you cope with stress.

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Yoga

Yoga is a great way to release stress. It also can have many benefits for your body, such as poses that target better digestion. If you’re a beginner, start off slow and never stay in a pose that causes pain. Speak with your doctor before starting yoga to make sure it’s safe for your body.

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Meditation

Meditation can be incorporated into your yoga practice, but try to have a separate time for just  meditating. Sit and take deep breathes to release the tension and stress you may not even realize you’re carrying. Sitting still can be very challenging, but it will become easier the more you try it. You can also focus on your different thoughts or repeat a calming mantra to yourself. Do what feels best for you.

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Journaling or blogging

Holding in your stress and anxiety can only make it worse. Let it out! Put your feelings and thoughts down on paper, or if you’re more open about your condition, post it online. Sometimes seeing your fears and anxieties spelled out in front of you will help you identify destructive thought patterns and make it easier to reduce stress and worry.

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Informative books

There are plenty of helpful books that you can read about techniques for coping with stress. Learn about how emotions work. Understanding mental health is equally as important as learning about your physical health.

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Exercise

Exercise releases endorphins to improve mood and is also a great outlet when you’re stressed–not to mention the benefits for your overall health.  You might want to look into creating a specialized program with a trainer to best cater to your body. But make sure you speak with your doctor before starting an exercise regimen.

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Support groups

Talk with other UC patients. You can vent to someone who can relate and who may also have great tips for how they cope. There are many great resources, such as Girls With Guts or the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA).

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Time outdoors

Breathing in fresh air and enjoying the outdoors can be very relaxing. Stroll along the beach and listen to  the soothing sounds of the tide. Walk in the forest and smell the fresh scent of the woods. Even going in your backyard and soaking up the sun can be a refreshing change of scenery.

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Fun with friends & family

Blow off some stress by having a fun day with friends or family. Laughing is actually fantastic stress-relief. Forget about your worries for a few hours and enjoy the present with your loved ones.

NEXT: What 'Healthy' Means with IBD
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