How to manage stress when you have SIBO

In my last blog post, I shared with you how our digestive system functions and how stress can affect our gut. Today, I discuss the importance of having the right mindset when you have SIBO and some proven techniques to help you manage stress.  

Importance of having the right mindset

Many of us go through life unaware of the negative self-chatter going on in our heads. When we feel frustrated, we tend to doubt ourselves and think about the negative outcomes that can happen in our lives. 

This negative inner dialogue can be detrimental as it limits your ability to believe in yourself. It can also dramatically hinder your journey back to health. That’s why having the right mindset is essential when dealing with stress and a chronic illness like SIBO. 

Having a positive mindset allows you to create better relationships, deal with challenges and hurdles positively, and ultimately improve your health and wellbeing. 

If you’re dealing with stress and struggling to have a positive mindset, don’t worry. I’m here to help you. I share with you below some proven techniques that helped me handle stress and manage my thought patterns.

5 Ways to De-stress and Develop a Positive Mindset

5 Ways to De-stress and Develop a Positive Mindset

Meditation and deep breathing exercises

Meditation is beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing as it can help your mind and body relax. Allow yourself a few minutes every day to relax and listen to basic guided meditations. Doing this will help you lower your stress, improve focus and let go of distracting thoughts. 

Deep breathing can also help calm your nervous system and switch you from the sympathetic (fight or flight) to parasympathetic (rest and digest) mode. Try to do some breathing exercises before eating. This can be extremely useful especially if you’re experiencing SIBO symptoms after eating. Simply take a few deep breaths in and out until you feel calmer. If you feel stressed out while eating, take a pause for a while and do some extra deep breaths.

Have some me-time

There are times when we feel like we’re too busy to make time for ourselves because of work or other commitments. However, doing something that makes you feel good can actually help lower your stress and clear your mind. 

Give time for yourself with no distractions every once in a while. One effective way to do this is by booking a time in your calendar for your me-time. Look at your weekly diary and schedule activities you can do alone. It can be as simple as watching a movie, walking your dog or going out for a massage. Remember, you should never feel guilty for taking time for yourself.

Get enough sleep

Having a healthy sleeping routine is very important. When you’ve slept well, your physical response to stress and anxiety is improved as your cortisol has had a chance to be regulated while you sleep.

Start by sticking to a regular sleeping schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Setting an alarm on your phone is also helpful so you get reminded when you should go to bed. 

If you’re still having difficulty establishing a good sleeping routine, turn your bedroom into a sleeping sanctuary. Make your room tidy, cool, dark, and quiet as much as possible. You can also invest in mattress, pillows and bed linens that will make your sleeping time more comfortable. 

Keep in mind that creating a peaceful environment can go a long way to helping you to get more high-quality sleep, so identify what makes you feel relaxed in the bedroom.

Write down your thoughts

Writing is a great way to manage your stress and anxiety. Spending time collecting your thoughts can help improve your mood and allow you to see the bigger picture. It’s also a great way to empower yourself, track your mood, identify negative self-talk and reframe your thoughts.

Take note of your thoughts throughout the day to gauge the frequency with which negative thoughts are occurring. Think about the things that are worrying you. Once they are written down, ask yourself what can be done to resolve any issues or make things better. Doing this will help you feel in control, gain insights and see life in a different perspective.

Talk to someone

Some SIBOers turn away from social connections when they’re stressed or experiencing symptoms. However, connecting with people who love and support you regardless of your SIBO is very important. Surrounding yourself with positive people and talking about your feelings with them can help you feel the release you need.

Our family and friends have the power to lift us up, making our journey back to health easier. So if you’re feeling stressed, whether it’s about your condition or anything else, talk to your loved ones or a psychologist who can support you. 

Building connections with like-minded people is also just as helpful. This is one of the reasons why I developed The Healthy Gut Membership and Live Well With SIBO: 5 Week Challenge (On Demand) program. Having a community where you can learn more about your condition and talk about any worries and concerns can really help you confidently tackle SIBO.

Other supportive measures

  • Work with a SIBO knowledgeable practitioner so you don’t feel you have to know everything and can put your treatment in their hands.
  • Treat yourself for a massage or do some regular bodywork such as visceral manipulation. 
  • Set realistic and achievable goals. Schedule a time when you can plan your day, week or month so you can identify what’s important to work on now or what can be put off later.
  • Find the things that bring you joy. Whether big or small, these things can act as a ray of sunshine behind the dark clouds that can help you manage your stress and anxiety efficiently. 

Want to know more about managing stress and having the right mindset when you have SIBO? Check out my Live Well With SIBO: 5 Week Challenge (On Demand) program.

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