Fred Brown is director of nursing psychiatry at Rush
By Fred Brown
Minor daily stressors can actually be good for us, keeping us on our toes, alert and even motivated. But as many of us know, stress can get away from us and feel out of control very quickly.
Excessive stress can have a negative effect on your health and lead to more severe issues such as anxiety, depression and even cardiac events.
Here are five ways you can celebrate national Stress Awareness Month and minimize stressors in your daily life:
Laugh and connect
We’ve all heard the phrase “laughter is the best medicine,” and you may have had the experience when a good belly laugh felt like you just took an emotional jog around the block. Many of us are together daily and have been together for years, knowing each other well. Connecting with each other on a daily basis is important. Take time each day to enjoy your relationships through laughing or having lunch together.
1. Identify and manage major stressors in your daily life. While stress does not cause inflammatory bowel disease, research has demonstrated that it may trigger flare-up. It is therefore important to recognize what causes significant stress in your life and take action to decrease these stressors.
2. Reach out to family and friends for ongoing social support. Do not isolate!
3. Educate yourself about your disease. The more you know about your IBD, the more you can advocate for yourself. Stay informed about new developments in treatment, including medications.
4. Find a doctor you trust. Not every doctor is for every patient. If your doctor is not meeting your needs, do not hesitate to seek a second opinion.
5. Connect with other IBD patients. As supportive as family and friends may be, they may not be able to relate to exactly what you are going through and what you are concerned about. It may be helpful to speak with other IBD patients, either in-person or online.
6. Adhere to medication. Make sure to take your medication exactly as prescribed. Do not make changes to your medication without consulting your doctor first. Continue reading →