2015 May

The Terrific Twelve: Reducing #Stress & Ultimately #IBS

Hi Sisters! In the past few weeks, I have been doing a little experiment. I went to get a massage, and I had some time to meditate. I lied there and realized, I really cause myself a lot of stress. I started thinking about all the times that my cortisol levels spike do to self-induced stress, and I was shocked! I know that IBS comes from stress and anxiety, so why was I not doing everything I could to reduce stress that I was causing? Well, I’ve done something about it, and I really am starting to feel better! Not only about my IBS, but about life! Take a look at these Terrific Twelve Things to try, and let me know what you think!

1. Meditate upon waking and before going to sleep. I had a conversation with my sister recently about meditation. I thought to meditate, you had to clear your mind completely. My mind is always racing. She reassured me that meditation is what it needs to be. As long as you are thinking in the now, not in the past or future, only in the present, you are meditating. There are other kinds of imagery meditating that you can imagine being someplace with whomever, and try to forget your worries. I’ve even used YouTube videos with guided meditation! It’s really good for the soul, and the tummy 🙂

2. Hug your significant other when you first wake up, or someone, at least once a day! Physical touch makes everyone feel more at ease, so if you can do this first thing in the morning, you’ll set up your day to be a great one! We can get really busy, but make sure you are hugging someone, your body will thank you!

3. Yoga! Be a Yogi 3-4 days/week. Yoga is proven to relieve stress, slim you down, and help with digestion! Doing a half hour of Hatha Yoga in the morning will also warm up your muscles, burn calories (107/30 mins, low intensity) and clear your mind for the day ahead! Yoga also diminishes levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can cause you to store unwanted fat! Here are some poses to try! Fun Fact: Hatha yoga refers to a set of physical exercises (known as asanas, or yoga positions/postures), and the sequences of asanas, designed to align your skin, muscles, and bones. The postures are also designed to open the many channels of the body—especially the main channel, the spine—so that energy can flow freely.

4. Don’t be rushed. I used to sit on the couch until the last possible second, which was usually too late, resulting in me being rushed. I used to finish putting my make up on at stoplights (terrible, I know!), and I would get so flustered trying to carry all my things and get everything together on time. Not to mention the stress of traffic and running late. I have made a vow to myself that make up is not allowed in the car, I get off the couch five minutes earlier, and you wouldn’t believe the difference it makes! I’ve also started washing my hair at night, which helps with the morning as well!

5. Daily Water Free App (Drink more water, take 10 Deep Breaths). This is kind of a double whammy for me. I want to make sure I’m drinking enough water throughout the day, at least 8 glasses, so this App reminds me, whenever I want it to, to drink more water. I have it set at 5:30 AM when I get up to drink a glass, and then about every 2 hours after that. I’m also going to use this for when I see this alarm go off, to take 10 deep breaths. This will keep me mindful of drinking more water and taking deep breaths, and also hold me accountable. I love this!

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6. Lavender Oil and Lotion. I put lavender oil in my bath tub, on my neck at nighttime, and drop it on me after getting ready in the morning as well. I do this as a relaxation method. If I can have a scent to help relax my nerves, morning, noon, and night, why not?! It makes me think of the Frank’s Hot Sauce Slogan.. “Lavender Oil, I put that sh*t on every thing!” 🙂 There are also really amazing lavender lotions. There’s something therapeutic about applying lotion, and it’s a bonus that the scent is relaxing 🙂 Trader Joes has a bottle for only $4.99. Lavender is Lovely!


7. Lay out clothes the night before. As you’ve read, I’ve had problems with my weight since I started birth control, which I haven’t taken since November, but my body still hasn’t leveled off yet. With that being said, a lot of my clothes still do not fit. I used to have the worst time in the mornings trying on 3-4 outfits, and when your clothes don’t fit, that’s not a good feeling! So, I was basically ruining my day before it ever started, not to mention the time that took up in the morning! Regardless if your clothes fit or not, laying out your clothes the night before saves time 🙂 LESS AM STRESS! 

TIP: You can also lay your gym clothes out the night before 🙂 They even say if you sleep in your gym clothes, you’re more likely to go!

8. Compliment Yourself. It’s so easy to compliment others, and see the good in others. But what about ourselves?  As you have heard, we are our own worst critic. We tell ourselves we look fat, ugly, BLOATED, not smart enough, we messed up..All of this is detrimental to our psyche! We would never tell our friends these things about them, so why don’t we treaet ourselves just as good? Pat yourself on the back! Don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes we always feel like we could do things better, that’s human nature! But just try to be easier on yourself, you deserve it 🙂

9. Charge your phone in your bathroom. No “FaceTime” one hour before bed. 

I’ve been charging my phone in the bathroom, and I put my phone away an hour before shut eye. They say that there’s a light that shines through on our smart phones that actually trigger an awakening sensor in the brain. Not something that you want when you’re trying to get good night’s sleep! So, I don’t have my face in my phone an hour before bed, and with charging my phone in the bathroom, I even have to get up to shut off the alarm in the morning. It’s a win, win!

10. Take a hot bath at night with lavender and Epson salts. Epson Salts can soothe the mind, body, and soul by relaxing the nervous system. It can also help with migraines, healing cuts and sores, sore muscles and limbs, and can even draw toxins out of the body. The link below has some more great info about how great a hot bath and a few cups of Epson Salts can be for your health! Oh yeah, and wash that hair! 🙂

Epsom Salt


11. Read at least one page of a book, every day. Read before bed. I am an extrovert. As much as I like the idea of reading, I don’t do it a lot. I go in “phases”. Sometimes I just can’t focus to read unless it’s a REALLY good book. I much rather be “working myself up” as my husband calls it, on my iPad or iPhone. I have made a vow to myself to read at least one page of a book a day, and do so before bed to get sleepy. I’ve noticed just being mindful of this, I’m reading a lot more than one page a day! Reading makes me way more knowledgeable than Instagram & Facebook ever could 🙂

12. Get 8 hours of sleep per night. Just try it! I used to go to bed at 10:30 and get up at 5:30, and now if I’m asleep by 9:30 PM, I feel SO much better! Less phone time in the bed has definitely helped me go to bed earlier 🙂

You may already do some of these Terrific Twelve, but if not, I encourage you to try at least some of them! They really have made a difference in my stress, and my IBS! 

XOXO, IBS Sister

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