If you want to find what sets off your IBS symptoms, these 4 keys to finding your IBS triggers will help you on your journey.
1) START FROM SCRATCH
If you have had IBS for a long time, you will have read, heard and learned A LOT about IBS. On this journey, it is essential to allow yourself to ditch everything you have been told about IBS, and start from scratch.
(Of course, do follow any medical advice and continue any treatment you have been personally prescribed!)
That way you can rise above all the noise and actually start hearing yourself. And come to your own conclusions about your own unique experience of IBS. Finding your IBS triggers depends on it.
Learn to trust yourself and become your own expert on you.
How do I start finding my IBS triggers?
If you’re not sure WHAT to look for to find your IBS triggers, check out my article on When your IBS symptoms don’t make sense. It will get you started.
2) SLOW DOWN
If you are rushing to work or have a lot on your plate, it will be very difficult to notice anything. Why? Because all of your senses and focus are on what you are doing, and getting things done.
Unless you are extremely gifted, you probably won’t be able to focus on going fast, and focus on your own reactions at the same time.
You will likely miss your IBS triggers, and plough straight into them, setting off your next flare-up.
For you to really start noticing your triggers, you need to take some time when you are not rushing. At a time when you have some space, and some peace and quiet. There are times in our lives that are better for finding IBS triggers than others.
I actually started noticing my triggers when I had a period of not working. But it took a while for my mind to switch out of survival mode and get quiet enough for me to notice.
Once I got my first inkling, I got in the habit of noticing patterns that I just couldn’t see when I was rushing around.
How can I slow down when I have so much to do?
This article on our demanding lives will give you some pointers.
3) GET CURIOUS
It is almost impossible to get curious while you are suffering a lot. Pain takes our attention from anything and everything else. It has you focused the pain, wanting to feel better and Googling ways to suffer less.
The best time to get curiousand start finding your IBS triggers is actually when you are feeling a bit better. This is the time where habitually you’d be rushing to catch up with everything you dropped while you were having a flare-up. So it takes some discipline to regularly take some time to get quiet and focus on you.
That’s why I suggest taking some time every day to let your system wind down and get curious.
Starting with just 10-20 minutes a day will, in time, create a very positive habit. You will train your body and mind that this is the time you are open and curious. A time where you are paying attention to you.
And you’ll be surprised what you notice.
4) BE PATIENT FINDING IBS TRIGGERS
It’s easy to get really serious and frustrated with finding and understanding IBS triggers. After all we don’t want to suffer any more and want answers now. It is also easy to slide into frustration mode – and back into rushing.
The more you can relax and see finding IBS triggers as a bonus, the more likely you are to come across them.
You probably won’t find your IBS triggers overnight. If you are doing this without outside help it can be quite a long process.
But when you do find one of your IBS triggers you will get excited, and this will spur you on. Becoming conscious of a trigger can actually be enough to release it.
The DIY route can be long (it took me over 3 years), but it is worthwhile.
If you want to go faster and are committed to releasing your IBS by Christmas, why not work with me? I have 2 private coaching spots opening up this month.1