When I was still suffering from IBS, I could not see the effects of the dark side of IBS. Now I can clearly see this spiral, and I’m sharing it with you so you can start noticing it too – and acting on it.
Where the dark side of IBS starts
Every morning when I woke up, it would start. I hadn’t been sleeping well either with my stomach and abdomen groaning most of the night.
The moment I opened my eyes that I could feel something started. Like a timer switch on the washing machine.
My stomach area was ULTRA-sensitive first thing.
Maybe that sounds familiar?
So naturally I would start thinking “OH no!”
And I would start worrying about how the hell I was going to get up, get the kids up and take them to school on time, and get myself to work.
(I’m sure you have a similar version…)
Plus there was that awful meeting at work where I was supposed to be presenting something I had no interest in whatsoever. The same old bla bla!
I would attempt to keep on my smiling mask, while inside my intestines blasted off into space and joined the dark side of the galaxy.
How we can keep the dark side of IBS going (and not even notice)
This dark side of IBS actually became a habit for me, and a downward spiral.
The habit of letting fear and worry take over the show – like clouds blotting out the sun.
The problem is that this downward spiral self-perpetuates.
AND it has been scientifically proven that healthy people are the ones that spend most of their time in the lighter emotions, whilst the people who experience the heavier emotions have more health problems.
How to reverse the dark side of IBS
It’s not easy to reverse this spiral when you have IBS – for sure.
Pain keeps us down. It is urgent and attention-grabbing.
So how then?
By understanding that this downwards spiral is created by routine thoughts and heavier emotions, like these examples:
I wonder if I’ll be in a state to….. [worry/feeling inadequate]
Gees, I can hardly get up! [worry/fear it will get worse]
This hurts, and this hurts. [upset, depressed/powerless]
And I spend SO much time in the toilet! [annoyance/shame/powerless]
Now, all this is all totally normal if you feel like xxxx! Pain takes a lot of our attention as it feels bad.
However, the attention we constantly give it, along with the feeling of being powerless, can keep us in that cycle.
Improving the dark cycle
When you wake up – and as often as you can during the day – make a conscious decision to distract yourself and think about something else.
Do whatever you can to get your mind on something a little more empowering or positive.
Even if it’s just noticing that it’s not raining outside.
Or noticing blossom on a tree.
Or you’re pleased that something you ordered has arrived.
Maybe “it’s nearly the weekend!”
These little lighter thoughts may seem trivial, BUT they can powerfully halt the downward spiral.
This takes some practice, so you need to do this every day until it becomes automatic.
The more you train your mind to notice the little things that are going well, the less space the dark side of IBS will take up in your life.
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