Building a daily meditation practice to help manage IBS

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You'll often hear about the benefits of meditation and it's worth trying if you have stress-triggered IBS. Why meditate? Meditation helps reduce the production of cortisol (which is linked to stress) as well as helping get your body in more of a "rest and digest" state. The largest benefits of meditation are experienced when you practice daily, but sometimes when life gets busy it can feel difficult to stick to a daily practice. However there are some simple things you can do to build your practice into a habit so it's something you do almost automatically. Choose a time of day you know will be easiest for you; for me it's first thing before I have any distractions. However you may find your lunch break or just before bed is best for your schedule and body clock.

What You'll Need

  • Your phone calendar
  • A guided meditation on your phone (I like the Insight Timer app or search You Tube for the type of meditation and length you like)

What You'll Do

  • Choose a time of day and length of time you know you can commit to for the next 3 weeks.
  • Set this time up in your mobile phone calendar as an appointment with a pop up reminder for at least 21 days.
  • Use the reminder to trigger your meditation session.
  • As an extra reminder you may like to print a calendar off and place it somewhere visible. After each meditation session tick the date or add a gold star sticker (you could even build in a reward after 21 days!).

Tips & Warnings

  • Start small and build up the length of your meditation sessions. According to Charles Duhigg, it can take at least 21 days to build a habit (and sometimes longer) so stick with it! Meditation may not be suitable if you are suffering from certain mental health issues, such as schizophrenia or some personality disorders; please check with your GP or medical specialist first before taking part in any meditation.
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