IBS: Feeling Anxious or Frustrated – Your Stomach Knows It!



IBS: In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s easy to feel the pressure weighing down upon you…



Meeting after meeting after meeting.

and then home life too (presuming home life isn’t just Microsoft Teams all day lonnnnnggg) – there are kids, bills, relationships etc etc etc


The list of do’s and pressures can feel endless.


But what do you do when that pressure really starts to affect your physical and mental self?

And what are the cues right now that are telling you to pay a bit more attention to yourself?

Let’s start with your gut.


Heightened stress can often lead to stomach issues, and a sign that ‘things ain’t great right now’, can be the onset of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

And as is so often the case, stress can bring on stomach issues, and stomach issues such as IBS can increase stress.

That old negative distress loop that can happen so often with stress-related mental and physical symptoms.

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The IBS Struggle Is Real

Dealing with IBS can be more than a challenge.

Symptoms range from stomach cramps to bloating to constipation, or an increase in diarrhoea – symptoms that are more than just inconvenient – they can be downright disruptive.


The anxiety and frustration that are created through these unpredictable symptoms can make them worse too, trapping you in that relentless cycle.


Depressing too for some people, when these symptoms can lead them to retreat from those things they want to do.

It can limit the want to socialise with friends, spend time with family, or just get out for a good long walk somewhere alone.


Thoughts of stomach issues can hang around like a permanent dark cloud.

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Stuck in the Stress-IBS Cycle? You’re Not Alone

Stress can certainly aggravate IBS symptoms, but the good news is that this stress/IBS cycle isn’t unbreakable.

Recognising the connection between stress and IBS is a critical step towards improvement and relief.

Now, prolonged, stressful times in the day-to-day will constantly switch your body’s “fight-or-flight” response on and off (it’s considered that we are never in a ‘constant’ state of stress), and this on/off/on/off/repeat/repeat/repeat can upset the balance of many natural systems in your body – your physical growth, your reproductive system, your digestive system.


While there’s no specific recovery timeline for IBS after stress begins to subside, subside it must for anyone to begin to feel some degree of relief, regardless of the FODMAP efforts you’ve meticulously put in place.

For managing your stress levels is the key player in you moving towards a noticeable improvement in symptoms.

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Life with Fewer IBS Flare-Ups: 6 Benefits

Imagine a world where stomach worries don’t rule your day. Here’s a brief glimpse of what life might be like with fewer IBS flare-ups:


  • Boosted Confidence: Feeling comfortable and in control can do wonders for your self-esteem.
  • Social Freedom: IBS shouldn’t stop you from enjoying nights out with friends.
  • Improved Work Performance: Say goodbye to worrying about bathroom breaks at the office.
  • Enhanced Travel Experiences: Explore London’s hidden gems without digestive worries, having to plan where the toilets are on your schedule before you leave home
  • Better Sleep: Less stomach discomfort often translates to more restful nights (don’t even start me on how stress impacts sleep – another post, another time)
  • Overall Better Quality of Life: IBS shouldn’t hold you back from you starting to live a good life, especially with better weather around the corner (this is me being hopeful obviously)


Self-Care: Your Buddy Against IBS

Effective IBS management often starts with self-care.

I love promoting a bit of self care, and self care ideas are GOLD.

We’re talking FREE, mostly available in an instant, and let’s face it, you get to take ALL the credit for any improvement. Loads of self-back-slapping to be done here:


  • Mindfulness & Relaxation: I know, not everyone’s brew, but these practices can lower stress and in turn, benefit gut health.
  • Dietary Changes: Avoiding those trigger foods (def some self-research to be done here), can help prevent flare-ups and can help maintain a happier, more manageable and stable stomach
  • Regular Physical Activity: It’s the age-old 3 right? REST – FOOD – EXERCISE. And if you’ve ever wondered why they keep cropping up when mental/physical health articles are written, it’s because they work.

So yes. Exercise can improve digestion and reduce stress.

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But let’s not fall foul thinking we have to run a marathon every day, or eat like those gym-clothed kitchen gods that forever make you feel worse on Instagram or TikTok videos by creating thousand-ingredient boujie smoothies before you squat 10 plates a side.

You don’t need to be perfect (is there such a thing?)

In fact, perfect here IS NOT the goal.

We need to be SMART.


BORING almost.



Do the basics well.

Keep it little, and do your best to keep it often.


I once heard someone say that things that take longer, last longer.

I quite like that one.


Need More Support? Therapy is There

If self-care seems daunting or overwhelming, therapy offers additional support.


Solution-focused hypnotherapy is one of many therapies that can support someone in their efforts to recognise where the stress is, and work through how to reduce and remove that or those particular points of distress.

It can help you to help your system find a level of relief and balance you may not have experienced in months, or possibly even years.

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Hypnotherapy for IBS: Beyond the Myths

Hypnotherapy for IBS is about improving your confidence, self-esteem, and self-sufficiency in being able to tackle those previously difficult-to-handle situations in life.


Now there’s a disclaimer here: it’s all good getting rest, eating well, and taking a regular walk, but if you’re not staying on top of your taxes, or you’re in a difficult relationship that no one is doing anything about (*add in your own personal life stresses here…*), then those stomach discomforts are going no place, fast.

So more often than not, therapy is a two-pronged approach – the adjustment of lifestyle, but also looking at causality.



Additionally, hypnosis offers other benefits too:

    • Helps you find regular, restorative levels of calm, physically and mentally
    • Aids in improving ‘Cognitive Flexibility’: The ability to adopt healthier thought patterns around your concerns, and in general
    • Hypnosis exercises ‘Dissociation’: A mental separation from the distress and discomfort IBS can bring.


Hypnotherapy can help mitigate the body’s stress response, lowering adrenaline and cortisol, and easing unwanted and uncomfortable IBS symptoms.


Embrace Control Over Your IBS

IBS doesn’t have to be your constant companion. 


By understanding the stress-IBS connection, practicing self-care, and exploring supportive options like solution focused hypnotherapy, you can take back control of your gut health and start to enjoy your days once again.



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