If you live with ulcerative colitis, you know that flares can come out of nowhere and disrupt your life. The stress of managing a chronic illness can be huge, and it's only compounded by the fact that there is no cure for UC. But even though there's no magic pill to make ulcerative colitis go away, there are things you can do to help manage your symptoms and find some peace. One of those things is meditation.
Meditation has been shown to be helpful for all sorts of health conditions, both physical and mental. For people with UC, meditation can help reduce stress, ease pain, and improve sleep. And the best part is that it's something you can do anywhere, anytime. All you need is a quiet place to sit or lie down and a few minutes to focus on your breath.
Here's a step-by-step guide to meditating for UC:
- Find a comfortable position. You can sit in a chair with your feet on the floor or lie down on your back with your legs slightly apart. If you're sitting, make sure your spine is straight but not rigid. And if you're lying down, be sure to put a pillow under your knees to keep your back from arching.
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Once you've settled into a rhythm of breathing, focus your attention on your breath itself. Follow each inhale and exhale from start to finish without letting your mind wander off.
- If your mind does wander off (and it will!), just gently bring it back to the present moment without judgment or frustration.
- Continue meditating for 5-10 minutes or longer if you like. When you're finished, sit for a minute or two with your eyes closed before slowly getting up and going about your day.
Meditation won't take away the stress of living with ulcerative colitis completely, but it can help you find some peace in the midst of it all. The next time you're feeling overwhelmed by UC symptoms or flare-up anxiety, give meditation a try. It just might help you feel calmer and more in control.