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Finding Calm Amidst the Storm: Relaxation Techniques for Managing IBS-D
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Finding Calm Amidst the Storm: Relaxation Techniques for Managing IBS-D

Living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea (IBS-D) can be challenging, often causing discomfort and stress. While IBS-D symptoms can be overwhelming, incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine can help provide. This blog will explore various relaxation strategies that can help you manage IBS-D symptoms and improve your overall well-being.

  • Deep Breathing Exercises: Deep breathing is a simple yet powerful technique that can help calm your nervous system and alleviate IBS-D symptoms. Practice diaphragmatic breathing by inhaling deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to expand, and exhaling slowly through your mouth. Focusing on your breath can help reduce anxiety and promote a sense of tranquility, which in turn can positively impact your digestive system.           


Try the 4-7-8 breathing technique.

  1. Breathe in deeply for 4 seconds.

  2. Hold your breath for 7 seconds.

  3. Exhale slowly for 8 seconds.

  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in your body. This technique can help you become more aware of physical tension and learn to release it. Starting from your toes and working your way up to your head, tense each muscle group for a few seconds, then release. This practice can help reduce stress and promote a sense of relaxation throughout your body.

  • Mindfulness Meditation: Mindfulness meditation involves focusing your attention on the present moment without judgment. By practicing mindfulness, you can enhance your awareness of bodily sensations and emotions, helping you manage stress and anxiety associated with IBS-D. Engaging in regular mindfulness meditation can create a sense of inner calm and improve your ability to cope with flare-ups.

  • Yoga and Gentle Stretching: Yoga and gentle stretching can help relieve muscle tension, improve circulation, and promote relaxation. Certain yoga poses, such as child's pose, cat-cow, and seated twists, can be particularly beneficial for soothing IBS-D symptoms. Regular practice can enhance flexibility, reduce stress, and contribute to better digestive health.

  • Guided Imagery: Guided imagery involves using your imagination to create calming mental images. Find a quiet space, close your eyes, and visualize a peaceful scene, such as a serene beach or a lush forest. As you immerse yourself in the imagery, your body's stress response can diminish, potentially leading to a reduction in IBS-D symptoms.

  • Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils to promote relaxation and emotional well-being. Certain scents, such as lavender, chamomile, and peppermint, have been known to have calming effects. You can use essential oils in a diffuser, as a part of massage oil, or by adding a few drops to your bathwater.

  • Progressive Relaxation Audio: Listening to a guided progressive relaxation audio can be an effective way to unwind. There are many apps and online resources that offer audio recordings specifically designed to guide you through relaxation exercises. These recordings can help you let go of tension and stress, providing a sense of relief from IBS-D symptoms.

Living with IBS-D can be a challenging journey, but incorporating relaxation techniques into your routine can help manage symptoms and improve your quality of life. By practicing the above relaxation techniques, you can create a toolkit of strategies to support your physical and emotional well-being. Remember that consistency is key, so try different techniques and find what works best for you.

People at a yoga class stretching.


Disclaimer: These are recommendations only. If your symptoms are affecting you, it is important to talk with a medical professional.

4-7-8 Breathing: How It Works, How to Do It, and More (healthline.com)

Relaxation Techniques to Manage IBS Symptoms - About IBS

Taking Essential Oils for Your IBS (verywellhealth.com)




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