The mind-body connection impacts me particularly with my stomach problems. I have IBS, SIBO, chronic nausea, and dyspepsia. There are seemingly minor issues but they impact my everyday life. I am so grateful to be in good health overall but I can't pretend like the nausea, vomiting, indigestion, stomach aches, bloating, fatigue, and intolerances don't affect me.
What is really interesting is the effect my mental state has on my physical symptoms and vice versa. Although my stomach problems are not caused by stress and anxiety, those feelings definitely exacerbate the issues.
For the longest time I want to disassociate my mental health from my physical health because
1) combined they seemed like too much to handle, and
2) I was afraid that I would never be able to reduce my anxiety enough to actually fix my stomach problems. I want the cure to lie entirely elsewhere.
Here are some things that have really helped me and can apply to any issue, illness, or pain!
1. Trust your gut, literally.
Your gut and brain are intimately connected and send signals to one another. Your gut has its own nervous system.
2. Learn what lifestyle and routine works for YOU.
I get into bed at 9pm every night even though everyone keeps hanging out. It improves my mood and my physical well-being so much. I keep a strict morning routine and eat at the same times of day to help my digestive system.
3. Don't compare your pain to someone else's.
It is great to be able to put things into perspective and practice gratitude but it is also important to recognize the obstacles you have overcome. What someone else is going through does not change what you are going through.
4. Do what is "healthy" for you.
I've tried so many prescriptions, supplements, probiotics, food plans, exercise plans, etc. to try to be "healthy" and fix my guy but I have found that there is no one size fits all guide to being healthy. Everything I did was good to experiment with what worked for me and ultimately I've found a mix of things that really work. It has been 3 years since I was throwing up everyday and I still get bloated and nauseous but I am headed in the right direction!
5. Keep asking for help until the problem is resolved!
I was dismissed many times for just having a stomach ache or having regular old IBS. Even if you get a diagnosis it is not a treatment or a cure. Keep asking for how to fix the problem and try different solutions until you find the best one.