Mind your mood

Living with a long-term disease like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can be stressful and have a big effect on your mood. We all have our good days and bad days, but when you live with IBD, some days can be worse than others. Here are a few tips to help you identify your various moods, and more importantly, stay in the right headspace.

Four main causes of stress

  • Environment: Stress caused by what is going on around you, such as a busy work week, rainy weather, a traffic accident or even bad news on TV.
  • Social Networks: Your partner, children or co-workers can unwillingly make you stressed. Life events such as marriage, divorce or bereavements can also be contributing factors.
  • Your body: Your body can sometime let you down. Unexpected sickness, pain, tiredness or injuries can sometimes get you down.
  • Your thoughts: Your mind can play tricks on you. Even when everything is fine and dandy, your thoughts may wander and result in unnecessary stress.

Know your mood

Managing stress starts with identifying the stressors in your life. It is a good idea to start a journal to record events and places that may have made you feel stressed. This can help you understand your stressors, so that you can avoid similar situations in the future or develop coping mechanisms. Your stress journal could look something like this:

My stress journal

List the things that caused you stress today. How did you react to the event? What did you do in response to the stressful event?