YouTube for you

Stress is common for many people, but for sufferers of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) it can often lead to more flare ups. Careful planning plays a huge role in managing your diet and you should take the same approach when it comes to stress relief. Luckily, YouTube is here to help.

There is a growing community of YouTubers who are creating videos to help people relax, stress less and reduce their anxiety. Stress-reduction is best achieved by acknowledging your individual needs, working out what triggers stress or anxiety for you, what helps alleviate it and giving yourself the time to deal with it properly.

With your trusty smart phone, tablet or computer and some headphones, a world of relaxation is literally at your fingertips. These are just some of the options out there waiting for you.

Guided meditation

The best part of meditation? It’s available to you anytime, anywhere! But if meditation is not something you’re familiar with, it can help to have a guide.

Guided meditation involves you sitting or lying calmly and comfortably, as a spoken voice leads you through the process of resting your mind and bringing about a profound sense of stillness. It doesn’t require any kind of background knowledge or study – simply press play and follow the steps. Meditation videos available online range from a few minutes to over an hour, meaning that you can now fit in a meditation session while you’re on a tea break! Even a quick session could calm the storm, easing your insides and providing you with some vital relief.

Yoga tutorials

Yoga is fantastic for your mind and body. Regular practice is known to increase mindfulness, as well as strengthen your body and increase flexibility.

For some of us, it can be difficult to find the time, or the money, to attend a yoga class. Luckily, YouTube is packed full of free yoga tutorials for beginners and experts alike. A search for ‘yoga tutorial’ brings up thousands of results, so there is bound to be a class that suits your skill level. If your IBD is playing up, yoga can offer some relief by calming the mind and gently moving and stretching your body. A YouTube search for ‘Yoga for digestion’, ‘restorative yoga’ or ‘yin yoga’ (a peaceful, slow, sustained style of yoga) will give you plenty of results for relaxing classes that you can try when you have a flare up.

Relaxing music

Sometimes all it takes to unwind is the soothing sounds of wind chimes, or heavy metal, if you’re into that sort of thing. What people find relaxing truly differs from person to person, but if it exists, it is likely to be available on YouTube. A relaxing mix tape can provide a general sense of calm as you work, or even help you drift off to sleep if you’re suffering from insomnia or anxiety. There are even YouTube videos of traffic noises and breaking waves if that floats your boat.

ASMR

This one’s a little different, but hear us out. ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response and refers to a tingling sensation some people get from listening to different kinds of sounds. There’s an entire community, which has grown around this phenomenon, with regular people making all kinds of videos designed to give listeners a relaxing experience. Some take on a role-playing scenario, such as a virtual trip to the hairdressers, whilst others play with different sound textures like sand and paper.

The ASMR community has grown in popularity in recent years, with some ASMR videos racking up more than 2 million views. At the end of the day, it is just another way of relaxing, and you never know how helpful this approach might be when you’re stressed or having an IBD flare up.