Stress is a pain for many, but for sufferers of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s it can often lead to a higher frequency of flare-ups and more severe symptoms. 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!

Amidst all of the baby animal videos and make up tutorials, 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 and schedule – 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 now literally at your fingertips and these are just some of the options out there waiting for you.

Guided meditation

Meditation isn’t just for monks. A guided meditation involves you the listener 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; you simply press play and follow the steps. These kinds of videos range from a few minutes to over an hour, meaning now you can fit in a meditation session while you’re on a tea break! Even a quick session may be able to calm the storm, easing your insides and providing you with some much needed relief.

Yoga tutorials

Regular yoga practice boasts a slew of mind-body benefits, from increased mindfulness to better strength and flexibility. But actually getting out of bed to make it to that 6am class can be quite a steep mountain to climb first thing in the morning, not to mention the expense associated with some yoga schools.

Luckily, YouTube is packed full of free yoga tutorials; covering the entire difficulty curve from beginners, all the way to those who can stand on their head for minutes at a time. A search for ‘yoga tutorial’ brings up thousands of results so there is bound to be plenty of classes that suit your skill level and schedule. If your IBD is playing up, yoga can offer some relief by calming the mind and gently moving and stretching the 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 tackle when you’re mid-flare-up.

Relaxing music

Sometimes all it takes to unwind is the soothing sound of chimes, or pan flutes, or…well, we could just go on forever. What people find relaxing truly differs from person to person (traffic noise anyone!?), but if it exists, it’s bound to be 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. Those calming synthesizers could be just the trick to unwinding your cramped bowel and giving you the peace you’re seeking.

ASMR

This one’s a little different, but bear with us! 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 community has grown in popularity and numbers since 2010, with some ASMR videos racking up more than 2 million views. At the end of the day it’s just another way of relaxing, and you never know how helpful this approach might be when you’re staring down the barrel of stress (and a knotted tummy).

19/09/2014 IRIS number AU-REM0326

July Post 4 Youtube