Crohn’s disease can be painful and debilitating at times. Flare-ups are unpredictable and can occur when you least expect it, so you may prefer staying close to home.
Since there’s no cure for Crohn’s disease, relief usually comes when you’re in remission. These are periods when symptoms disappear, allowing you to lead an active, symptom-free life. But remission doesn’t occur for everyone. And even if you achieve remission, your symptoms could return later.
Living with this disease can trigger emotional distress and negatively affect your outlook on life — but it doesn’t have to. You may not be able to change your situation, but you can change your perspective. It’s easy to drown in negative emotions when you’re dealing with Crohn’s disease. But if you’re able to rewrite the script and reprogram your brain, you might feel better.
Here are five positive affirmations and thoughts to help you cope with your next Crohn’s flare-up.
1. ‘Tomorrow, I will wake up stronger than today.’
Because Crohn’s can be unpredictable, you don’t know how you’ll feel from one day to the next. You may fall into a habit of thinking every day will be bad, and dread getting up in the mornings.
Just because today was hard doesn’t mean that tomorrow will be, too. If you tell yourself that you’ll feel terrible in the morning, it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. On the other hand, if you go to bed with a positive attitude, you can convince yourself you’ll wake up a stronger, healthier person. As a result, you may look forward to opening your eyes in the morning.
If you start your day with a positive attitude, you may be able to maintain it throughout the day.
To keep a positive attitude, come up with a schedule for the next day before going to bed. Make sure you include a few fun activities in your schedule. This way, even if you experience a bad event at some point during the day, you’ll have something to look forward to.
2. ‘I will bring positive energy into my life.’
If you’re having a Crohn’s flare-up, don’t surround yourself with people who complain about their health problems. Their attitudes can be contagious, making you depressed, anxious, or upset.
Getting through a Crohn’s flare-up may require the support of your friends and family. During these times, eliminate as much negative energy from your life as possible. When you surround yourself with people who know how to make the best of any situation, their excitement may rub off on you and help you forget your problems.
3. ‘I control my body. I will not allow pain to control me.’
Crohn’s disease can keep you isolated and alone. You might avoid going to a movie, restaurant, or shopping mall due to fears of a flare-up. But since Crohn’s is a long-term illness, don’t let symptoms control your life.
Take the above words to heart and then take steps to improve how you manage your symptoms. This will allow you to live life to the fullest. Rather than avoid public places, prepare in advance for the possibility of a flare-up.
Whether you’re headed to a restaurant, movie theater, or anywhere else, always know the location of the nearest restrooms in case of a flare-up. Also, carry essential items with you, such as an extra pair of underwear and clothes, or moist wipes in the event of an accident.
The more prepared you are, the more comfortable and confident you’ll be when leaving the house. If you’re able to live life without feeling like a prisoner, you may also become a happier person who doesn’t focus on their illness.
4. ‘I will find joy in the simple pleasures.’
Living with Crohn’s disease may not be the ideal situation. But rather than become preoccupied with your illness, shift your mind and focus on life’s pleasures. To do this, you must live in the moment and remember the good in your life. While Crohn’s can limit or prevent your participation in some activities, there’s still a lot you can do and enjoy.
Mindfulness is a practice that can help you concentrate your thoughts on the present moment and become fully aware of what’s happening around you. This technique can also help you cope with everyday problems and reduce your stress level, which is important with Crohn’s. Stress doesn’t cause Crohn’s disease, but it can exacerbate symptoms.
5. ‘Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional.’ —Tim Hansel
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease can be mild, moderate, or severe, so you can expect bad days. This quote can help you maintain perspective, as it stresses an important point: ultimately, you control how you feel.
You can’t control your physical pain, but you can choose your attitude.
Try to make peace with the pain, and search deep inside yourself to find your happy spot. Think about what brings you joy and fulfillment. This might be spending quality time with loved ones, art, photography, gardening, or another activity.
If you have enough strength during a flare-up, get involved in an activity that puts a smile on your face. By distracting yourself with a fun, enjoyable activity, you won’t have enough head space to dwell on pain and other symptoms.
You can’t wish away Crohn’s disease. However, giving yourself an encouraging pep talk from time to time can have a tremendous impact on your outlook. Crohn’s can be painful and debilitating, but it doesn’t have to control you or bury you in a dark cloud.