Aids in all symptoms of LARS but most specifically, anxiety and depression
There is a lot to be said about mindfulness and the symptoms of LARS. The mind is a powerful thing and can have a direct effect on symptoms. Have you ever noticed that your bowels correlate certain events with evacuation? As soon as you get home? A certain time of the day? Your mind can trigger and associate stimuli in the body to have a response to nerve endings. For this reason, meditation, a positive attitude (yes, we know if it hard), faith and prayer as well as getting into a regular routine will all have positive impact on your condition. If you are struggling with anxiety and depression, seek help so that you can work on mindfulness at your full capacity. Many patients report that mindfulness and getting back to regular things like work and exercise, have the biggest impact on improvement of symptoms. Here are a few small suggestions for mindful practice:
Yoga– Yoga can help strengthen your mind and body. Yoga can be simple or intense but can be done in the comfort of your own home.
Meditation- Stress and brain fog can have serious impact on how our bodies function. Spending time each day in an effort to relax the mind and focus on breathing has been known to provide significant improvements in function and lesson symptoms. A suggestion is to start with 5 minutes a day. Clear your mind completely and take deep full breaths. Sometimes looking at tangible things around you while doing this can help with mind distraction. Many books and videos on mindfulness and meditation can be helpful. Remember they call it a practice for a reason.
Nature walks- Taking a walk outside and focusing on your surroundings can help reduce stress and improve your overall sense of well-being. Many people living with LARS incorporate this into their daily regimen.
Gratitude list- It may sound silly- but taking the time to write down things that are going well can help get away from the insanity that comes with living with LARS. Start your list with being a cancer survivor- and go from there.
Peer to Peer support– Connecting with those who share in your challenges with LARS can help you feel supported and understood. People who share common challenges can often be the best form of wellness. For more information and links to peer to peer support- see section on peer to peer support below.