Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Ulcerative Colitis Health Center

Font Size

Manage Your Stress to Ease Ulcerative Colitis

Stress doesn’t cause ulcerative colitis (UC). But if it spirals out of control, it can make your symptoms worse.

So make it a priority to notice and manage the things that get to you. Take a good look at how you respond. Use these simple tips to tap into relaxation and relief. 

Recommended Related to Ulcerative Colitis

Going to College With Ulcerative Colitis

Making the transition to college with ulcerative colitis can feel overwhelming at times. You're dealing with new demands of schoolwork and social life. On top of that, you're adjusting to a new living environment while managing a chronic illness. If you’re living on campus, you may be sharing a dorm room and bathroom. And you’ll want to be careful about eating cafeteria food that triggers ulcerative colitis symptoms. Just because you have UC doesn't mean you can’t thrive in every facet of college...

Read the Going to College With Ulcerative Colitis article > >

1. Just Breathe

Inhale, exhale. You do it 24-7, usually without noticing it at all. Take a moment to tune in to your breathing. It’s an easy, do-it-anywhere way to soothe your body and mind.

Take a slow, deep breath, filling your lungs with air. Then let the air out slowly and fully, feeling your muscles loosen up as you do. Take several deep breaths whenever you feel stressed out. Deep breathing not only relaxes your mind, it also sends more blood flowing through your body.

You can boost the benefits when you combine breathing with another relaxation technique.

Yoga blends deep breathing with stretching and strengthening poses. It also helps with stress and ongoing pain. One study even showed that yoga might calm inflammation, a key part of UC.

Meditation involves observing your breath, or focusing on a word or an image in your mind. Other thoughts will come up. That’s fine, and normal! Try to let those distractions float by without chasing or judging them.  Research shows that as little as 20 minutes of meditation a day can cut levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Try 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes before you go to bed.

2. Walk It Off

When you work out, your body releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Studies show that exercise can also lower stress and relieve some UC symptoms.

Depending on how severe your condition is, you may need to limit how much and how hard you exercise. Don't overdo it. Even a moderate 10-minute walk each day counts, and you'll feel better for it.

3. Take a Time-out

Include some "me time" on your to-do list. Take a few minutes to do something you really enjoy. Some ideas:

  • Listen to your favorite music.
  • Read a book.
  • Spend some time in a park or your garden.
  • Call a good friend.
  • Take a yoga class.
  • Try a new recipe.
  • Use a foam roller or a tennis ball to unknot tense muscles.
  • Take a warm shower or bath.

Today on WebMD

basket of vegetables
IBD Overview Slideshow
Ulcerative Colitis Managing Flares
what is ibs

Supplements UC
Ulcerative Colitis Health Check
Ulcerative Colitis Diet
Ulcerative Colitis Diet Yogurt

Ulcerative Colitis Surgery
Ulcerative Colitis Medications
Exercising When You Have A GI Disorder
Picture Of The Intestines
Image Collection