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Managing stress

It is normal to feel increased levels of stress, tension, and anxiety when you are planning to have surgery and spend time in the hospital. The stress response happens when your body and mind are getting you ready to cope with an event or time that may feel difficult or scary.

Signs of stress

People react to stress in different ways. There are some general signs of stress:

  • constant fatigue (feeling tired)
  • trouble concentrating
  • a change in eating habits
  • a change in normal bowel or bladder habits
  • aches or pains not caused by exercise
  • a change in normal sleep patterns
  • emotional upsets (irritability, anger, anxiety, depression)
  • increased heart rate
  • shallow, rapid breathing
  • increased muscle tension

Spiritual care

Your body, mind and spirit are connected. The stress on your body can affect your spirit. Feelings of how you relate to others, yourself, the world around you, or a higher power may arise.

As you try to make meaning of what is going on, you may feel grief, fear, guilt, shame, isolation, brokenness, anger, despair, helplessness, among others.

Members of the Spiritual Care staff can support you and your family members or friends during your hospital stay. They will listen and support your spiritual needs. They can also help with prayer, guided meditation and other calming and centering practices to lessen your stress and help with your healing and recovery.

Ask your nurse to set up a meeting for you with a member of the Spiritual Care staff.

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Understanding Your Colon or Rectal Surgery, can-ah-95399
First Published: 01/24/2013
Last Reviewed: 08/15/2017