My irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) had been under control for the past few months. However, my symptoms began to return gradually. My gastroenterologist reminded me of the connection between stress and digestive issues, so I made a conscious effort to eliminate stress from my life. For example, I’ve avoided situations that are common culprits for me such as watching the nightly news and struggling to learn new technology. I began watching reruns of a sitcom I find laugh-out-loud funny. I’ve added a walking program to my daily routine and stuck to it even on days when pain and fatigue were running rampant. I stocked up on books at the library – all of the novels I’ve wanted to read but put off because I thought I lacked the time. Reading is therapeutic for me. It’s meditative and calming; I was sure it would reduce my stress even further. But despite my best efforts, stress found me, even while I was reading, or walking, or laughing, or doing nothing in particular.