Managing Stress after Weight Loss Surgery
Stress is something that every person has to deal with in one way or another. Following weight loss surgery, stressors might even seem to be at an all-time high. Changing your diet, making changes to how you spend your time, and finding ways to incorporate exercise into your schedule can mean extra stress as you are focusing on improving your health. Avoiding stress isn’t the answer. What you want to do is find a way to balance your stress levels so that you can focus on adapting to a healthier way of living.
You can do this by adapting healthy stress-management strategies, such as:
- Go to bed early: Research suggests that getting a full night of rest can enhance your ability to cope with stress. Of course, sometimes stress will make it difficult to go to sleep. If this is the case, then it is even more important to get to bed early so that you are giving your body a fighting chance at getting enough rest.
- Keep a journal: Locking everything stressful inside your mind is not a good coping strategy. Instead, consider writing down what is stressing you out and then setting it aside in a journal. This can help you let things go by allowing you to put your thoughts into words. Sometimes, this can give you the extra perspective you need.
The goal is to find a proper balance of healthy stress, called eustress, and unhealthy stress, called distress, and to mediate your levels of stress in a center range of that spectrum where you can use some stress to your advantage as you work towards goals and gain achievements without feeling the heightened levels of frustration and negative emotions that happen when stress becomes overwhelming.
Health Consequences of Too Much Stress
This ability to balance stress is looked at as an ideal way to manage your mental health, but stress actually has an equally large impact on your physical health, and learning to manage your stress can support your medical weight loss goals.
Chronic stress can cause damage to your central nervous system, causing a series of inflammation throughout the body. It can also lead to respiratory issues and cardiovascular concerns, making it difficult to breathe. But what is interesting to many people who are focusing their efforts on weight loss is the fact that stress encourages weight gain by impacting behavioral choices, including your likelihood to make healthy food choices and to engage in physical activity, as well as your body’s physiological reaction to the choices you make. Research shows that being under constant stress can actually manipulate blood sugar levels and increase your risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
Keep a close eye on your stress level as you lose weight after bariatric surgery. Overcoming chronic health issues is one of the main reasons why many people pursue medical weight loss support, and learning to manage your stress during this time can enhance those health benefits.