12 June, 2013

How Stress Impacts Your Health

After weight loss surgery, do what you can to reduce the stress in your life

We sometimes think of stress as a mental problem. Stress can keep you up at night, leave you frazzled and cause you to break down in tears at the drop of a hat. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the way stress impacts us. Stress can affect your physical health, causing a world of symptoms that might be hard to recognize at first.

Getting weight loss surgery will improve your health, but underlying issues like overwhelming stress can undermine your progress. To overcome stress, it is best to learn to recognize the symptoms as well as how to manage it successfully.

Physical symptoms of stress can include:

  • Headaches
  • Weight gain
  • Muscle pain or tension
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Digestive problems and upset stomach
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Acne and skin rash

Managing Stress as you Lose Weight

Managing stress is an essential component of any healthy lifestyle. Too much stress can make losing weight difficult by leaving you feeling too fatigued to exercise, or driving you to overeat as you cope with your emotions.

To manage the stress in your life, try adopting healthier methods of coping like:

  • Exercise: Relaxation exercises like yoga and tai chi involve methodical movements that encourage stress relief. Intense cardio activities like running, biking and swimming can also help you clear your mind and blow off some steam.
  • Meditation: Taking a moment to yourself and closing your eyes and ears to the world around you is a great way to regain control of a situation and alleviate stress.
  • Deep breathing: Taking deep breaths can help you through a stressful situation. Inhale until you fill your lungs, exhale completely and repeat.
  • Journaling: Keeping a journal can help you cope with stressors in your life. Sometimes just writing down what is bothering you can help you find perspective and let go of worries.

Try being more aware of the ways stress might be impacting your life. Mood swings, emotional eating, restlessness—these are all ways that stress impacts us mentally, but stress can also wear down your physical health if you aren’t careful. After weight loss surgery, help your body and mind by doing your best to keep stress levels low.