In the past, one of the best methods for coping with life stress may have been eating. This method will no longer be useful, especially while your new stomach pouch is at its smallest. One of the keys to success of this surgery is to learn to replace those comforts with healthy activities. Replacement methods for coping will need to be learned, but this will take time.
Your adjustment and acceptance will also be eased by the realization that bariatric surgery, with resultant weight loss, will not solve your personal or relationship problems by itself. You cannot expect a perfect body or a perfect life after the weight loss. In fact, new problems may develop because of the many new opportunities. These will need to be recognized and attended to.
Tips to Manage Stress
Try to be as positive as possible. As new challenges pop up, recognize them and develop a problem solving approach. Here are some stress-relieving suggestions:
- Love yourself. Add yourself to your list of "loved ones". Make taking care of your physical, emotional, social and physical needs a priority.
- Listen to music. Let the rhythms drain away your stress.
- Breathe deeply. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth slowly and imagine that you are inhaling calmness and exhaling stress.
- Laugh often. Have a giggle. Watch a comedy on video, listen to a tape or read the Sunday funnies. Laughter is the best medicine.
- Speak up for yourself. People who feel they have control over some aspects are less subject to stress. If you don't like the way something is going, say so politely. In order for change to occur, you must take action.
- Let go. Learn the difference between what you can control and what you cannot. Stop worrying about things that are beyond your control. Use that energy to make changes you can. Focus on your own happiness.
- Manage your time. To avoid feeling rushed, plan out how much time you will need to accomplish tasks, to get ready to go places, to travel, to eat, etc.
- Get a hug. Humans are social beings and we require some safe, nurturing physical contact.
- Practice meditation. Spend at least 15 minutes a day relaxing your mind. Sit comfortably, breathe calmly, perhaps listen to some soft music, and just clear your mind.
- Treat yourself with compassion. Give yourself permission to make mistakes, to play without feeling guilty, to change your mind, and to set aside time only for you.
For More Information
Talk to your doctor for more information about Danbury Hospital. Call us at 1-800-516-3657 or attend a free event. Learn more about how to lose weight and if bariatric surgery is for you.