Coping With Stress After Weight Loss Surgery
Bariatric surgery is just one step toward your weight loss goals. After, you will need to continue the lifestyle changes begun before surgery and take on new ones, as well. Like any major life change, this can cause stress and anxiety. But with the right tools, you can get through any difficulties and come out stronger and healthier.
A few ways to deal with anxiety and stress after bariatric surgery:
- Find a support network. There are local groups where people who have had weight loss surgery can meet to share their stories and provide support. If you are unable to make it to group meetings in person, look for support networks online.
- Keep a journal. Your journal can be a place to record what you are feeling and get clarity. The physical act of writing down your feelings can make a huge difference in your ability to deal with negative emotions. Make a commitment to write for at least a few minutes every day so that reaching for your journal becomes a natural response when you are feeling stressed or unhappy.
- Take time to breathe. Meditation can calm you and reduce your feelings of stress. You do not need to set aside hours. When you begin to feel stress setting in, sit quietly and breathe evenly for a few minutes. You will find that the deliberate effort to slow your breathing and take control can help relieve feelings of stress and anxiety.
- Learn to recognize and disrupt negative thought spirals. Often, one negative experience will lead to cascading negative thoughts until you are overwhelmed with stress. When you catch yourself in a negative spiral, deliberately stop yourself. Consciously choose to have positive thoughts that reinforce your progress instead.
- Get some exercise each day. Start with small amounts at first. Even a 10-minute walk counts. Over time, as you become stronger, increase the lengths of your exercise sessions. Exercise releases feel-good brain chemicals known as endorphins. These make you feel calmer and happier while reducing your levels of stress.
Life after bariatric surgery requires major adjustments. You won’t feel calm and at peace all the time. But, by developing coping strategies and seeing the results of your hard work, you will find that you are more energetic, happier and healthier every day.