Everyone stresses. It is something that each of us experience in our own way, and it is for the best. In the right proportions, stress is actually a good thing. It motivates us to wake up in the morning, keeps us on our toes when we would otherwise give up and can even inspire you to take a leap of faith and make big changes in your life. It might have even been stress over your health and appearance that caused you to try medical weight loss.
Good stress is known as eustress, and without it life would be pretty boring. But what about bad stress, or distress? Distress can build up, potentially leading to anxiety, depression and a wide array of physical health conditions.
During your medical weight loss program, you need to learn to manage the bad stress that comes into your life. A little bit of stress is a common sign of changing habits, but if that stress becomes too difficult to handle it might begin impacting your health in surprising ways.
Here are a few ways that stress can impact your health:
- Chronic pain: This can especially develop in areas that you carry your tension. For many people this includes your neck, back and shoulders, but could include any part of the body. Headaches are an incredibly common source of stress-induced chronic pain.
- Fatigue: You might think that stress drains you emotionally, but did you know that it can drain your physical energy levels as well? Stress can weigh on you at night, interfering with your ability to get quality sleep.
- Mood changes: Stress can cause changes in your self-esteem, general disposition and social life. When you are overwhelmed with stress you may find that you are less pleasant to be around, and you may even find yourself pushing friends and family members away. Having a strong support system is a crucial aspect of your medical weight loss program, so don’t let stress drive those closest to you away.
- Digestive problems: Stress can lead to severe upset stomach and can also interfere with your weight loss plans. Every person reacts to stress differently, but if you aren’t careful stress can lead to bloating, overeating and ultimately weight gain.
Managing stress is critical to the success of your medical weight loss program. Your body is already going through significant changes by releasing excess weight, and increased stress can be counterproductive and inhibit the weight-loss process.
The good news is that you can reduce stress with a few simple techniques:
- Pause when you feel overwhelmed and take deep breaths
- Make sure you are exercising every day
- Get adequate sleep
- Drink plenty of water
- Journal or keep a gratitude journal
- Talk with a friend or your health coach about concerns
Practicing effective stress-management techniques can have a huge impact on your medical weight loss program!