As often as you hear about it, you may think that the word stress is way over-used. People blame stress when they’re tired, cranky, emotional, distracted — just about any negative mood is tends to be attributed to this invisible attacker. But what exactly is stress?
Stress is an emotional and physical response to stimuli and situations that we find challenging. What makes it so difficult to pinpoint is the fact that everyone reacts to it in his or her own way.
Whether you have a high tolerance for challenges and a low stress level or a low tolerance for challenges and a high stress level, chances are you’ve experienced stress. For some people, stress manifests itself physically though symptoms such as:
- A squeezing sensation in the chest
- Rapid heart beat
Stress can also trigger emotional responses like crying, anger and distance. No matter how you react to stress or how often you experience it, you need to be prepared to deal with it. Learning skills such as relaxation and communication can go a long way toward lowering stress levels in your life.
When stressed we often make decisions and take action without thinking things through properly. In an attempt to feel better we can overeat, or make poor food choices. We can turn to unhealthy behaviors such as drinking alcohol as a way of coping. Or we can withdraw from social situations like family gatherings, support groups, and even doctor visits.
If you think that stress may be getting the better of you, take action immediately. Contact your doctor or your bariatric surgeon’s office and let them know what is happening. When you learn to handle stress, you improve your chances of success after weight loss surgery. You may be surprised at how quickly things can be turned around with just a little help from the right people.