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Are You Willing To Do What It Takes?

By Pamela Shenk, CHt


Recently a cardiologist asked me to lecture with him on the topic of stress and the importance of making a conscious effort to find ways to deal with stress.


Extensive research shows that depression, anxiety, hostility, and stress may affect the development and progression of coronary heart disease. It can also cause mindless eating. When eating the wrong foods, not only can you gain weight, but the bad foods can cause heart problems.


Not long ago, the treatment of cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension and angina centered mostly on medication strategies. Today, things are different. Medication may be used in conjunction with relaxation techniques such as meditation, hypnosis, yoga, music therapy, acupuncture and/or massage.


Think about it. You wake up, turn on the news or read it online and there is nothing uplifting. You may have challenges with your job like working longer hours than ever. Possibly you had an argument with your husband, wife, or children. Even the dog has you stressed out! You feel you are being pulled in a million different directions and no one understands you. Possibly no one does understand you. But it isn’t up to others, it is up to you to take care of yourself.


Are you following your bariatric program's recommendations? Eating the quantities and frequency that your program suggests? Are you exercising, drinking water and calming yourself down by listening to relaxing music?


These are all things that will help you to reach and maintain your goal weight. When you are calm and relaxed, the whole world seems like a better place. Everyone has stress, it is up to you to learn how to release it and begin to feel the benefits of improved health! Try something new, for example many healthcare facilities are now offering music therapy which utilizes music to heal.


The ultimate emotion to experience is happiness and the only person that can make you happy is you. The blame game doesn’t work and that alone causes stress. So look at your life and identify your areas of stress. Not everyone can do this alone. You may find it beneficial to attend a support group. If you feel overwhelmed and need help to manage your stress, contact your bariatric program for a consultation with a psychologist. 


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