Deep Breathing for Stress-Free Weight Loss
Your bariatric surgeon in Saginaw or Ypsilanti will teach you a great deal about improving your physical health. You’ll learn how to eat a nutritious diet and build strength with exercise, both of which will be crucial in maintaining a healthy body. However, maintaining a healthy mind is just as important.
Stress can cause big problems as you lose weight. Though stress is a natural part of our lives and will be unavoidable after weight loss surgery, too much stress can lead to emotional overeating. It can also make it hard to keep a positive attitude, which can make every step of your program much more difficult.
Fortunately, it’s easy to adopt healthy habits that help you manage stress as you lose weight. There are many relaxation techniques that can greatly reduce your stress levels with nothing more than your own body and a few minutes of your time. Of these relaxation techniques, deep breathing may be the easiest to master.
The Art of Breathing Deeply
We all know how to breathe, but we rarely breathe in a way that is optimal for our bodies. The 20,000 breaths we take each day tend to be short ones that don’t fully engage the muscles of the diaphragm or fill our lungs completely with air. This can cause shortness of breath and contribute to anxiety.
Most of our breathing is done subconsciously, but taking control of it can help you use one of your body’s most powerful natural stress relievers. Deep abdominal breathing has a calming effect that can even lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
Deep breathing is something that anyone can do anywhere, and the process is very simple.
- Start by finding a quiet place to sit or lie down.
- Breathe in deeply through your nose, allowing your chest and belly to expand completely.
- Breathe out fully through your nose or mouth, whichever feels most natural.
You can repeat these steps for as long as you need, but should do this activity for at least 10 minutes for it to be effective. When you’re trying deep breathing for the first time, switch between deep breaths and regular breaths to help yourself notice the calming effect that deep breaths can have.
Deep breathing can be done as often as needed and can be combined with other relaxation techniques for even more stress-busting benefits. Just remember that not all stress can be handled in this way—if you feel overwhelmed, ask your bariatric surgeon what the most effective way to resolve your anxieties will be.