Can Meditation Help Before or After Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Undergoing gastric sleeve surgery at Endobariatric is a big life event, and our team wants you to have all of the tools and resources you need to be successful.
Some of our patients have found meditation to be useful before and after gastric sleeve surgery. Weight loss is not simply a physical process, and it is important to acknowledge that emotional feelings and patterns can influence the ability to lose weight and keep it off. For thousands of years, cultures all over the world have turned to meditation to achieve inner peace and a heightened state of personal awareness. Meditation can play an important role in equipping you for some of the challenges you will face before and after gastric sleeve surgery. Read on as we discuss the benefits of meditation for bariatric surgery.

Benefits of Meditation

Manage stress and reduce anxiety.
Undergoing gastric sleeve surgery can be stressful. You may feel nervous or anxious in the days leading up to surgery and also after surgery, as you make new and perhaps unfamiliar decisions around eating and exercise. Studies have shown that regular meditation is linked with lower levels of cortisol (the body’s main “stress hormone”). Practicing meditation regularly can help you manage pre- and post-op stress and anxiety and feel calmer.
Improve mindfulness and lower chances of stress-eating
Being more relaxed and in control of your emotions is especially helpful if you struggle with emotional eating or eating when you are stressed. Meditation can teach you to become more aware (and less judgmental) of your emotions and feelings. By heightening your emotional awareness, you are less likely to cope with stress by overeating or making poor dietary choices.

Increase focus.
Maintaining a focus on healthy living is critical to weight loss surgery success. To achieve and maintain a healthier weight, you must stay focused on your ultimate health goals, even on days when you do not feel like exercise or eating healthy meals. Meditation can teach you how to shut out unhelpful thoughts that interrupt your focus and be more intentional in your thoughts and actions.

Improve sleep.
You are much more likely to make smart choices about exercise and eating when you are well-rested. Meditating before bed can help you relax and sleep more soundly.

How To Get Started
According to the Headspace meditation app, the simplest way to start meditating is to sit in a quiet space, close your eyes and take deep breaths. Try to focus only on the feeling of inhaling and exhaling, shutting out all other thoughts or distractions.
Start out slowly, devoting 10 or 15 minutes to your practice, and build upon that. Meditation is like a muscle; the more you practice it, the more comfortable you will feel and the more benefits you will reap.

Remember that meditation is meant to supplement the healthy lifestyle choices you make before and after gastric sleeve surgery (and not replace them). For more information about tools to help you live a happier, healthier life, contact Endobariatric today.

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