Muscle Relaxation: Bust Stress after Bariatric Surgery
After bariatric surgery in Albany or Macon, you’ll work hard on building a healthy body with diet and exercise, but what about a healthy mind? The two are so closely interconnected that it’s difficult to have one without the other—when stress and anxiety build up in your head, they can lead to emotional eating and a hindered motivation that will do no good for your body.
This is why stress management techniques are so important after bariatric surgery. You may have already mastered the art of deep breathing, but adding more relaxing activities to your repertoire can help you control stress even further. Progressive muscle relaxation can be a powerful stress reliever and, like deep breathing, can be done by just about anyone.
Ready to try this stress management technique? All you need to do is find a quiet, calming area, then sit in a chair or lie down on a firm mat or mattress. The concept behind progressive muscle relaxation is simple—you’ll slowly work your way through your muscles from top to bottom, flexing and releasing each in succession. Hold the tension in each muscle for 20 seconds, then release it and focus on the sensation of the muscle relaxing for 10 seconds.
Work through your muscle groups in this order:
- Face: Raise your eyebrows and keep your forehead wrinkled; relax. Clench your eyes tightly shut; relax. Flare your nostrils; relax. Hold your tongue to the roof of your mouth; relax. Grit your teeth and flex your jaw; relax.
- Spine: Curl your neck down and hold your chin towards your chest; relax. Arch your back and hold; relax.
- Torso: Hold in a deep breath and expand your chest; relax. Flex your abdominal muscles; relax.
- Limbs. Flex your biceps; relax. Flex your thighs and posterior muscles; relax. Ball your hands into fists; relax. Flex your calves by pushing down on the floor with your feet; relax. Curl your toes up to the sky; relax.
Remember to go slowly—take time to feel the sensations of each muscle tensing and relaxing. In all, it may take you as long as 15 minutes to work through your muscles. Rushing through them will only reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.
To truly master progressive muscle relaxation, try to do it one to two times every day. In two weeks, you should have the technique down and may have made some noticeable progress in your stress levels.
Of course, progressive muscle relaxation will be even more beneficial if you combine it with other stress-busting activities. What else has helped you manage stress after bariatric surgery in Albany or Macon? Tell us in the comments below!