“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Chronic stress is synonymous with 21st century living and Houston ranks among America’s most stressful cities. According to Forbes magazine, Las Vegas is the most stressful city in the country, followed by Los Angeles, California, and Houston, Texas. Stressful Houstonians are paying a huge price with their health. Chronic stress is associated with many health issues namely obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. While stress is unavoidable in our life, coping with stress is a must know skill to survive and thrive in our modern society. Many people resort to unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking, and overeating that have deleterious effects on the long run. At Houston Weight Loss Surgery Center, stress management is an INTEGRAL PART of the weight loss treatment plan that we offer to our Houstonian patients.
In 1943, at the peak of WWII, Reinhold Niebuhr, a pastor, theologian and philosopher from New England wrote this prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” In one sentence, Reinhold Niebuhr summarized the 4 pillars for coping with stress:
- Avoid the stressor
- Alter the stressor
- Adapt to the stressor
- Accept the stressor
It is easier said than done. However, understanding and facing stress rather than stewing in anger and frustration is your only way out. For overeating for hours in front of a TV will only damage your health. Overeating to comfort yourself is the worst coping strategy you adopt for dealing with stress. Soothing your pain with junk food, high sugar, and high fat comfort food will invariably develop into an addiction. An addiction that has fueled the rise of obesity to an epidemic level. You can take action today. Cope with stress and don’t let it control your life.
Here are five effective tips:
- Take care of your body and your body will take care of you.
- Exercise: Best antidote for stress. Pick an activity you like, hook up with an exercise buddy to motivate you, and make exercise part of your daily routine.
- Spend some time in nature: get some fresh air and some sun.
- Meditate: Visualize calm. Transport yourself to a happy place 5 minutes everyday. Boost your spiritual side; Get in touch with your inner self. Religious people are happier than atheists in stressful environments. We need religion more than ever these days.
- Develop a hobby: Take your mind of negative thoughts and engage in a creative or competitive activity.