Obesity is a serious public health issue. The sad part is that obesity’s prevalence is growing, not only in adults but also children. According to World Health Organization data, 39 million children below age 5 were overweight in 2020. It can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and other severe conditions. But did you know that obesity can also affect your mental health?
Losing weight may not be easy, but it’s essential to keep yourself in good spirits while you work toward your goal, especially if you’re struggling with your mental health. Read on if you’re looking for tips on addressing obesity-related mental health issues.
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Keep a Journal
It is hard to avoid stress when dealing with obesity. Try to identify what triggers your stress and avoid putting yourself in situations that may make you anxious.
Keeping a journal is an excellent way of dealing with stress. You can utilize it to keep track of your food intake. You can also use it to express your feelings and emotions. Writing down the things you constantly think about will help you understand them better. Putting your thoughts into words will help you devise solutions to your problems as you can now visualize them.
Moreover, it is also found to help deal with mental health problems directly. A study to find the same was conducted and published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). The study found a 5% difference in the mental health condition between those practicing journaling and those who didn’t.
It is a good idea to be creative with your journal. Instead of sticking to just traditional writing, you can write letters, songs, poems, stories, or anything that helps you document your thoughts more effectively.
It is important to have good self-esteem to be happy and healthy. In fact, research has proven that people with high self-esteem tend to be healthier, have better relationships, and be more successful in their careers.
You can be better equipped to deal with challenges and setbacks if you have a positive self-image. Building your self-esteem is easier than you think. Focus on the positive aspects of your personality. Do things that you enjoy and help you grow as a person. Helping others and making them happy is also a great idea, as it will make you feel good about what you have done.
Seek Help If You Need It
If you are struggling with obesity-related mental health issues, it is vital to seek help. There are many types of support available.
- Mental health experts such as psychologists and psychiatrists can help you manage your emotions, develop healthier thought patterns, and find ways to reduce stress in your life. You can look up resources online if you’re wondering how to find a therapist. Search for therapists on the internet or go through some local directories to find contact details for therapists. You can also ask for references from your friends or family.
- Dietitians and nutritionists can teach you about healthy eating habits and recommend supplements that will help combat obesity-related conditions like depression or anxiety.
- Support class provide a safe space for people with similar experiences with obesity-related mental health disorders (such as Overeaters Anonymous) or other chronic illnesses (like Diabetes Support Groups).
Set Positive Goals
Start by setting positive goals. The CDC guide for losing weight recommends setting specific, realistic, and forgiving goals. For example, “I will walk for 30 minutes each day this week” or “I will eat a healthy meal at least three times per week.” Goals should also be relevant to your situation and should reflect your values.
- Write down your objectives and post them where you can see them daily.
- Set a timeline for achieving those goals. For instance, seven weeks from now, if you’re working on losing weight through exercise or diet changes and then create reminders in your calendar so they’re easy to keep track of as time goes on.
According to the CDC, 41.9% of American adults have obesity, and obesity rates continue to climb nationwide. While moderation may seem like a no-brainer, it’s important to remember that any food or beverage can be potentially harmful when consumed in excess.
So while you shouldn’t deprive yourself of things you enjoy, you shouldn’t overdo them. An ideal rule of thumb is to avoid eating or drinking too much of anything at any time. If your meal adds 1,500 calories, it’s probably time for a snack break.
The same goes for alcohol. If you’re planning on consuming an entire bottle of wine or pint glass full of beer tonight, consider cutting back so as not to cross over into binge territory. Moderation means being mindful of what and how much goes into your body and being flexible enough to change course if necessary.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is essential to a healthy lifestyle, providing several physical and mental health benefits. The National Sleep Foundation commends that adults aim for seven to nine hours each night. Sleep helps you feel better and think more clearly, which can help address obesity-related mental health issues.
How much sleep you need will vary based on your individual needs. It depends on your age and physical health, as well as any other factors that might affect the amount of rest you require.
Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself, but Remember to Stay Focused as Well
You are not a failure if you make mistakes or have setbacks. Don’t beat yourself up for it. However, keep your eye on the prize and stay motivated. Don’t let negative thoughts take over. They can be insidious and will eat away at your confidence, but they don’t have to win. Set realistic goals and ask for help when you need it.
If you’re fighting with your mental health, there are ways to address it and things you can do to make it easier. You can address your mental health on your own, but it’s better to get help. There are many ways to get the support you need. You don’t need to be alone in this process. If you’re unsure where to start, talk to your doctor about how she or he can help.
Mental health refers to the general well-being of an individual’s emotional, psychological, and social state. It encompasses how people think, feel, and behave and how they handle stress, make decisions, and interact with others. Mental health is a crucial feature of a person’s overall health. It significantly affects their ability to cope with life’s challenges, maintain fulfilling relationships, and achieve their full potential.
So, there you have it. It might sound like a lot of work, but the payoff is worth it. Living well with your weight and mental health will also benefit everyone around you. Keep in mind that you are not alone in this struggle. Support groups can be found virtually anywhere, and they are great places to get advice from others who have been there too.
Never forget that no matter what challenges life throws, there always seems to be light at the end of tunnels.