Emotional Health is the single most talked-about topic for the patients at our support group meetings. And it makes sense. So much of what leads us to make unhealthy life choices is rooted in what we FEEL about ourselves, about the world, about the way we grew up and about what other people think about us. That’s a symphony of noise in our heads and sometimes, it drowns out that smaller, but much more POSITIVE voice telling us the right path to choose.

To give our patients some regular positivity and motivation, we embarked several weeks ago on a campaign to deliver a “daily dose” of emotional health tips via our Facebook pages. The response was overwhelmingly positive. So, I’ve decided to put together the Top 7 tips into a blog post. Please bookmark it. That way, whenever you need an emotional pick-me-up, or wake-up-call, you’ll know right where to look.

Here we go:

1. Take Care of Yourself. Bariatric surgery can do a lot of great things. But it does not create more time in a day. That part is up to you. Make time for you.

2. Choose Positive over Negative. If pre-bariatric surgery friends don’t support your new healthy lifestyle, it may be time to let them go. After weight-loss surgery ask yourself: Which relationships are worth holding onto? When you feel bad, you have less energy to try harder at the good things in your life.

3. Be Respectful and Responsible. Doing what you know is right for your health is not always easy. But the choice is yours alone. Mom is no longer standing over us making us clean our plates. Habits are hard to break and the things we learn as kids are deep-seated. But with dedication, success in bariatric surgery is possible.

4. Take Credit for Your Successes and Accomplishments. In other words, you have permission to pat yourself on the back for even the smallest of victories. Doing this gives you fuel for doing what it takes to transform your health.

5. Be Yourself in Relationships. Developing at least one relationship wherein you can relax and be yourself is important to emotional health. Sharing excitement and disappointment is also vital to your mental and physical health.

6. Talk Positively to Yourself. Your inner voice is very powerful. If it isn’t positive, think about where it got its information from.

7. Have a Plan for the Future. Whether you are pre- or post-bariatric surgery, having a plan and set of goals for the future are musts. But be sure to work on them one day at a time.