Mastering Stress to Beat Diabetes – 10 tips that work
Having a potentially progressive disease like type 2 diabetes can be very stressful for many especially when it’s difficult to get normal blood sugars. On top of that, in our day to day lives most of us come up against many potential stressors that have to be dealt with many times in the day.
I often hear claims from clients that their mother was always stressed and it just runs in the family. However, stress is not a genetic or a hereditary condition though often it can be a learned behaviour.
The good news is that regardless of the cause it really is possible to control stress and sometimes even eliminate it. Like all big changes it takes a bit of work but it truly pays off and your health and will really benefit.
Unfortunately if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes the damage from stress can be more serious as it puts you at higher risk of heart disease and other complications. Many people struggle with this because having diabetes can be really hard and yes, it can be really stressful. You may have much more reason to be stressed than the average person but sadly you are more at risk of damage from it than the average person too.
I’m not saying it’s easily done but if optimum health is on your agenda your emotional health counts too when it comes to blood sugar and insulin.
Here’s ten tips that really work.
- Simplify your life. Prioritise minimising stress and see what stressors you can cut out. It may be spending less time with negative people, or getting up earlier to be more organised.
- Check in a few times a day to see if you are holding tension anywhere in your body, often found between shoulder blades, lower back, in our temples. Breath into the discomfort and release the tension.
- Get into the habit of asking yourself “is this doing me any good?”. Sitting in bad traffic or being late is never helped by stress. Teach yourself to accept situations you cannot change.
- Accept that you cannot change people. How often do you hear “he/she stresses me out”? It is hugely empowering when you no longer allow yourself to have a stress response to what we may consider to be a difficult person.
- Start taking note of your triggers and see what you can do to avoid them or how you can tone down those triggers within yourself.
- Write down your stressful thoughts and keep writing until you feel you ‘have it all out’. The likelihood is that you will feel better and you mind will be less busy with those stressful thoughts.
- Find a slot in your day to do some exercise. Unsurprisingly brisk walking has been linked with reducing stress levels but regardless of what you chose to do immerse yourself in it completely and try not to engage in any other thoughts.
- Gentle Yoga and Tai Chi are great ways of helping to reduce/eliminate stress. Find a class that suits you and a teacher that understands your needs.
- Meditation and mindfulness have been well proven to reduce stress. Most people that never stress do some form of meditation regularly. Ideally it should become a way of life. There are many ways to meditate and to my mind, there should be no rules. If you can manage to sit quieten your mind for ten minutes twice a day that’s a big win.
- Find reasons every day to be grateful. If you feel stress coming on challenge yourself to come up with 20 things to be grateful for. It will change your energy! Gratitude fuels positivity and is a great antidote to stress.
Once you master your stress it is so much easier to make other necessary lifestyle changes to help reverse your diabetes. It is an important part of the challenge to normalise blood sugars but your sleep, mental health, weight and heart health will benefit not to mention your immune system and your very well deserved happiness in life.