Practice Mindfulness To Promote A Feeling Of Calm
Whether you choose deep-breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga, mindfulness techniques are designed to help you reduce stress.
A short-term randomized controlled trial of 60 people with type 2 diabetes found that those who used mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques saw improved fasting blood sugar and A1C and lower levels of anxiety and depression. Researchers published those results in 2018 in the Journal of Diabetes Research.
Explore a variety of relaxation techniques, Belfort De Aguiar suggests, to find one that works for you. If you have trouble winding down, apps such as Headspace and Calm are popular, budget-friendly options for learning how to practice mindfulness.
Use The Breath To Take Control
A medical condition can be overwhelming until you find the right coping mechanisms. Doubts and questions may fill your head. Whats going on? What is my body doing? How will I feel if I eat this? Such questions can create the experience of stress, which may manifest in a number of symptoms:
Disrupted sleep or too much sleep
Tense and painful muscles
Feeling ill or feeble
If you have one or some of these symptoms, you are likely to also feel irritable, unmotivated, depressed or nervous.
A great way to neutralise what may feel like a downward spiral is through mindfulness or breathing exercises . Many studies show that by breathing properly, you can reduce stress, prevent insomnia, control emotions and help improve attention. Yoga, meditation or exercise may have similar effects.
Breathing can be used to regulate emotions and enhance well-being in a number of ways. Some techniques emphasise mindful perspectives on experience, while others consider the physical side.
How do you pick a system? Remember that no two people are the same, and no two conditions are the same. This means you will have to do some browsing and try out different breathing or meditation techniques in order to find the one you prefer.
And as with everything, practice is the key. So stick with what works, and you are likely to feel increasingly more relaxed and in charge of your body and your mind.
Respiration rates are increased.
Hormone levels are elevated.
Genes And Family History
As in type 1 diabetes, certain genes may make you more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The disease tends to run in families and occurs more often in these racial/ethnic groups:
- African Americans
- Native Hawaiians
- Pacific Islanders
Genes also can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by increasing a persons tendency to become overweight or obese.
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Arm Yourself With Quick Fixes
The toll stress takes on your health largely depends on how you react to it, Campbell says. Identify things that help you cool off, and keep them ready-to-go in your back pocket. Maybe you treat yourself to a massage or a manicure, she says. Or maybe you just talk to someone. Okay, a professional massage might not be possible at the moment, but maybe you have a significant other who can lend a hand. Focusing on your breath is another simple way to calm your mind and body, wherever you are. If you have an Apple device, open the free Breathe app, and let it help you slow and deepen your breath.
What You Can Do Now
Although diabetes can present a different set of challenges, its possible to manage it effectively and lead a happy, healthy lifestyle. You can do this by adding short, meditative sessions or small workouts to your daily routine. You can also look into support groups and find one that best suits your personality and lifestyle needs. Being proactive can help ease the tension in your life.
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How To Reduce Your Stress Level
- Find opportunities to rest: sit, lie down, put your feet up.
- Talk to friends, family and your partner about your concerns and stresses.
- Lower your expectations of yourself. The house can be messy, the laundry can fall behind and you can be less than perfect. You’re helping your baby grow and be healthy, and that’s your first priority.
- Get enough sleep.
- Ask for help in getting tasks done. Ask a friend to drive, a sister to help set up the nursery, your partner to grocery shop. If possible, hire out tasks like yard work and house cleaning during your pregnancy.
- Know and accept your limits. Let friends and family know that for now, you have to take special care of yourself and your baby. When you need rest. excuse yourself and go rest. When you feel overwhelmed, take on less.
- Be physically active every day. It’s a great stress reliever.
- Add relaxation to each day. Listen to your favorite music at work. Take a bubble bath. Close your eyes and do nothing except breathe deeply.
- Schedule time for what you want to do. Book time on your own calendar for whatever gives you joy. Visit a museum. Do needlework. Talk long distance with a friend. Read a long novel. Sit in the garden.
- Watch funny movies, read silly books, laugh with friends.
- Cry if you want. It’s a great stress reliever.
- Remind yourself that gestational diabetes isn’t forever.
Stress Affects Your Blood Pressure
Letâs go back to the hormone cortisol for a moment. Another one of cortisolâs functions is to narrow the arteries throughout the body in order to allow blood to pump harder and faster through the rest of the body. In fight-or-flight situations, this is advantageous because delivery of oxygenated blood throughout the body.However, constant stress over time keeps the blood vessels constricted and keeps your blood pressure high. Over time this high blood pressure can worsen many of the complications of diabetes, including diabetic eye disease and kidney disease. In fact, many people with diabetes eventually develop high blood pressure.It is no wonder that diabetes and hypertension often go hand-in-hand. Looking out for one can help prevent or alleviate the other.
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How Can Stress Affect Diabetes
At the dawn of time, our ancestors lived in a world of danger. When they were attacked by cave bears, it was a bad idea to stay calm. So whenever they saw danger, their brains sounded a stress alarm that put their bodies into action.
This ability to feel stress got passed down to us in the modern age. The problem is that our brains cant tell the difference between physical danger and social or emotional danger, so they all stress us out in the same way. So today, although bear attacks are less common, stress is a much larger part of our lives. In 2018, a Gallup poll found that 55% of Americans felt stress during a lot of the day, while 45% said they felt worried a lot when asked about how they felt the previous day
Stress can still be helpful when it helps us take on challenges, provided that we get some rest afterward. But when stress lasts for a long time, without giving us a chance to rest, it can do serious damage to our bodies. It can increase our risk for diabetes, or make our current diabetes worse.
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Stress Impacts Sleep Which Impairs Glucose Tolerance
Often times, stress leaves us tense and anxious and can cause sleep problem. Many studies have shown the negative health impacts of not getting enough sleep. The impact on diabetes is no exception.
Although everyone has their own standards of what good sleep is, keep in mind that sleeping less than six hours a night has also been found to contribute to impaired glucose tolerance, a condition that often precedes or can worsen the progress of type 2 diabetes.Add to this, the fact people who are tired tend to eat more because they want to get energy from somewhere. This is usually by consuming sugar or other foods that can spike blood sugar levels, further aggravating their diabetes.
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Manage Stress When You Have Type 2 Diabetes
Stress can affect your blood sugar and insulin levels. So its no surprise that learning to manage stress may help you keep your blood sugar under control. Its important to look out for signals of unusual stress so that you can begin to find ways to cope with it. What are some ways to deal with stress? To cope with stress, try to find healthy behaviors that help you to feel more in balance. Here are some suggestions: Stay active. It can improve your blood sugar levels as well as your mood Meditate. Short periods of quiet reflection can improve your ability to cope with stress Be positive. Avoid negative thoughts by concentrating on things that you enjoy Spend time doing something you enjoy. Listen to music, take a bath, or work on a favorite hobby Laugh. Laughter may lower blood pressure and reduce stress hormones Consider yoga. This form of full-body stretching can help you feel calm Get plenty of sleep. Sleep loss may lead to weight gain and may interfere with your bodys ability to respond to insulin Make sure you have a good support network Talk to your health care provider. Be sure to have an open and honest conversation about how you’re feeling. Cornerstones4Care® has a section full of ideas and strategies for healthy coping with the stress of diabetes and diabetes management.Continue reading > >
At Some Point In Our Lives All Of Us Will Experience Stress Stress Is Your Bodys Way Of Responding To Any Kind Of Demand Challenge Or Threat Each Of Us Will Cope With Stress In Our Own Way However Some Strategies Are More Helpful Than Others
If you have diabetes it is very important that you recognise when you are stressed and take positive steps to address it.
What happens when I get stressed?
When you experience fear or a threat , your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, designed to ready your body for emergency action.
Your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens, and your senses become sharper. These physical changes increase your strength and stamina, speed up your reactions and enhance your focus.
In a life or death situation, this response can save your lifefor example, giving you extra strength to defend yourself or spurring you to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident.
However, your nervous system is not good at telling the difference between life-threatening events and everyday stressors. So a high-pressure job, arguments with loved ones or even a traffic jam can create the same response from your body.
When you repeatedly experience the stress response in your everyday life, this leads to several health problems including high blood pressure, a suppressed immune system, and mental illness.
What happens to my blood sugar levels?
Part of the bodys natural response to stress is to increase the amount of glucose in your blood so that you have enough energy to successfully deal with an emergency.
What can I do to manage my stress?
During times of stress you should:
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Reach Out To Others With Diabetes
People living with diabetes are on their own with their condition the vast majority of the time. Access to the support and counsel of healthcare professionals can be quite limited, which may create feelings of frustration or helplessness. A life-changing condition like type 2 diabetes is too much to bear on your own and without guidance, not least because it can put an additional damper on your social life until you find the strategies that work for you.
Consider joining a support group close to where you live. Get active and reach out to your community. Between 1980 and 2016, the global prevalence of diabetes increased nearly 100%. In other words, you are increasingly likely to find others living with diabetes near you. And creating bonds and friendships with them has the added bonus of alleviating stress, anxiety, depression and loneliness.
Heart Disease Risks Can Increase
Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and stress can add to the trouble. With weight gain, including the accumulation of abdominal fat, can come other risk factors, such as the following.
- High total cholesterol and bad LDL-cholesterol.
- Lower good HDL-cholesterol.
Losing weight can be a challenge when stress is added to type 2 diabetes, but Lark for Diabetes has tools that can help, including tracking weight and offering personalized insights and tips when you need them.
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How To Combat Stress
So how can you reduce stress so that it has less of an effect on your blood sugar control?
Well, to some extent that depends on the nature of your stress. Anything in life that is stressing you out thats fixable, you should work to fix. That stupid toilet that runs all night and disturbs your sleep? Get it repaired. Thats easy. But sometimes its harder: The boyfriend or girlfriend who always puts you down? Time to break up. Not all that easy to do, although it will improve your health on multiple levels.
Meanwhile, things that stress you out that you cant fix, but that you can avoid, you should avoid. Your sister drives you nuts? Youre not required to visit her, you know.
Lastly, of course, there are things in life that you cant fix and you cant avoid, and these you need to develop ways to deal with. Sometimes this involves changing your mental attitude toward it. Other times its the use of stress-relief tools, like exercise to burn off that fight or flight sugar, or hot baths and aroma therapy candles to drown the stress so that your body stops releasing the sugar.
Some of the most tried-and-true stress relief tactics are:
- Exercise of any kind
Blood Sugar Can Increase
Cortisol signals your brain and body that it is time to prepare to take action. You may be able feel this as your heart pounds and muscles tense. At the same time, what you may not feel is that cortisol signals a hormone called glucagon to trigger the liver to release glucose into your bloodstream. The result: higher blood sugar.
Cortisols role in preparing your body for action goes beyond mobilizing glucose stores. Cortisol also works to make sure that the energy that you might spend gets replenished. That means you may feel hungry even when you do not truly need the food and that can lead to weight gain. Again, the result is an increase in blood sugar. Testing your blood sugar regularly and checking your trends in Lark for Diabetes can help you see if your blood sugar trends have been up recently.
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Does Emotional Stress Cause Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus A Review From The European Depression In Diabetes Research Consortium
Institution: Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic Diseases , Tilburg UniversityAddress: Tilburg, Netherlands
Institution: Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic Diseases , Tilburg UniversityAddress: Tilburg, Netherlands
Institution: Section of Prevention and Public Health, Department of Health Sciences and EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University AmsterdamAddress: Amsterdam, 1081 HV, Netherlands
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a serious and common metabolic disorder. The World Health Organization has estimated the number of persons with diabetes worldwide at more than 220 million . These figures are expected to rise to 366 million by 2030 . Besides, diabetes mellitus is associated with a two- to four-fold increased risk of coronary heart disease and also an increased risk for microvascular diseases such as retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy. Patients with type 2 diabetes also have a doubled risk level for co-morbid depression compared to healthy controls, hampering the quality of life of patients . Moreover, a considerable number of depressed patients suffer from high levels of diabetes-specific emotional stress . Important factors contributing to the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes are obesity, physical inactivity, and an increase in the number of individuals older than 65 years .
The Concept of Stress
Depression, Anxiety, and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Work Stress and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Why Reducing Stress Can Help You Prevent Diabetes
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In the past few decades, weve become increasingly aware of the fact that emotional stress can have a very potent physical effect.
Combined with the most stressful year in a century thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, economic downturn, travel restrictions, and more complications all on top of the usual stressors of life, its perfectly natural to take stock of your overall stress level and how its affecting you.
In this article, well explore one particular area of concern stresss relationship with diabetes and discuss how now and after the COVID pandemic, you can take a few key steps to prevent stress from affecting your physical and mental health.
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How To Deal With Stress As A Person With Diabetes
In general, theres only so much you can do to prevent the blood sugar spikes from different types of stress hormones because we cant always predict stress.
However, if youre dealing with predictable stress or ongoing stress, definitely talk to your healthcare team about an adjustment in your insulin doses that can help tamper those stubborn high blood sugars.
For those unexpected bursts of stress and rapid spikes in your blood sugar:
You should use your established correction factor to determine an appropriate dose of insulin to bring the blood sugar down.
But keep in mind: its very likely your blood sugar will sit at that higher level until your body has recovered from the stressful state. When those stress hormones are pumping and adrenaline is causing your liver to produce more glucose, it can be very difficult to get ahead of it.
For ongoing stress during a period of your life:
If you know the next few months are going to be stressful because of a promotion at work, a divorce, the death of a loved one for example then a simple increase by a few units in your background insulin dose can have a big impact on staying in your goal blood sugar range.
Dont underestimate how much ongoing stress can affect your daily insulin needs. Even on the normal days during a stressful period of your life, your body is still coping with that ongoing stressor.
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