Posted: under Diabetes.
Some stress can’t be avoided, such as the death of a loved one. Some stress can’t be prevented. Holidays come along whether or not we’re ready for them.
On the positive side, such stresses can be dealt with, provided you know how to recognize the cause of the stress and learn to cope with its effects.
As a person with diabetes, you need to understand that stress and mood affect your blood glucose levels. For instance, if you get into an argument with a spouse or a child, which may be a fairly normal event, your blood glucose levels might soar. That’s something you want to avoid. Although you can’t avoid all family arguments, you can learn ways to cut down on the frequency of these encounters and certainly you can learn to lower the intensity of your reaction to them.
On the other side of the coin is the fact that if you allow your blood glucose levels to stay high, your own emotional threshold will be lowered. People with high blood glucose levels tend to be more vulnerable to depression and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. The depressed person can’t cope with normal daily stresses, such as getting out of bed and going to work, and sinks deeper into depression. That reaction creates such a destructive cycle that the victim often requires professional help to get back into a normal lifestyle.
One of the best ways to cope with stress is to learn to relax. You can find plenty of books about this in bookstores and libraries; your local video store probably has some types on the subject too.
One of the oldest approaches to relaxation is meditation. Many religions have a tradition of meditation in which a person takes time out and goes to a quiet place to silently take an inward look at thoughts and feelings. But you don’t have to go to the top of a distant mountain to meditate. You can do that right in your own living room.
Meditation techniques have been shown to improve a number of physical signs of tension or stress, including lowering the pulse rate and blood pressure. Such techniques, believe it or not, have been shown to lower blood glucose levels of persons with Type II diabetes. Although we can’t guarantee meditation will improve your diabetes, it’s worth a try. At the very least, meditation will help relax you and free your mind and spirit so you’re able to look at life in a more positive way.
Another way to deal with stress and improve relaxation is to think of things that are pleasant. In medical terminology this process is called imagining.
For your own purposes, you can do this by sitting down in your favorite chair, closing your eyes, and imagining yourself at a sun-drenched beach, beside a sparkling waterfall, or in a windswept field. Ah . . . doesn’t that feel good? It’s a mini holiday created by your own mind.
A third way to deal with stress is called biofeedback. This technique teaches you to relax tense muscles by thinking soothing thoughts. You have to learn what thoughts work for you and then turn them on when you feel muscles tense up. Each person differs in what works for him or her. In some scientific studies, eighty-five per cent of Type II diabetics were successful in lowering stress-caused high blood glucose levels when they practiced these biofeedback techniques.
A fourth way to relax is to do some physical activity. When you exercise, you can concentrate on your activity and take your mind off your troubles.
The result is relaxation.
Physical activities on a regular basis will increase your emotional sense of well-being and, as a bonus, will lower your pulse rate, blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
If you’re on a weight loss programme, physical activity will make your reduced kilojoules diet work more effectively.