The Importance of Mindful Practices for People With Diabetes
Last updated: September 2022
Living with diabetes can be stressful. There are endless doctor's appointments, blood tests, and careful monitoring of your nutrition. It's easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you're not in control of your own life. However, there is one thing that you can control: your response to stress.
Mindfulness for better stress management
Mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga are 2 of many effective methods to help manage stress levels. And for people with diabetes, handling stress is essential. That's because stress has a direct impact on blood sugar levels. When you're stressed, your body releases the hormone cortisol.1
Cortisol signals your body to release glucose into the bloodstream so that you have the energy to deal with stressful situations. However, this can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels, which can be dangerous for people with diabetes.1
That's why it's crucial to explore coping strategies for stress while living with diabetes, especially to avoid burnout. In addition to seeing your doctor regularly and following a healthful eating plan, incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine can help you cope and manage your stress levels while keeping your blood sugar levels in normal range.
Strategies to cope with stress
It's essential to find ways to cope with stress to keep your glucose levels under control. You can't remove stress from life altogether, so these strategies can help you better deal with stress.
1. Take small breaks
Take breaks throughout the day to relax. Activities to do during small breaks in the day can be as simple as taking a few deep breaths or going for a short walk. Find what works for you, and take some time for yourself daily.
2. Take things one step at a time
By staying organized, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed by doing too much at once. But when you're feeling overwhelmed, it can be helpful to break large tasks down into smaller ones that you can tackle 1 at a time. This will help you feel more in control.
3. Exercise regularly
Exercise can help relieve stress and improve overall health. If you're unsure where to start, talk to your doctor or a certified diabetes educator about an exercise plan that's right for you.
How to add mindfulness into your daily routine
Many resources are available online and in most major cities if you're unsure how to start mindfulness practices.
You can start small by taking a few minutes each day to sit quietly and focus on your breathing. Or you can sign up for a yoga class or take a nature walk. Find what works for you and make it a part of your daily habits.
It doesn't need to be complicated
Incorporating mindfulness into your life doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming. Even taking a few minutes each day to focus on your breath can make a big difference in how you handle stress and keep your blood sugar levels under control. So if you're looking for ways to manage the pressures of living with diabetes, give mindfulness a try—you might be surprised at how much it helps!
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