Having high stress levels with diabetes can be a dangerous combination. What if you were able to check your stress level every time you checked your blood sugar? Would yours be in the all clear or the danger zone?
According the the American Diabetes Association (ADA), physical stress, such as illness or injury, causes higher blood sugar levels in people with either type of diabetes. The ADA has also created an easy way to find out whether mental stress affects your sugar control. Prior to checking your blood sugar levels, write down a number rating your mental stress level on a scale of 1 to 10. If both your stress level and blood sugar level is high, use these helpful techniques to decrease your mental stress levels and ultimately lower your blood sugar.
Deep Breathing: If you are on the go, at work or carpooling your family to and from activities, try this easy and quick technique to decrease your stress. Take deep breaths. Try closing your eyes and placing your hand over your abdomen to feel each breath as you inhale and exhale. This technique is great when you are in a pinch for time. A few deep breaths here and there throughout your day can make a big impact on your stress levels.
“Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure,” psychologist Judith Tutin, PhD, says. She’s a certified life coach in Rome, GA.
Meditation: When you have a couple minutes to yourself, take some time to focus on your needs with a little meditation. It doesn’t have to be long, even taking five minutes to meditate is great for lowering your stress. You can start your meditation by sitting up straight, taking a few deep breaths and letting any distractions float by.
To learn more about the different kinds of meditation and the benefits that are connected to meditation, visit the Mayo Clinic’s webpage on meditation.
Disconnect: This one may be easier said than done, as many jobs require us to be connected to our devices at all times. Even if this is true for your job, try to set aside one hour each day to put down the cellphone and get off of the computer. Allow yourself to completely disconnect from all technology, and you will find yourself relaxing by the minute.
To learn more about diabetes and stress, check out our Diabetes Stress Busters blog post. My Diabetes Home is always trying to help patients manage their stress levels. That’s why our platform is so simple to use and gives patients more time to live their lives and start relaxing. If an all-in-one diabetes platform is something you are interested in, we invite you to try a 60-day free trial of My Diabetes Home. Start by registering here.