Stress and Diabetes
Your body is essentially a hormone factory. Whenever you are stressed – whether it’s good or bad stress – your body releases different types of hormones to help you out. For example, it will release adrenaline to give you more energy. Along with these hormones your liver, muscles and fat will also release glucose. If you have chronic stress you can end up with a situation where your body is releasing too much hormone, and too much glucose, too often.
If you’re chronically under stress it can make it difficult to control your diabetes. If you are worried about paying the bills, taking care of your children, passing tests, and other life situations, you could be harming your health more than you know with the added additional and frequent releases of hormones into your blood stream. Like drugs, you can actually get addicted to these hormones too.
Who Is in Control?
In Life, the Truth, and Being Free , the author Steve Maraboli states, “You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.” In many cases this is true, but in others you really do have some control over the stress in your life.
The trick is to figure out which things you have control over and which things you do not. A good way to judge is to determine who must do the change or action to make it different. If it’s not you, you have no control over it, and you must let it go. If it is you, then you have to face it and do what it takes to change.
Even if it’s something you have no control over, you do have control over your reaction to the situation. Learn to take time to assess a situation, determine who is in control, and then control what you can. If someone is being bossy or demanding, just react differently to it than you normally would. Take a deep breath, count to ten and move on. You can control your thoughts and your actions in a way that reduces your stress.
If you do have direct control over something such as your weight and what you eat, then it’s time to face the facts that only you can truly make a change here. If your poor eating habits are causing you to be unhealthy, instead of letting it add stress to your life, work on creating new habits one day at a time. Each meal or each day that you make the best choices for yourself and your health, you’ll be less stressed about that issue.
Steps You Can Take to Reduce Stress
* Learn coping skills – Read books about developing coping skills or, if you can, seek some professional help through a counselor or life coach.
* Meditate – This isn’t hokey, and it’s not strange; meditation and prayer are proved to keep you calmer long after you do it.
* Exercise – Moving around a little every day releases feel-good endorphins that can help you feel more at peace during and after exercise.
* Try something new – Sometimes it helps to break out of your everyday life to let go of stress. Join a local group, try a new hobby, take a class, volunteer.
* Breathe and count – During a stressful event, teach yourself to check your breathing. So many people literally hold their breath at all times of the day. Count to three (or ten if you need it) and breathe normally and mindfully.
* Relax – Take time each day to just relax, read a good book, watch a TV show or documentary and just be.
By incorporating these things into your life and being aware of who exactly is in control of your life, you will go far in reducing the stress in your life that can affect your diabetes.