Diabetes & Stress Management – 3 Steps to Curb Stress

Stress is an inevitable part of life. Taking steps to ensure the least stressful outcome is certainly possible, but avoiding it altogether is not. Stress management, then, is not merely a handy tool to have at your disposal, but an indispensable wellness practice that can be the difference between a mild, manageable case of Type 2 diabetes, and a case of Type 2 fraught with complications.

So what can you do to get rid of stress?

Why Stress is Dangerous

Stress can cause blood sugar to spike or plummet and is one of the leading causes of high blood pressure and a host of health problems, as benign as difficulty sleeping, to as enormous as heart disease and stroke. Although stress begins in the brain, it quickly morphs into a physical sensation, such as rapid heartbeat, clammy palms, or a surge of adrenaline. These seemingly inconsequential side effects of stress can cause individuals to live far too often in their sympathetic nervous systems, resulting in adrenal fatigue and chronic health problems.

3 Steps to Curb Stress

Fortunately, there are 3 steps you can enlist to combat stress and keep your body in optimal working condition.

#1. Get Moving

Exercise is an excellent way to combat stress. It may seem somewhat counter-intuitive, given that it provokes bodily responses similar to stress, but the motivation behind those responses is entirely different. Exercise improves mental and physical health, creating strength, better circulation, better-functioning organs, and releasing endorphins to boost mood. While some forms of exercise are better than others in terms of losing or maintaining weight, moving your body for at least 30 minutes per day, 3 times per week will go a long way in reducing stress.

#2. Watch Your Diet

Believe it or not, food greatly impacts your body’s response to stress. Rich, whole foods—think whole grains with minimal processing, fruits, vegetables, and meats—fuel your body, providing the vitamins, minerals, and building blocks needed to maintain physical health, as well as maintaining an alert, focused mental state. Conversely, processed foods contribute to brain fog, fatigue, and ineffective digestion, leading to a breakdown in nutrient absorption and loss of motivation.

#3. Practice Meditation and Gratitude

This step proves extremely difficult for some, as it can feel silly at first. Note, though, that meditation is not a religious or even necessarily a spiritual practice; instead, meditation teaches your mind to still, giving it a much-needed rest. As anyone with vivid dreams can attest, a constantly-whirring brain leads to exhaustion. If counting your breath or focusing inward proves difficult, consider meditating on a handful of things you are grateful for. This could be your job, the arrival of your favorite season, or even the incredible taste of your morning coffee—the content matters little.

Using the three steps outline above, you can drastically reduce stress, improve your health, and give yourself the freedom to operate without the shackles of fear and worry—while giving your body a break from stress-related symptoms and complications derived from Type 2 diabetes.

[expand title=”References“]

WebMD. Accessed on 3/8/17.
ADAA. Accessed on 3/8/17.
NPR. Accessed on 3/8/17.


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