Reducing Stress: No one likes to cope with a lot of stress. For a patient with diabetes, the introduction of stress can be more than an annoyance; it can be a real detriment to the physical well-being of the diabetic. There are several excellent reasons why a diabetic should know how to live with a minimum amount of stress.
When the body notes the appearance of a stress, it prepares to respond to that stress. As part of that preparation, the body undergoes certain physiological changes. Some of those changes—the increased susceptibility to skin problems, the increased level of blood pressure and the increased susceptibility to colds and flu—can lead to the development of potentially life-threatening conditions within the body of the stressed diabetic.
In addition, the changes brought-about by stress can stimulate the release of certain body hormones. Some of those hormones trigger a response to the body’s anticipated demand for energy. Some hormones call for a release of stored energy, stored energy in the form of glucose. When a diabetic lacks the insulin needed to let the excess glucose into body cells, then the released glucose builds up in the bloodstream.
New research findings suggest that stress not only harms those who already have diabetes, but it can also cause a healthy person to develop Type 2 diabetes. Stress can affect the sympathetic nervous system, leading to the occurrence of sleep disturbances. Such disturbances can cause glucose intolerance, thus encouraging the development of Type 2 diabetes.
In order to avoid the sort of problems that are made all the more harmful by the feelings associated with stress, a diabetic needs to find ways to reduce the number of stressors that he or she might encounter. By avoiding a stressful situation whenever possible, a diabetic can limit the amount of stress in his or her live. When such avoidance is not possible, a diabetic needs to find a number of different ways to “de-stress.”
Anything that encourages a diabetic to go through the steps in a progressive relaxation can help a diabetic to overcome feelings of stress. There are several ways that a diabetic can “wind-down” slowly from the rapid pace at which so much of present-day life takes place. A few of those relaxation techniques are detailed in the following paragraph.
Yoga offers all patients (those with diabetes and those with other medical conditions) a proven way to relax. Yoga is most effective when those who perform a yoga routine also do some deep breathing exercises. Of course, a diabetic does not need to feel that yoga gives to him or to her the single way to enjoy the benefits of progressive relaxation.
Meditation can help a person to relax slowly and effectively. Some people who practice meditation stimulate their senses in a manner that encourages the relaxation of the body. Some meditation groups use scented candles to enhance the relaxed atmosphere at a meditation session. Total relaxation insures the successful completion of a meditation process. It enhances the chances that a recognized stressor will fail to stimulate the normal cascade of stress-inducing events.
A diabetic can develop an increased resistance to stress, or resilience, when faced with the impact of a stressful situation. A few of the stress-reducing techniques focus primarily on the development of an increased resistance to stress. Specifics about those techniques are found in the following paragraphs.
A daily check for possible stressors can help to strengthen one’s resistance to stress. A diabetic should take the time to consider each day what parts of his or her body might not be feeling or functioning as they should. In the absence of any stress, a diabetic should hope to feel terrific. If a diabetic does not feel terrific then the diabetic must evaluate the cause of the discomfort that he or she feels.
A diabetic might discover that he or she has a knotted stomach or an unexplained tightness of the neck muscles. An awareness of such symptoms should tell a diabetic that he or she needs to relax. An awareness of such symptoms should lead to the initiation of one or more relaxation techniques.
Diabetics who have learned the importance of keeping a journal should have better luck dealing with stress. A diabetic who is keeping a journal will have a way to record times when he or she experienced distress. In the journal, the diabetic can view the distressing event from several angles. The diabetic can writer down how the distressing event might have included fewer stressors, and how it might have been the source of far more stress.
What is the point of making and recording such speculations? First of all, its helps the diabetic see that a distressing situation might have taken place in a far more upsetting manner. By the same token, the recording of stressful instances can help a diabetic to recognize better ways for dealing with any stress that shows-up in the near future.
A person normally feels stressed when his or her life seems to be spiraling out of control. Anything that can help a diabetic to feel “in control” can facilitate the removal of stress. Control comes from the acquisition of self-empowerment. The confrontation and conquering of a challenge can hasten the acquisition of self-empowerment. For that reason, engagement in well-chosen, challenging activities can hasten the removal of stress from the day-to-day encounters of a diabetic.
A diabetic should exercise in order to hasten the removal of excess sugar from the bloodstream. Still, there is a second important reason why a diabetic should take the time to exercise.. Exercise gives the body a way to release any built-up stress. A body that has been put through a regular round of exercise experiences the “lift” that comes with exercise. A person who has experienced such a “lift” is less apt to feel stressed.
Because diabetes can harm the heart and circulatory system, a diabetic must reduce the number of factors that might accelerate the rate at which harmful changes take place in the circulatory system. Stress is one such factor.