Stress Management: Imperative to Help Diabetics Lose Weight and Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices

While living a healthy lifestyle is paramount regardless of the specific health condition you have, it is of the utmost importance when you have diabetes since it is influenced so heavily by two things completely under our control — the foods we choose to eat and how much physical activity we partake in. Eating a healthy diet and being physically active will take you a long way in staying healthy and keeping blood sugar under control, but the problem lies in doing these things on a consistent basis where they become your normal mode of operation. Here are some tips to prime your mind to make the decisions that will help you lose weight, manage your diabetes and simply be healthier overall.

Importance of Stress Management

If you are living and breathing, stress is inevitable; if completely eliminating it is not on the table, it becomes imperative to find ways to manage it better. Stress is bad for diabetics in two ways. Firstly, high levels of stress cause all sorts of reactions in our body and one such reaction is raising blood sugar levels.

Secondly, when we are constantly experiencing high levels of stress, it impairs our ability to make the healthy lifestyle choices necessary to properly manage diabetes. How many times have you tried to soothe the feelings of a bad day with donuts or some other sweet treat? How many times have you skipped the gym because you just wanted to zone out in front of the TV to take your mind off your troubles? When we feel stressed, we are in a negative state of mind where we just do not care about our health as much. We feel pessimistic and may wonder what is the point? While none of us are perfect, and we have our moments of slipping up, failure to really rein in stress will make these unhealthy choices the norm and that is exactly what we do not want. Since healthy lifestyle choices are a cornerstone of managing diabetes, you want to work on any obstacles standing in the way of making them.

Effective Stress-Relieving Techniques

When it comes to managing stress, anything that helps you feel good will do the trick, but certain techniques may be particularly helpful. A study looking at the effects of mindfulness meditation on diabetics specifically produced some encouraging results in the form of reduced blood pressure (important to reduce your increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease), stress, anxiety, fear and depression—all common problems in diabetic patients. The better we feel, the easier it is to make healthy choices because we want to continue to feel good. We develop a greater respect for our body and we want to take care of it.

Another powerful technique that I can personally attest to is journaling. So much of our stress in life comes not from what is actually happening to us, but how we are reacting to these events. You are human and will have emotions, but we have the ability to change perspective and lessen the intensity of stress and other negative feelings. By writing down what is going on in your life, you can bring all that stuff raging through your head out into the open where its power will dissipate. You can reflect and observe. You will gain a wealth of information, such as what triggers stress, how to avoid triggers if possible, how to better deal with it, why you react the way you do and what you can do differently to feel better.

Closing Thoughts

When we are in less than perfect health, especially when we suffer from a condition that will stay with us for life, it can be disheartening. Diabetes is a very serious condition that can increase the likelihood of developing many other serious health problems and it is not to be taken lightly. But, take heart with the fact that you have a great deal of control in managing its course since the things that affect it most are things you have the power to influence. You just need to work on creating a state of mind that supports making the right choices and making a concerted effort to create a healthier mind through stress reduction is one of the most important things you can do. 

Kelli Cooper has been contributing to health sites, such as the Weight Loss Triumph blog for the last several years; you can visit this URL to get a wealth of weight-loss information in the form of articles, diet reviews and much more. Kelli is very passionate about healthy living, especially the topics of weight loss and healthy eating. She is very happy to have the opportunity to share information about healthy living through her work as a writer.

Image Credit: 1, 2, 3.

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