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Nine tips for dealing with stress

The effects of stress may contribute to life-threatening conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke. For those with diabetes, stress can also negatively affect blood sugar levels. Learning to keep stress under control is a very important part of leading a healthy lifestyle and proper diabetes management.

When you are stressed, the lack of insulin in your body can lead to dangerously high blood sugar levels. During periods of stress it is very important for you to watch what you eat, adhere to a good exercise routine and check your blood sugar on a regular basis.

Nine tips for dealing with stress

If stress continually follows you like your shadow, consider these tips to learn how to cope.

  1. Get plenty of sleep. Sleep allows your body and mind to recharge, and the boost of energy you get from a good night's sleep can give you a new perspective on a stressful situation. Staying well-rested can also go a long way toward keeping your blood sugar levels within normal range.
  2. Make a list. If you are overwhelmed by the little details of your life, sit down and make two lists. The first list should include all the things that need to be done. The second list should include all the things that have to be done. Organizing your life on paper can help you deal with it all.
  3. Talk it out. Speak with someone you trust or join a support group to help you deal with the things that are weighing on your mind. Simply talking to someone else about what is bothering you can go a long way toward lifting the burden.
  4. Get away for a while. Carve out some quiet time for yourself. Go see a movie, take a scenic drive or read a book. Focusing on something you enjoy can help combat stress.
  5. Relax your body as well as your mind. Consider joining a yoga class or learning about the benefits of meditation. Progressive relaxation therapy is another possible option.
  6. Help someone else. Offer the gift of your time at your local women's shelter or Red Cross. Spend time with the animals at the Humane Society, or read a story to kids at your local library. Doing something helpful for others may lighten your mood and give you a fresh perspective on life.
  7. Consider Change. Take a good look at the cause of your stress and ask yourself what you can do to change it. Can you rearrange your work schedule? Can you have a heart-to-heart with your spouse and clear the air? Can you find a solution to that pesky situation with the neighbor? Even if you can't change the situation, giving it a try can be empowering.
  8. Accept Change. Accept what you cannot change. Ask yourself if there is anything you can do about what is bothering you. If the situation is completely out of your hands, accept that you can do nothing about the outcome and try to let go of the
  9. Talk to Your Doctor. If you are dealing with a major crisis, such as a death in the family, consult your doctor on ways to keep your blood sugar levels under control during such a trying time. Anti-anxiety medication may not the best solution, but it can be helpful in keeping short-term stress under control.

When you are under stress, pay very close attention to your blood glucose levels. Staying on a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and trying out different relaxation techniques can help you control your diabetes during times of stress.

About Shannon Lee

Shannon Dauphin began writing about diabetes long before she was diagnosed in 1998. A professional writer with nearly two decades of experience, Shannon has covered topics from medical and health to relationships and is the author of several published novels.

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