Listen to Episode 11 of The Diabetic Toolbox How to Use Mindfulness to Keep Diabetes Distress Under Control
‘We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts… Be the witness of your thoughts.’ – Gautama Buddha
Let me be clear this is not a quick fix, but if you practice mindfulness regularly, you will begin to see beautiful results in every area of your life, including your health. For example, if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you could be experiencing something called diabetes distress. “Diabetes distress is an emotional response to the burdens of living with diabetes and the self-care necessary to manage diabetes. Most of us know someone who has diabetes. Worldwide, 425 million people, or 1 in 11 adults, have diabetes. Diabetes is a complex condition requiring people to follow specific self-care activities, including regular exercise, eating healthy meals, monitoring blood glucose, diabetes medication, and attending medical appointments.”
Folks suffering from diabetes distress may experience queasiness, heartburn, headaches, or lower back pain. You might also see a difference in the texture of your skin and experience conditions like eczema, acne, hives even hair loss when your stress is out of control. If you experience any of these symptoms, please consult your medical team.
So, what can you do to mitigate these issues and maintain your sanity? Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the art of being fully present in your life, not worrying about the future or regretting your past. “The goal of mindfulness is to wake up to the inner workings of our mental, emotional, and physical processes.” Becoming mindful is not complicated, but it does take daily practice.
These tips will give you an easy and safe place to start.
- Do not get caught on the roller coaster ride of future worrying-keep your thoughts in the present.
- Use a journal or reflection to observe your thoughts.
- Show yourself some self-compassion- your thoughts are neither right nor wrong.
- Focus on how you react, monitor your anger and sadness levels, and use your coping strategies to help you move through the emotion, so you do not get stuck.
Download your copy of the new E-book You are Stronger Than You Think: Affirmations to Heal Your Mind Body and Spirit
Researchers found that “Mindfulness-based stress reduction was associated with significant improvements in diabetes distress, weight, glycaemic control, and blood pressure control.” Dealing with the fear of contracting type 2 Diabetes or worrying about managing this chronic disease can affect your emotional and physical wellbeing. But you are not helpless; you have the power to manage your stress and take control of your life. Mindfulness is one tool that will help you enjoy your present while you plan your future.
Wishing you peace and love,