Reducing Mental Stress
For some problems, stress may be a sign that something needs to change. With change, you may be able to get rid of some stresses of life. If traffic upsets you, for example, maybe you can find a new route to work or leave home early enough to miss the traffic jams. If your job demands too much from you, you can possibly discuss with your boss how to improve things. If you are in conflict with a friend or relative, you can make the first move to make up.
There are other ways to fight stress as well:
Volunteer at a hospital or charity, or NGO.
Coping style is how a person deals with stress. For example, some people have a problem-solving attitude. They say to themselves, "What can I do about this problem?" They try to change their situation to get rid of the stress.
Other people talk themselves into accepting the problem as okay. They say to themselves, "This problem really isn't so bad after all."
These two methods of coping are usually helpful. People who use them tend to have less blood glucose elevation in response to mental stress.
Learning to Relax
For some people with diabetes, controlling stress with relaxation therapy seems to help, though it is more likely to help people with Type 2 diabetes than people with Type 1 diabetes. This difference makes sense. Stress blocks the body from releasing insulin in people with type 2 diabetes, so cutting stress may be more helpful for these people. People with type 1 diabetes don't make insulin, so stress reduction doesn't have this effect. Some people with type 2 diabetes may also be more sensitive to some of the stress hormones. Relaxing can help by reducing this sensitivity.
Sit or lie down and uncross your legs and arms. Take in a deep breath. Then push out as much air as you can. Breathe in and out again, this time relaxing your muscles on purpose while breathing out. Keep breathing and relaxing for 5 to 20 minutes at a time. Do the breathing exercises at least once a day.
Progressive relaxation therapy
In this technique, which you can learn in a clinic or from an audio tape, you tense muscles, then relax them.
Another way to relax your body is by moving it through a wide range of motion. Three ways to loosen up through movement are circling, stretching, and shaking parts of your body. To make this exercise more fun, move with music.
Replace bad thoughts with good ones
Each time you notice a bad thought, purposefully think of something that makes you happy or proud.
Whatever method you choose to relax, practice it. Just as it takes weeks or months of practice to learn a new sport, it takes practice to learn relaxation.