When you're low, you lose your natural willpower instinct. All too often, overtreating and subsequently ending up high later, perpetuating a vicious cycle.
We've all been there. 3am with a severe low, and suddenly all dietary rules are thrown out the window. I'm low, so I deserve this whole pint of ice cream! Then we wake up at 300 mg/dL, and our entire day is ruined.
Regardless of whether you've mastered these moments or not, being low is scary and uncomfortable. In fact, the tighter control you have over your blood sugars, the higher the likelihood of experiencing lows.
The old 15/15 rule holds true today, but it is not always realistic, especially when hypoglycemia sensations are so intense. It's easy to overreact and overtreat our lows.
In this video, I'll walk you through a yoga therapy practice to develop willpower amid hypoglycemia. I have adapted this practice from the work of Dr. Kelly McGonnigal and her book the Willpower Instinct.
The Steps of Hypoglycemia Willpower are:
1. Notice the thought, feeling or craving.
2. Accept and attend to the inner experience.
3. Breathe and give your brain and body a chance to pause and plan.
4. Broaden your attention and look for an action that will help you achieve your goal.
5. Treat the low.
6. Sit or lie down and repeat steps 1-4, consciously shaping the breath for up to 15 minutes. At which, retest and treat again if numbers have not resolved to normal levels.
I recommend practicing this first when you're not low and then applying it when you are. See how it helps you recognize your cravings, attend to the experience, plan appropriately, and remain centered during one of the most challenging side-effects of diabetes.
You've got this!
Evan Rachel Soroka