It is mental health awareness month, so I thought that I would take the opportunity to talk about it as an essential pillar of diabetes success and what you can do to improve your mental health right now that you might not already be doing.
We all know how stressful the unpredictability of diabetes can be. What works one day, doesn’t the next. It seems like at times despite our best effort, we still get it wrong. There are so many moving parts to ‘stay in balance’ that our mind takes a beating. Life is stressful enough without diabetes but then you couple it with highs and lows, alarms, needles and annual deductibles suddenly you have got a great recipe for chronic stress.
If you live with diabetes like me, it is essential to prioritize your mental well-being. I want to share with you how I have been able to reduce my diabetes related anxiety for good with yoga therapy.
It is not news that yoga and meditation are an effective way of reducing stress and improving self-awareness. Given this fact it would be healthy to assume that the practice of yoga and meditation would be beneficial for reducing diabetes stress.
You may be practicing both yoga and meditation but what you might be forgetting to do is this one very simple thing: seated breathing.
It seems so simple, it is most often overlooked. But let me tell you it is the most important tool in your self-care toolkit.
The breath influences the mind just as the mind influences the breath. When you are shocked, you gasp for air, and when you are relaxed, you take a long sigh of relief. The feeling of the breath is indicative of the mental state.
Simply inhaling and exhaling in a comfortable way activates the parasympathetic nervous system eliciting a calm and relaxed feeling in the body and mind. Regular daily practice allows the mind to slow down so you can start to see the causes of your stress and do something about it.
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Evan Rachel Soroka