To find out how mental stress affects your blood glucose management, before using your meter, write down a number rating of your mental stress level on a scale of 1 to 10. Then record your blood glucose level next to it. Then in a week or two, look for a pattern. Look for trends by graphing the data to make then stand out. Then ask yourself if high stress levels often occur with high blood glucose levels, and do low stress levels go with low blood glucose levels? If these are true, stress is affecting your blood glucose management.
The above should let you know that you need to make changes. You need to minimize stress or eliminate stress in your life. Some suggestions to help:
- Find a new route to work, leave earlier, or use mass transit if available.
- Have a talk with your boss, apply for a transfer if available, and change jobs if necessary or possible.
- Find a way to patch up a relationship.
- Start an exercise program.
- Take dance lessons or join a dance club.
- Learn a new craft or hobby.
- Volunteer at a hospital or charity.
- Obtain financial counseling.
- Find new ways to cope with situation causing stress.
- Breathing exercises – sit or lie down and uncross your legs and arms. Take a deep breath followed by exhaling as much air as possible. Breathe in and out again, but this time relax your muscles as much as possible. Keep this up for about 10 to 20 minutes at a time and do this at least once a day.
- Progressive relaxation therapy – this is a technique, which you can learn in a clinic or from an audio tape. It involves tensing your muscles and then relaxing them.
- Exercise – This involves relaxing your body by moving it through a wide range of motion. Use circling, stretching, and shaking parts of your body. Remember the activity you did as a child – put your right foot out, put your right foot in, shake your right food and move it all about. They repeat for the different parts. Adding music may also help.
- Replace bad thoughts with good thoughts – Every time you have a bad thought, purposefully thing of something that makes you happy. Some people use a memorized poem, a prayer, or a quote and use it to replace a bad thought.