In my last post I mentioned some mental health conditions that may exist along with type 2 diabetes. Of all these conditions, anxiety is among the most common. Fear and worry over the management of the disease can give way to anxiety. Also, individuals with diabetes who experience anxiety are likely to have poor medical outcomes. For this reason, it is important that you learn how to cope with anxiety in order to avoid these complications.
Identify your triggers
Before you learn how to cope with anxiety, you should first be able to identify your triggers. Does a visit to your doctor make you anxious? Does talking about your illness trigger your anxiety? Or, monitoring your glucose levels? Or being in certain social situations? Once you identify your triggers you should keep a record of when they occur in your journal and refer to them when you feel anxious.
Anxiety and your breathing
When you feel anxious, your breathing becomes shallow and you may have difficulty breathing. Once the threat is passed, your breathing slows and you feel relaxed. You can train yourself to control your breathing when you feel yourself becoming anxious.
Most of the breathing we do consists of short, shallow breaths from our chest. The most effective type of breathing is deep breathing or breathing from our diaphragm or belly. This is not the way you will breathe all the time, but you should take a few minutes out of your day, every day, to practice some deep breathing.
What deep breathing does
Stress, worry and anxiety become trapped in our bodies and build up over time, making us more tense and anxious. Deep breathing brings more oxygen into the body to feed our cells and our brain and get rid of these trapped emotions. Deep breathing relaxes your mind, lowers blood pressure, and even aids digestion. The more oxygen we take in the more cleansing we experience. Think of it as an emotional detox.
How to do it
Below you will find written instructions and a video on how to do deep breathing . Whichever one you choose, practice it regularly and you will begin to reap the benefits.
Deep breathing is a simple technique that’s excellent for managing emotions. Not only is deep
breathing effective, it’s also discreet and easy to use at any time or place. Sit comfortably and place one hand on your abdomen. Breathe in through your nose, deeply enough that the hand on your abdomen rises. Hold the air in your lungs, and then exhale slowly through your mouth, with your lips puckered as if you are blowing through a straw. The secret is to go slow: Time the inhalation (4s), pause (4s), and exhalation (6s). Practice for 3 to 5 minutes. Breathing in, your stomach rises; breathing out, your stomach lowers.
A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can send your life into a tailspin. It can leave you feeling alone and overwhelmed, but it doesn’t have to. Join my type 2 diabetes network group and get the help and support you need.Alldiabetic, LLC