Why are you so stressed out?
Have you ever been in fearful situation such as a fight (verbal or physical) or seeing the flashing lights in your rear view mirror. Or how about having to turn in a 20 page report tomorrow morning and you only have 5 pages done.
These are all stressful situations and each day we go through lots of them. Maybe it’s working for an overbearing boss. Or having to deal with unruly children.
How we deal with stress can have a major impact on our bodies, especially for those who are predisposed to develop pre-diabetes or full-blown diabetes.
It has been proven in previous studies that stress can cause someone to develop diabetes and its awful complications. Things like family crisis – divorce, having demanding or overbearing parents and personal issues such as loss of a job or death of a loved one – are all contributing factors to pre-diabetes.
If you let stress take control . . . your day is ruined. Your vison becomes blurry, your heart beats faster, your blood vessels tighten-up and your breathing becomes shallow. And worst of all you reach for your comfort (junk) foods to calm you down.
On the other hand when we effectively deal with the cause of our stresses we can have a peaceful and productive day.
How to prevent stress induce pre-diabetes
The most important way to prevent stress-induced pre-diabetes is to recognize situations that cause us to become stressful and deal with them from a position of strength and not let it defeat you.
This means that if you find yourself in any of the situations mentioned above, or something more unique to you – know it for what it is: a stress inducing condition.
Our bodies want to get to a position of balance. It wants to know whether we should remain in a relaxed state or prepare to fight or run.
In a flight or fight situation our stress hormones causes the adrenal glands release another hormone called cortisol. If we remain in a stressful state too long, cortisol will cause us to gain excess belly fat since it diverts blood and energy away from digestion and to the muscles in preparation to fight or run.
There are short term and long term stressful situations that can cause us to become stressful.
Use the following actions to put yourselves in a calm state when dealing with either:
- Mediation – Take a moment to close your eyes and visualize a place where you are calm – walking along the beach, at a ball game, spending time with your best friend(s), traveling to a far off country. It doesn’t have to be for a long time. It could be for just a few minutes (5-10).
- Deep breathing exercises – When we are in a state of stress our breathing quickens and our heart rate speeds up. Deep breathing returns us to a state of normal breathing and heart function. It also relaxes our minds so we can think more clearly. Do one minute of deep relaxed breathing followed by a minute of normal breathing. Do this for seven minutes. Do deep breathing several times during the day especially when you feel a stressful situation coming on.
- Practice tai chi or yoga which is also another way to control breathing with the addition of controlled movements or poses.
- Develop the exercise habit. This is one form of stress relief that I use regularly. While working out I focus of the task at hand and shut out all distracting thoughts.
- Make a list of positive affirmations that you can repeat at the appropriate moment. An example of this would be . . . ‘I refuse to let other people ruin my day’ or ‘I will be better today than I was yesterday’. Identify and replace all negative thoughts about yourself with positive affirmations.
- Be thankful. Each morning and night I give thanks for all that I have – life, sight, hearing, family, friends, my faith in the Divine and much more.
Other forms of stress relievers include:
- Seeking counsel from someone qualified to offer this kind of service – a pastor, psychiatrist, your mom or dad (maybe), your understanding boss at work.
- Talking to a friend or confidant.
- Take a relaxing bath before going to bed.
- Eat foods that are conducive to easy digestion such as fruits, nuts, fish and chicken.
- Eliminate stress causing foods such as greasy over cooked meats, alcohol, sugary drinks, and over-processed carbohydrates.
- Get a health check-up and confirm that you have no underlying issues that will lead to debilitating illness.
Stress can be a good thing in that it protects us in times of trouble. However remaining in a state of constant stress can be counter productive and lead to many types of illness including heart attacks, diabetes and cancer. Use the techniques listed above; improve on them to suit your particular situation and begin to realize improved health and fitness.
P.S. Discover unique exercises that are effective stress relievers. Visit How to Prevent Pre-diabetes for more information or click on the link at the right of this page.