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How Stress Affects Diabetes

Other Ways to Reduce Mental Stress

You may be able to get rid of some stresses of life. If traffic upsets you, for example, maybe you can find a new route to work or leave home early enough to miss the traffic jams. If your job drives you crazy, apply for a transfer if you can, or possibly discuss with your boss how to improve things. As a last resort, you can look for another job. If you are at odds with a friend or relative, you can make the first move to patch things up. For such problems, feeling stressed may be a sign that changes are called for.

Some sources of stress are never going to go away, no matter what you do. Having diabetes is one of those. Still, there are ways to reduce the stresses of living with diabetes. Support groups can help. Knowing other people in the same situation helps you feel less alone. You can also learn other people's hints for coping with problems. Making friends in a support group can lighten the burden of diabetes-related stresses.

There are other ways to fight stress as well. Sometimes adding positive things to your life can help. You can start an exercise program or join a sports team. You can take dance lessons or join a dancing club. You can start a new hobby or learn a new craft. You can volunteer at a hospital or charity.

Dealing directly with diabetes-related stress can also help. Think about the aspects of life with diabetes that are the most stressful for you. It might be taking your medication, or checking your blood glucose levels regularly, or exercising, or eating as you should.

You can get help with any of these issues. Ask a member of your diabetes team for a referral. Sometimes stress can be so severe that you feel overwhelmed. Then, counseling or psychotherapy might help. Talking with a therapist may help you come to grips with your problems. You may learn new ways of coping or new ways of changing your behavior.

Source: American Diabetes Association