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How to Manage Stress with Type 2 Diabetes

stressed out guy with hand on head outside

Stress management is a critical step in attaining and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Let’s review some basics.

Stress and its Impact on Blood Sugar

Stress is a normal part of life; our bodies are hardwired to manage it. When surprised, scared or anxious hormone levels shift in the body result in the liver releasing sugar into the bloodstream. This increase in blood sugar is meant to make sure that you have quick energy available in case you need to run away from a threat. This is useful if you need to be able to jump out of the way of a giant boulder but is not great if you are nervous about how a presentation will go.
If blood sugar levels rise too high, there are immediate impacts on wellbeing. Often there is an immediate decline in mood and energy level. If stress levels remain high, so can blood sugar, which can put the brakes on progress toward health goals and even reverse them.
When it comes to emotional stress, there are things you can do to try and keep stress – and your blood glucose levels – under control.

Tips for Managing Pressure

Be active.
Physical activity helps to lower your glucose levels by allowing your muscles to use sugar for energy. Whether it’s a brisk walk outdoors or a calming go-with-the-flow yoga session, regular movement often results in balanced blood sugar levels.
Put your health first.
It’s easy to take on too much. Work, family, and community obligations can all add up. You’ve got to remember that if you take time to care for yourself, you will be more able to take care of others.
Get mindful with your stress.
Mindfulness is a mind/body practice where you focus on life as it is now, instead of focusing on the present or past. Mindful practices can take the form of deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga or even just a quiet walk focusing on the environment around you. The trick is to find an activity that allows you to let your mind rest. Mindfulness has been shown to help people better cope with everyday stressors, chronic illness, anxiety and depression.
Find a hobby.
Developing a hobby can be a great outlet from stress. Settling in with a healthy distraction can offer peace of mind and enjoyment. New hobbies also create opportunities for new social connections, which also help with stress management. Options include knitting, coloring, painting, guitar and more.
Look to a fur baby.
If you have one, you know how stress-relieving a walk in the park or cuddle time on the couch can be. Either way, our fur babies have a real way of helping us release tension.
Talk to someone.
Do you know someone you trust who’s a great listener and can offer advice when asked? It can be a loved one, a friend, Level2 coach or therapist. Talking things through is a great way to gain new perspectives and relieve stress.