How to Practice Mindfulness to Manage Blood Sugar Levels | Diabetes Health Page

How to Practice Mindfulness to Manage Blood Sugar Levels

By Bobby | Articles

Feb 26

Mindfulness is a technique that teaches a person to focus on their day-to-day emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations in the present without criticizing or judging anyone else. Being mindful doesn’t help solve all the problems, but it can help us deal with them calmly.

By focusing on the present feelings, thoughts, and actions, we can see things more objectively and clearly.

In addition, we will learn to stop auto-responding in certain situations in unhealthy ways. For example, instead of giving in to the cravings, we can take that moment think about our options and choose to eat something that won’t increase the weight.

How Does It Work?

Mindfulness can help deal with the constant anxiety, stress, and depression that come with diabetes. It can help people avoid negative thoughts and emotions like anger, sadness, guilt, and frustration. Instead, people will be attracted to feelings of contentment and pure happiness.

In fact, people have been thought that having negative emotions is not good.

As a result, they believe that having these emotions means that they are in a way mentally ill. Well, mindfulness encourages people to focus on the present and pay attention to their development without judging or criticizing the people around them or themselves.

In the long run, this technique allows a person to accept their feelings instead of avoiding them.

Supported By Research

Many researchers try to find innovative and more useful ways to treat and properly manage diabetes.

Moreover, at the Diabetes Professional Conference in the UK, many new developments were presented, including the way mindfulness can help with diabetes management. This new treatment method for managing type 1 diabetes was introduced in March 2016.

While it is still unclear if mindfulness can only help with self-management or with every diabetes-related issue, there is evidence that suggests this technique could make it easier for people to manage their condition.

Mindfulness is a technique that allows a person to be completely aware of their external and internal environment and be completely present at the moment. When you learn to focus on your body, the body will send you signals and let you become more aware of what it needs.

Dr. Andrew Keen, was the lead researcher who carried out the research. He claims that there are multiple ways this technique can help manage diabetes.

  1. It can help people become more aware of their body and what it needs.
  2. It can help them make decisions by increasing their awareness.
  3. People will have better clarity which can result in better decisions.

Besides, we have known for a long time that self-management can naturally improve a person’s well-being, which is why we focused on mindfulness as an effective way for managing diabetes, said Keen.

Furthermore, other research in Germany and Netherlands supported these claims.

It seems that mindfulness may indeed be useful for managing diabetes. As a technique, it can help people with diabetes lower the psychological distress they have to deal with while managing this chronic illness.

According to the German research, practicing mindfulness combined with yoga and meditation for 8 weeks seems to work best for people with diabetes. Moreover, researchers from the Netherlands used mindfulness as cognitive therapy.

However, Keen warns that there isn’t enough evidence about whether mindfulness can help people with diabetes type 1 or the people who had trouble controlling their diabetes.

In other words, it is still unknown to what extend mindfulness can help reduce the blood glucose levels, depression and anxiety.

But, there is sufficient evidence that suggests mindfulness can be a useful way to deal with diabetes and depression that comes with it. According to Keen, whether mindfulness will become an effective way of treating diabetes, still remains to be answered.

However, he is optimistic and says that he recommends the technique for people with type 1 diabetes.

Mindfulness Practices

Thankfully, it is very easy to learn and practice this technique. Here are a few ways you can do it.

  • Look at an object with fresh eyes. Try to completely erase what you know about that object and try to pay attention to every detail you previously didn’t notice was there. Next, identify these details as if you have never seen them before.
  • When you are talking to someone, completely erase the thoughts of judgment and thinking. Instead, focus completely on the things that person is saying.
  • When you are driving focus only on the road. Do not start daydreaming or worrying about what comes next.
  • Relax, sit down,  breathe. Focus on your breath and feel the air as it starts to move in the nostrils.
  • The next time you want to eat something, take your time and look at the food. Smell it and feel its skin. Imagine yourself eating it. Now slowly put the food in the mouth and feel its surface and shape. Slowly chew the food and feel the textures changing.

Lastly, notice the impulses and changes these will cause in the body. Don’t forget to practice this technique for a few minutes every day.