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3 Tips for Lowering Your Blood Sugar by Reducing Stress

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Stress and diabetes - they often hit you together. Living with diabetes is stressful by itself. And stress can raise your blood glucose levels by causing your body to put out stress hormones and transmitters like cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine into your system. And stress comes in all forms, psychological, social, and biological (oxidative stress). If you have diabetes, it is even more important than ever to deal more effectively with your stress load.

But how? Here are 3 tips to help you change how you react to stressful situations in whatever form they show up in your daily life.

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1. Learn the relaxing breath. There are dozens of different techniques and traditional systems of healing that rely on the relaxing breath to unwind your tension. The basics are that when you feel stress building, take a time out. You want to sit in a comfortable chair, eyes closed, inhale deeply and slowly and imagine the air expanding down into your abdomen. Then exhale slowly and smoothly.

One way or another, you want to shift from shallow fast upper chest breathing to slow, regular abdominal breathing. As you inhale and exhale, imagine yourself in a soothing and peaceful place, whatever location you resonate with is a good choice. Try to experience as much of the sensory experience of your peaceful place in your mind - sounds, sights, smells, touch. Just taking a relaxing breath several times a day can help bring you down from your spiraling stress level.

2. Make good choices about whom you spend time with. Your time is precious. If someone is mostly an irritant or a downer, choose to spend the time with yourself or someone else who supports and nourishes you as a person. Of course you don't want to avoid friends who are going through a bad time, but don't immerse yourself in misery. The airlines always tell you to put on your face mask first, then help the child next to you in an emergency. Same concept. Take better care of yourself. Happiness is actually contagious - it has been scientifically studied.

3. Take a look at your usual menu and supplements. Oxidative stress is a larger than usual problem for people with diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes. That is, higher blood sugar levels put more aging stress on your cells. Avoid empty calorie high carb foods that just stress your body. You also need more protection from the by-products of metabolism. The protective factors at the biological level include natural antioxidant supplements, from beta-carotene, vitamins C and E to alpha lipoic acid and resveratrol.

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