Managing Stress When You Have Diabetes

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on February 07, 2021

Stress can cause some people to become ill. And when you have diabetes, stress can significantly affect your ability to control the disease. If you are under stress, you may skip meals or forget to take your medication, which will affect your blood sugar level.

Although you can't completely remove stress from your life, there are several ways you can reduce it. And by learning to better cope with stress, you can help keep your diabetes under control. Here are some tips:

Try to Have a Positive Attitude

When things seem to be going wrong, it's always easier to see the bad instead of the good. Find something good in each important area of your life: work, family, friends, and health. Thinking about the good can help you get through the bad times.

Be Nice to Yourself

What are your talents, abilities, and goals? Are you expecting too much from yourself? Don't expect more of yourself than you have or are able to give.

Accept What You Cannot Change

For those stressful situations or problems that cannot be changed, develop a simple plan of action. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • "Will this be important two years from now?"
  • "Do I have control over this situation?"
  • "Can I change my situation?"

Talk to Someone About Your Stressors

Don't keep everything bottled up inside. If you don't want to talk with a family member or close friend, there are counselors and clergy trained to provide support and insight. Ask your doctor for recommendations if you would like to see a psychologist or counselor.

Exercise to Lower Stress

The benefits of exercise in reducing stress are well known. Exercise gives you a feeling of well-being and may relieve symptoms of stress.

Practice Relaxation Skills

Practice muscle relaxation, deep breathing, meditation, or visualization. Ask your health care provider for information and available programs.

WebMD Medical Reference


SOURCE: American Diabetes Association.

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