Did you know that stress can cause a) your blood glucose levels to skyrocket, and b) the scales to creep upwards? Put a stop to stress and give your diabetes management a healthy boost with these simple solutions
Fact: Minimising stress is just as important to weight management as moving more and eating better. Why? Because when you experience stress, your body releases a surge of adrenaline and cortisol, hormones that cause you to feel hungry and to start stockpiling fat. Luckily, you can drastically – and speedily – reduce your stress levels with a few small lifestyle tweaks.
Pop a few drops of aromatic lavender oil on your pillow, in an oil burner or on your temples. Research from the University of Miami found that, after inhaling lavender oil, people reported feeling calmer and showed a significant drop in their heart rate, blood pressure and skin temperature.
Be a flower child
Walk through the bush or your local park, or eat lunch by the ocean. A 20-minute ‘nature break’ makes you feel more alive and energised, and improves your sense of wellbeing, according to research from the University of Rochester.
Hang up on tech
Studies show that constant social media interruptions can add to the stress in our lives, so set a time each day when you switch off your mobile phone and social media for tech-free time-out.
Burn, baby, burn
When you exercise, your body burns off adrenal hormones. It also boosts natural feel-good chemicals such as serotonin, which increase your sense of wellbeing. The more time you spend doing exercise, the less depression, anxiety and insomnia you experience, shows research from the University of Bristol.
Give a massage
Sometimes, it’s better to give than receive. Try offering a back or foot rub to someone you care about. According to research published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, doing this will decrease your anxiety levels.
Enjoy a hug
Give your partner, flatmate, children or four-legged friend a cuddle. Research shows that hugging helps reduce blood pressure, makes you feel cared for and connects you to your loved ones. Win-win-win!
Ban negative thoughts
Studies suggest that we are genetically hardwired to focus on the negative. Beat your biology and ditch the doom and gloom by accentuating the good things in your life. Every evening, talk about or write down three positive actions or experiences from your day.