In today's world, everyone has to juggle stress in their life. Not all stress is bad - it can give that extra incentive to get a job done or help bring out our best work. For many people, stress is only temporary, such as when they have to give a presentation or finish a report to meet a deadline. In other people, the stress does not leave and it can have a major impact on their health.

When a person becomes stressed, their body releases a set of hormones that prepares them to take action. This is called the fight-or-flight response. These hormone levels may be consistently high if a person has chronic stress, which can then increase the risk of heart disease, depression, anxiety, and even infections.

Stress can be especially troubling for people with diabetes. And chronic stress has been shown to increase blood sugar levels in these individuals. Also, people with chronic stress tend to have more unhealthy habits like poor eating, smoking, less exercise, not taking medications as recommended by their physician or primary health care provider, and drinking too much alcohol, all of which can have a major impact on health.

Relaxing your stress away

Relaxation is one of the best ways to lower stress in your life. Here are some tips that you can use to reduce stress in your life.

Breathing techniques
Deep breathing is a quick and easy way to reduce your stress. Technique is important so you should:

  1. Lie down on a flat surface.
  2. Uncross your hands and legs.
  3. Take in a nice slow deep breath.
  4. Exhale and push out as much air as you can.
  5. Repeat this breathing for about 5 to 20 minutes every day.

Some people find meditation as a great way to relax. You can relax both your mind and body. Meditating for 10 to 20 minutes every day can help to lower your stress level. There are many different types of meditation, so you may want to take a meditation class to find the right type for you.

Doing something you love
Every person has his or her own set of interests and hobbies. Some people love to knit, some like to chat with friends and family, and others like to listen to music or read. Doing something that you love helps to reduce stress and increase your enjoyment of life.

Exercise is a major stress reducer. Exercise is also very important for good diabetes control. So if you are starting to feel stressed, think about picking up your running shoes and finding ways to be more active.