Once diagnosed with diabetes, the first thing that comes to mind is its physical symptoms and you start focusing on treating the body. However, the disease may affect you in a more insidious way which is no less important – your mental health.
The diagnosis may trigger intense feelings and is the start of emotional journey. Diabetics are more likely to have mental health issues because when blood sugar is too high, the brain which uses it for all of its functions, including thinking, memory, judgment, behavior and emotions, becomes affected. As a result, mental disorders in diabetics may manifest as depression, dementia and even delirium.
Paying attention to your emotional well-being will help you better care of your physical needs too. Positive thinking has lots of health benefits. When you have an optimistic view of life, it influences both your physical and emotional wellbeing in an extremely positive way. Here are some of the health benefits of positive thinking for diabetics:
- Fights depression. Pessimistic thinking about so many factors to consider when living with diabetes can be very stressful and lead to depression. In its turn, depression in diabetics can make it more difficult to manage diabetes and prevent its complications. That said, if you change this into a positive mood, you can start combat depression.
- Prolongs life. Optimism is associated with a lower risk of mortality. Those who think positively are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases or become diabetic. If you change the perspective on your stress stemming from the constant planning of your diabetes control to a positive versus negative, the stress will be a lot less and will prevent you from getting sick.
- Helps to cope better with sickness. A positive attitude helps to recover faster from any disease. Remaining optimistic you will be able to cope better with diabetes too.
- Strengthens immunity. Positive thinking helps to fight off many ailments, whereas constantly thinking negatively causes the brain to weaken the response of the immune system to diseases.
- Helps to overcome stress and hardships. Positive thinking allows people to cope better during hardships and reduce stress in their lives. It is known that stress has major effects on metabolic activity, resulting in high blood glucose, because stress hormones can directly alter the blood glucose. Moreover, when under stress, people may not take good care of themselves and forget or do not have time to manage blood glucose levels.
So, do not underestimate the importance of your thoughts in conquering both physical and emotional imbalances. It is necessary to incorporate positive thinking into your life as a way to better understand and manage the disease. To do so you should:
- Stay connected, because negative emotions get more intense when you feel alone
- Be open and talk frankly with your family and friends about your feelings and experience
- Surround yourself with positive people and you will unconsciously follow suit
- Try mindfulness and relaxation from deep breathing to meditation.
- Practice gratitude, because thinking about what you are thankful for can make your mood shift
- Exercise often to lower stress and better manage blood glucose levels
- Read books to nourish your inner self and not to get caught up in the circumstances of the moment
- Nix the blame and go easy on yourself if you mess up
- Reframe the situation and try to appreciate the good parts of it
- Forgive others as hanging on to old hurts leaves you less room for optimism
- Become aware of negative thoughts and catch them quickly to make it easier for them to drift away.
If all these fails, fake it until you make it. The result will be less stress and more enjoyable life regardless of the challenges you face.