Diabetes Blogs

Diabetes Mind: How to Cultivate a Healthy Mindset

diabetes mindWhen you are living with a chronic illness or condition, there's a certain level of awareness and mindfulness that you have to cultivate in order to maintain your health for the long haul. Whether you are living with diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson's Disease, or leukemia, developing acute awareness of your health and condition is crucial. 

Diabetes Mind

When you have diabetes, there is a constant and consistent form of self-awareness that most diabetics likely cultivate without even thinking about it. There is mindfulness about blood sugars, thoughtful consideration of nutrition and dietary choices, as well as the other various aspects of living with this very common medical condition. 

"Diabetes mind" is that ingrained way of thinking and living that becomes second nature; it's a manner of keeping your diabetes "top of mind" while also not allowing it to run your life. Diabetes mind is a mind that understands its responsibilities in terms of health and the maintenance of physical well-being, and it maintains equilibrium through smart choices and prudent behavior. 

Diabetes mind can run the show from the background, serving you well as you go about your day. 

A Worrying Mind vs a Calm Mind

Diabetes mind is not a worrying mind; it doesn't fret over small dietary choices, and it doesn't predict doom and failure. 

A worrying mind will cause significant stress for the body, leading to the release of stress hormones in response to worried thoughts that do little to protect you from harm. Rather, these worried thoughts foment more worry, and stress and anxiety result. Meanwhile, we all know that stress and anxiety can actually bump up your blood sugars. 

mindful woman The worrying mind thinks, "Oh my God, I just ate a piece of candy, and now my blood sugars are going to skyrocket. I made a bad choice, and now I'm going to suffer the consequences. I'm such a loser, and I take such bad care of myself; I'm so afraid to even test my blood sugar. Well, since it's so bad already, I may as well just have another piece of candy. If my foot is amputated in 5 years, it's my own darn fault."

Meanwhile, the calm diabetes mind says, "Hmm. OK, so I ate a piece of candy. It sure tasted good, but it probably wasn't the greatest idea. I'm going to tighten up my diet for the rest of day, flush my system with some extra water, and recheck my blood sugar later. I know it wasn't the greatest thing to do, but my diet's pretty good overall, and I just have some lapses now and then. I'm not going to blow this out of proportion."

You see, the calm mind doesn't make a mountain out of a molehill, and it maintains its emotional  equilibrium, avoiding a spike in stress, anxiety, and stress hormone release. 

Mindfulness is Key

The diabetes mind uses mindul inquiry in the service of equilibrium and balance. The diabetes mind is a calm presence, a balanced voice, and a relatively objective observer. The diabetes mind monitors, evaluates, and assesses, but tries to stay free of harsh reactions and overreactions. 

The mindful diabetes mind is a key to wellness, happiness, and wholeness. 

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