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4 Tips to Stay Positive When Living with Diabetes

4 Tips to Stay Positive When Living with Diabetes

If you’ve been recently diagnosed with diabetes, you’re sure to be troubled by a lot of emotions. “Why did it happen to me?” “What am I going to do?” Anger, fear, confusion, and a mixture of many other emotions can overpower you after a diagnosis.

Living with diabetes is not as difficult as you may think. There are ups and downs, but you can still stay positive. The key to living well with diabetes is to have balance. Diabetes is now a part of you. You cannot ignore it and move on. You have to live with it. Your doctor will be there to help you develop a management plan, and maintain balance.

A healthy diet plan, regular exercise, and proper management of your blood sugar levels will ensure healthy living with diabetes. However, for all of these efforts to work, you need to stay motivated. Try to adopt these 4 mood-boosting strategies to stay positive:

1. Remember: You Are Not Alone

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that around 29 million people in America suffer from diabetes. Worldwide, approximately 415 million people have the disease.

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When you’re going through dire times, having a strong support system always helps. And what better support system than people who are going through the same thing as you? With hundreds of millions of other diabetics around the world, it’s relatively easy to build a strong support system.

Connect with people who understand what you’re going through in online forums and support groups to remind yourself that you are not alone.

2. Stick To a Diabetes Management Plan

Stick To a Diabetes Management Plan

    As mentioned earlier, if you eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and take prescribed medications, it becomes much easier to control diabetes. When you control your blood sugar levels, you feel stronger and more motivated. Your body feels better and healthier, which naturally impacts your mental state. You will also sleep better, and be better prepared to deal with whatever challenges come your way.

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    It’s important to stay in touch with your doctor so that you’re aware of your latest numbers, such as your glucose level, blood pressure, A1C level, and cholesterol level. You could also invest in an automatic blood glucose monitor to help you stay on top of things.

    It’s important to take every step necessary to keep your blood sugar levels under control. If you don’t properly manage your diabetes, you will increase your risk of complications like eye problems, kidney issues, and nerve damage.

    3. Find a Health Care Provider for Yourself

    Find a Health Care Provider for Yourself

      We know that diabetes is a disease that’s with us 24/7. It requires ongoing management and treatment for life. You need to take the wheel, and take control of the disease. But you don’t have to do it alone.

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      It’s important to find a health care provider who will be a strong partner to you. Someone to help you plan, and manage your diabetes treatment. They can help you stay on track and properly manage your cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure.

      Look for a quality, well-informed provider who uses the latest treatments, technological innovations, and proven strategies to help you prevent major complications from the disease.

      4. Be Kind to Yourself: Indulge a Little

      Be Kind to Yourself Indulge a Little

        It’s okay to have a slice of cake, or maybe a homemade dessert every now and then. As long as it’s not a daily habit, allow yourself to have the occasional sweet treat. A small indulgence may help you stay on track, and prevent unnecessary diabetes burnout.

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        You can also reward yourself for small victories over diabetes with other types of treats. For example, you can go to the movies, treat yourself to a spa day, visit the salon, or play a game of golf.

        Signing Off

        Focusing too much on the negative aspects of living with diabetes can be exhausting for your mind and body. Exhaustion can fuel the disease even further.

        “Yes, I can live a full life.” This should be your attitude if you have diabetes. Diabetes may be irreversible, but adjusting your outlook can help you stay positive, and prevent long-term complications.

        Be sure to stay educated about diabetes, and build a support network for emotional support. Are you living with diabetes? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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        Last Updated on March 25, 2020

        How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

        How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

        When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

        So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

        1. Exercise

        It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

        2. Drink in Moderation

        I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

        3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

        Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

        4. Watch Less Television

        A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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        Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

        5. Eat Less Red Meat

        Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

        If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

        6. Don’t Smoke

        This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

        7. Socialize

        Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

        8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

        Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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        9. Be Optimistic

        Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

        10. Own a Pet

        Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

        11. Drink Coffee

        Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

        12. Eat Less

        Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

        13. Meditate

        Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

        Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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        How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

        14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

        Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

        15. Laugh Often

        Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

        16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

        Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

        17. Cook Your Own Food

        When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

        Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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        18. Eat Mushrooms

        Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

        19. Floss

        Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

        20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

        Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

        Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

        21. Have Sex

        Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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        Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

        Reference

        [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
        [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
        [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
        [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
        [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
        [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
        [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
        [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
        [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
        [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
        [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
        [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
        [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
        [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
        [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
        [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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