Wellbeing is the state of being happy, healthy, or prosperous
We talk about well being in DWELL because our emotional state affects our blood glucose levels and having diabetes can affect our emotional state.
If we look at ways to improve our well being this will help us to look after our health much better and particularly our diabetes.
Stress of any sort will increase our blood glucose levels mainly through a mechanism called fight or flight. This is our natural ability to be ready at times of stress to react. The body has a physiological response triggered by danger or stress. For example, if you see a danger the brain will release hormones to allow us to have an instant burst of energy for our muscles to get us out of the dangerous situation.
People with diabetes are affected directly by stress as one of those physiological mechanisms is to release glucose into the blood stream. In diabetes this is a problem as the blood glucose rises and the body may not be able to bring that rise down.
The other problem is that in modern life the stresses we may experience do not require a physical response needing to fight or run away. We maybe sitting in our cars feeling stressed or sitting at a desk getting stressed with our computers.
So chronic stress is not healthy for anyone but for people with diabetes it is particularly bad.
Life can be stressful and we cannot remove all stress but it is more about managing the effect of stress on our health.
In DWELL we work a lot with looking at activities that can help reduce our feelings of stress and increase our wellbeing.
We also talk about mindfulness. This is the state of being in the present moment and has been shown to help us calm our minds and feel less stressed or anxious or overwhelmed.
Everyone of us is different but we can explore activities that help us to feel good.
Here are examples of things that can help us reduce the impact of stress on our health:-
Going for a walk.
Having a soak in the bath.
Spending time in the outdoors.
Chatting to a friend on the phone.
Guided breathing techniques
There are many more and each individual can explore what makes them feel good
There are also useful practices can that help people to feel more positive such as writing a gratitude journal.