Mindfulness is a sound coping technique for anyone trying to manage diabetes on a daily basis. But it isn’t as hard or complicated as it sounds! We show you 7 simple ways to make it a part of your daily routine so you can keep stress at bay.
Why should you try it? Mindfulness meditation keeps your mind and awareness in the moment with no external distractions or judgment of any kind. This means you are better equipped to deal with challenges or ups and downs in your daily day. This coping technique is known to help immensely with diabetes management.
Whenever it feels like life is weighing you down, pause. Focus on your breath, noticing how you inhale and exhale, paying attention to the little sensations in your body with each breath. Take a moment to gather your thoughts and emotions. Process the thought rather than battle or struggle with it. This is called:
S.T.O.P: Stop. Take a breath. Observe your feelings. Proceed.
2. Keep A Journal
Keep a diary or journal to
- List things you are grateful for.
- List activities or little things that make your day brighter.
You don’t even need to write down things – draw them out or make a scrapbook-style journal. You’ll be surprised by how much perspective this brings you.
3. Do A Breathing Exercise
Try this breathing exercise whenever you need to calm your mind:
4. Try The Mental Body Scan
This targeted meditation even helps with the physical discomfort (headache, tight shoulders, tense muscles) stress and anxiety brings. There are various forms of this exercise but the basic method remains the same.
Lie down with your eyes closed, relax and take a few breaths. Mentally focus on one body part at a time, beginning with your toes and breathing deeply all the while. Work your way up the whole foot, the leg, the thigh, pelvis, abdomen, chest, shoulders, arms, neck, all the way to the top of your head.
5. Have A Key Phrase/Mantra
Pick any line that helps calm and center you. It should be capable of easing tension or stress when chanted. It could be something as simple as “I am calm” or “I feel peace” or “I am strong.” It might even be a chant or mantra.
6. Try Walking Meditation
Do this in a place that is free of disturbance and at least 10-20 feet long. Start walking slowly, focusing on the subtle things that help you stay balanced and the sensation of standing. Walk on this path till you reach the end, then turn around and keep up the walk with your attention focussed on these minute sensations of balance and movement.
7. Find Mindfulness In Your Every Day
This is about finding joy in simple things. For example,
- Try blowing bubbles, paying attention to the shape and texture of the bubbles or even the colors in them when they catch the light.
- When you sketch something, focus on the lines you are drawing, the shape, the way the ink stains the paper.
- When you listen to a song, move from listening to the tune in its entirety to isolating the sound of a certain instrument or a specific voice on the track.
- Mindfulness And Diabetes, Diabetes.co.uk
- Mindfulness Exercise, Defeat Diabetes Foundation