Since the symptoms of anxiety stem from stress, reducing the overall stress you experience is a great method to improve your symptoms and your life.
For the best results, focus on improving the positive aspects of your life as well limiting the negatives. Here’s how:
Manage Your Diabetes
Obviously, this is easier said than done, but if you can find new and different ways to monitor and react to your symptoms, your life will be more enjoyable and less stressful.
Be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations and let him or her know if there are struggles that you cannot seem to overcome. Perhaps, they will have great advice that you have never considered.
What is your favorite smell, sound, sight, taste or touch? Adding these into your day reduces stress by triggering positive associations in your brain.
Watching a favorite funny movie, spending time in nature or hearing a motivating song has power to influence your mood and energy levels. Use your senses as tools to fight back against stress.
Get plenty of sleep. Eat balanced meals centered on proteins and vegetables. Exercise daily. These simple necessities are too often overlooked. Rather than feel helpless to change your habits, take control. Understand the restrictions diabetes puts on you and push yourself to the limit.
Sleep, diet and exercise work closely together and provide many desirable chemicals to your body when in harmony. If one of the trio is lacking, experiment with the others to gain balance. Success is possible; you just haven’t found it yet.
Family, friends and online relationships offer support and comfort daily. Do you allow them to soothe you? Many people with high stress paradoxically push away positives. Be willing to accept verbal and physical affirmations from people in your life. Slow yourself down to pay attention to the positives.
Treating Depression and Anxiety with Therapy
If your best attempts to reduce stress have not resulted in less depression and anxiety, it may be time to seek professional assistance. A range of professionals are available, but great treatment almost always starts with a therapist.
A therapist, especially one trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), looks at your thoughts, feelings and behaviors to understand the connections and to look for opportunities for change.
In CBT, if you are having feelings of depression or anxiety, the goal is to change your thinking and/or behaviors to positively impact the unwanted feelings. As mentioned above, negative self-talk is a main contributor to unwanted feelings.
To change the flow of negativity, a CBT therapist will help you to monitor, challenge and replace your harmful self-talk with more desirable self-talk. Improved self-talk leads to improved moods.
After addressing cognitive changes, a CBT therapist will help you find behavioral solutions to lower your stress and improve your mood. Both depression and anxiety rob you of your motivation. A therapist can help you gain back your motivation by focusing energies towards positive and valuable activities.
Going for walks, meeting with friends, completing household tasks are a few examples of ways to begin changing your behavior. Another way to improve your behaviors is through relaxation training. A therapist will teach you ways to calm your body and mind through deep breathing and muscle relaxation. These are paramount if anxiety is your main complaint.
Along with improving your feelings, CBT has been shown to improve compliance with diabetes treatments and doctor’s recommendations. With this being true, seeking cognitive-behavioral therapy will help with the negative outcomes of diabetes while attacking the source of the stress. CBT is a fantastic fit for anyone with type-2 diabetes.
Another way to address depression and anxiety is through medication. A psychiatrist or other medication prescriber will assess your situation and choose a medication or combination of medications that are right for you. Be sure to tell your prescriber about your diabetes as some medications will not be appropriate for you.
Medications like tricyclics, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), Paxil and Remeron can bring about weight gain as a side effect. With diabetes, these medications may do more harm than good. Don’t fear, though, there are a range of medications that modify serotonin and norepinephrine in your brain to assist with improved symptoms.
Diabetes is a menace to your physical and psychological wellbeing. Do your best to watch for symptoms of long-term stress so that you can end problems before they escalate. If you were too late catching the stress, bring in the professionals. Therapists and psychiatrists have the training and experience to bring down your symptoms.
Don’t accept stress, depression and anxiety. Take control of your diabetes and mental health. Fight back for a better you.