Research over the past decade has revealed that having diabetes and meditating can be a winning combination. From insulin resistance to managing stress and diabetes-related complications, meditating can make a notable difference in your overall well-being. Discover more about how focused breathing might help you lower your blood sugar.


Why Meditate?

Meditation is a holistic practice based on deep breathing, relaxation, and being peaceful in the present moment. Concentration in meditation is often achieved by focusing on a single word or phrase which is referred to as a ‘mantra’. The universal mantra is “om” but other single syllables, words or sayings can also be used. Diabetes starts with insulin resistance which makes your existing insulin less likely to do its job. This eventually causes a rise in blood sugars. Less insulin is released by an overworked pancreas. According to research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, “transcendental meditation can help lower insulin resistance during the beginning stages of diabetes”.

How Can Meditation Help

Meditation helps to reduce stress. When people are stressed, certain hormones are released such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones can disrupt your insulin and blood sugar levels. Meditation can help people relax and unwind. As a result, it may balance metabolic syndrome and the insulin and glucose in your blood. People that have metabolic syndrome have high blood sugar levels, are often overweight and have elevated blood pressure and cholesterol. High cortisol levels are also associated with weight gain and poor sleeping patterns. Meditation can help reduce weight gain, minimize the urge for midnight snacks, and make it easier for people to sleep through the night.

Stress and Meditating

Dr. Mark Hyman’s best-selling book, “The Blood Sugar Solution”, reveals stress can help make people overweight or obese. Chronic stress causes an increase in insulin, blood sugar, and chronic inflammation. Stress can also lead to people developing poor habits, such as overeating, making unhealthy food choices, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, and skipping exercise. Meditating may help people manage and alleviate the stress.

Diabetes and Meditating

Research conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine shows how diabetes and meditation are a winning combination. There are a variety of potential health improvements including reduced anxiety, relief of depression, and lower blood pressure. Meditating can also minimize headaches, improve breathing, improve heart problems, and reduce pain. Many people find that meditation gives them a healthy energy boost, which is a benefit for people with diabetes who experience fatigue. People have found meditation also helps them with daily focus and better sleep.

How Do I Meditate?

It takes time to learn about meditation. Developing patience is part of the treatment. Talk to your doctor or diabetes nurse educator about the positive aspects of meditation and what it can do for you. Make time daily for 10-20 minutes of meditating and it will soon become part of your routine. Keep in mind you will still need to take diabetes medications and follow other regimens as recommended by your health care team.

Meditation techniques work for many people with diabetes. If you feel stressed, have a tendency to gain weight, and experience blood sugar fluctuations, meditating might be right for you. Just breathe and see what it can do to improve your health!