With today's hectic schedules, many people are feeling under the gun at work. Whether it's working behind a desk or doing manual labor, jobs can take a toll and only further contribute to the stress epidemic in the U.S. And for people with diabetes, it may be more important than you think to reduce work-related stress.
A new German study reported that even without classic risk factors for type 2 diabetes, people with high-stress, low-control jobs were over 60 percent more likely to develop the blood-sugar disease than unstressed workers.
"What we first suspected was that job strain might be related to lifestyle variables—that people who are under high job strain would smoke or maybe eat unhealthy food more, but this was not the case," lead study author Karl-Heinz Ladwig, of the Technical University in Munich, told Reuters.
After examining more than 5,000 adults over a 12-year period, the researchers suggest that stress itself is causing the effect, and the culprit is likely the stress hormone cortisol, which may alter how the body regulates blood sugar.
"People are very engaged in their job situation and they have no distance from it, and I think that we should get into a balanced life situation where working is one part which is important but not the only important thing in the world," said Ladwig.
So, per Ladwig's advise, here are some ways to establish work-life balance and shave stress from your everyday routine:
1. Practice yoga
Yoga is a fantastic way to shake off feelings of anxiousness. The mind-body technique, which combines stretching exercises, controlled breathing and relaxation, allows many people to achieve peace of mind. A number of studies have shown that not only may yoga help reduce stress, it might also enhance mood and overall sense of well-being.
Alongside yoga, meditation lets people take a step back from jam-packed schedules and simply take a break. Research published in the National Institutes of Health indicates that mediation may lower cortisol levels. Everyone from CEOs to football players has started taking to meditation.
Physical activity is a huge de-stressor. Not only does exercise take your mind off overwhelming circumstances, it allows you to release pent-up frustration in a healthy, productive way. Hit the gym, go on a run or swim laps in the pool. All of these activities—on a routine basis—may substantially manage diabetes symptoms in men and women. The key to exercising regularly? Find something you enjoy.
4. Take a hot bath
Filling up the tub with some warm, sudsy water should do the trick. Dim the overheads and light some candles if you really want to get in the mood. Unwinding can help mend those frayed ends.
Get lost in a book. The beautiful thing about literature is that escaping into a new world can help transport your mind away from stressful, real-life situations.
6. Enjoy "me" time
After a long day, indulge in some quiet time. A little relaxation can go a long way—that can be as easy as sitting on the front porch, taking your pooch for a walk in the park, or watching an episode of your favorite show on Netflix.
To learn more about diabetes and stress: