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Diabetes and Wellbeing

 

Dr. Ash More
Clinical Transformation: Sr. Implementation Lead – North West London Health and Care Partnership

Wellbeing

If you thought that the evolution of human beings is fascinating then what I am about to tell you will fascinate you even more. The human mind is an enigma. The speed at which signals are carried via the neurons in the brain to our muscles and tissue is 70-120 miles per second.

The speed at which our thoughts can wander in our brain and influence our body is spectacular. Our body is a miracle in its own way but it is often regulated by what we think and how we feel. 

Our human body is made up of 10-20 billion neurons working tirelessly to maintain good function and is driven by over 200 known hormones that regulate organic processes to keep a person fit.  Memory and thoughts are merely electrical stimuli in the neurons of the brain followed by a chemical transfer. And this simple, yet complex process governs not only our behaviour but also has a phenomenal impact on our physiology and our blood results especially if we are living with diabetes or another long term condition. The power of the mind and the speed of thought is undisputable.

So how can we use that to our advantage? We know that the secret to a healthy body is a healthy mind and vice versa. Being happy is about having frequent positive thoughts and not merely the absence of negative thoughts.

Every person with diabetes or another long term condition, experiences denial, guilt, depression, distress at some point. The way to change that is through ‘acceptance’. Research shows that 3 in 5 people with diabetes experience emotional or mental health challenges.

But channelling our mind to be in control is the secret to being physically healthy. We are all allowed to be sad and each of us experiences some low emotion once a week which is perfectly normal. Given the current challenges during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, it can be especially more challenging to socially isolate and it is not uncommon for people to experience anxiety, however it is important to stay calm, stay informed and stay healthy.

What counts is to be positive which produces healthy hormones such as endorphins which are natural pain killers and which also support our physiological functions including regulating blood glucose levels. Those who live with diabetes-related complications such as foot or eyes or kidney issues will also experience beneficial effects of being positive and by practising mindfulness.

 Mindfulness is about maintaining a constant awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the surrounding habitat which improves self-control and influences our self-caring ability. Taking a deep breath and introspecting every morning will help you to stay focussed and will also lead to clearer thoughts and less stress.

So wake up every morning with a positive thought. Tell yourself that you are in control of your mind, do yoga or meditation, watch good news stories, develop community groups, socialise, take your medication on time, be a champion to yourself and also to others who might benefit from your help.

You can start by creating a theme for yourself for 2020 for example - ‘Invest in yourself by putting yourself first’ ‘Be in control’ ‘Nourish your mind and body by healthy eating' – and this will have a phenomenal impact on your day to day life and will assuredly improve your wellbeing.

Watch this motivational video narrated by the Hollywood star Will Smith about self-discipline & self-love:

Remember, you get only one life to live and if you do it right, your health will be in shape alright. Have a good day.

Note: The blogger is a public health specialist supporting people living with diabetes and is aware of the current challenges thrown up by the COVID – coronavirus outbreak regarding social isolation and social distancing, and readers are advised to follow the national advice and guidance before doing any outdoor activities.

 

Dr. Ash More

Clinical Transformation: Sr. Implementation Lead – North West London Health and Care Partnership

Ash is public health specialist with a special interest in diabetes and management of long term conditions. With over 16 years experience in the National Health Service, Public Health England, NHS England and internationally, Ash’s main interest is to improve population health and wellbeing outcomes; especially the quality of life of patients living with diabetes.