Stress eats up your energy reserves. Your body’s answer is to employ the hormone cortisol to keep you going through the crisis. Cortisol activates conversion of muscle tissue to glucose – keeping you fueled under fire. Chronic stress, therefore, means chronic high blood sugars, and constantly elevated blood sugars eventually means insulin resistance.
I’ve seen it more than once in my practice. You don’t eat junk food, you’re conscientious about whole food choices, and you still can’t manage your blood sugars. I’m telling you, it’s the stress.
Try some daily relaxation techniques to curb your cortisol output. Diaphragmatic breathing is a great place to start because the majority of the lung’s receptors for the parasympathetic (de-stressing) arm of the nervous system are in the lower third.
Lie on your back and put your hands on your abdomen below your naval. As you inhale, try to raise your core enough to move your hands upward. Now breathe out more slowly than you inhaled. Repeat this several times.
Enhance your practice by counting to 4 as you inhale, holding your breath to the count of 7, then exhaling for 8 counts. This odd ratio requires enough concentration to take your mind from its ruminating and also insures that you slow your breath. A sure sign of stress is accelerated breathing. Fully exhaling also helps remove toxins from the body.