A study recently published in the journal Obesity found mindfulness-based stress reduction affected blood sugar levels in women.
Penn State University researchers split 86 obese or overweight women into two groups. For eight weeks, one group of women attended mindfulness-based stress reduction training or MBSR for short.They learned how to deal with stress using mindfulness techniques like meditation and breath awareness. This was followed by 8 weeks of home practice. At the end of this randomized clinical trial, researchers not only saw lowered blood sugar levels, but stress scores had decreased by 3.6 points on a 10-point scale. Participants also reported improvements with sleep, mood and distress levels. This is great news and with more research, it’s possible MBSR could play a role in preventing or treating patients with diabetes.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction is a program where you learn to calm your mind and body. It teaches you to focus on what’s happening right now, so that your thoughts are not in the past or worrying about the future. To add Mindfulness into your life, here are my prescriptions:
1. Take a few minutes at any point in the day to purposely pay attention. It can be something as simple as brushing your teeth or walking to the car.
2. Focus on your body and notice how it feels. If you have any stress or tension, let it go.
3. While being aware of what you’re doing, notice your breathing, and take in the sights and sounds all around you.
4. Don’t judge or dwell on any thoughts or feelings. Let them go and stay focused on what you’re doing in the present moment.
Practicing mindfulness take time. Your mind tends to wander at first, and that’s normal so just keep trying. Mindfulness has many other benefits like less negative thinking and distraction, and reduced anxiety and depression. So while you’re learning to master mindfulness, you’ll live in the moment and be more engaged with the world around you.