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Mind-body connection


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Good emotional health means being aware of your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. It means having healthy ways to cope with the stress and problems that are a normal part of life. It means feeling good about yourself and having healthy relationships.


However, many things can disrupt your emotional health, leading to strong feelings of sadness, stress, or anxiety. Even good or wanted changes can be stressful. For example:


  • Being laid off from your job.
  • Having a child leave or return home.
  • Dealing with the death of a loved one.
  • Getting divorced or married.
  • Suffering an illness or an injury.
  • Getting a job promotion.
  • Experiencing money problems.
  • Moving to a new home.
  • Getting pregnant.
  • Having a child.


Your body responds to the way you think, feel, and behave. Stress, lack of rest or loss of sleep all cause the release of a hormone called cortisol, which raises your blood sugar and increases appetite and weight gain.


Improving your emotional health and finding ways to relax will have a major impact, not just on your diabetes, but on your overall sense of wellbeing and quality of life.


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Did you know that your brain is wired to focus on negative information?


This dates back to prehistoric times when people needed to identify threats quickly to stay alive. Research shows that over 80% of our thoughts are negative, which is why criticisms tend to stick.


Unchallenged, these thoughts will affect your body and may cause anxiety and depression, pain, heart disease and problems with sleep, concentration and memory.


Regular relaxation will have a significant impact on your body, improving blood pressure, mood and memory.


Here are some key steps you can take to reduce stress levels and help your body:


  1. Me time. Take 15 minutes a day to relax
  2. Screen-free time. Mobile devices interfere with our rest time, making us constantly contactable. Try a screen-free day a week. If this is too much, try turning off notifications, removing work emails from your phone and switching off 90 minutes before bed - and don't take the phone with you to the bedroom!
  3. Gratitude journal. People who spend a few minutes each day writing down things they're grateful for become healthier and happier.
  4. Practise stillness daily. Take time to reflect on happy moments and focus just on breathing slowly.


The NHS website has many practical ways to reduce stress.


Even just looking at photos of nature reduces stress levels and blood pressure. This amazing TED talk combines beautiful photography with thoughts on gratitude.



“It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”

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Many people have found some of our KD-recommended apps help them relax more effectively, why not try one today?

Get started with this 3-minute breathing exercise and a beautiful nature background. Did you know that breathing out for longer than you breathe in helps you relax?

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