HI, I'M DR. MARK HEYMAN

Stop the Spread of T1D Anxiety!

Have you ever noticed when you’re talking to other people with T1D, anxiety can be contagious? One person starts talking about how stressed they are about diabetes, and their anxiety spreads from person to person, and pretty soon everyone is feeling it. This happens on social media, with your well-meaning friends and family, and when people with diabetes get together.

DON'T LET T1D HOLD YOU BACK!

The Ultimate Guide To Getting Unstuck With Type 1 Diabetes gives you strategies you can start using TODAY to insert flexibility into your life with T1D.

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This anxiety rarely serves a useful purpose and usually just gets in the way of you living your life. Some anxiety about diabetes is helpful, but not the contagious kind. It doesn’t do anything to protect you from a diabetes-related danger. Instead, the anxiety becomes the danger.

Four Steps to Stop the Spread

Here are four simple steps you can take to keep anxiety about diabetes from spreading to you: 

Identify the Source

If you are feeling anxious about diabetes, pay attention to where your anxiety is coming from. Are you worried about something specific, like going low in the middle of a presentation? Or do you feel a vague sense of anxiety after reading a Facebook post about someone’s blood sugar rollercoaster? Being aware that your stress is coming from someone else’s anxiety is the first step to stopping the spread.

Do a Helpfulness Check

Some anxiety about diabetes is helpful because it keeps you safe. If other people’s anxiety is spreading to you, check-in with yourself to see if this anxiety is helping you manage your blood sugars and stay safe. If the answer is no, that’s a good sign it’s not helpful and you don’t need to put fuel on the fire.

DON'T LET T1D HOLD YOU BACK!

The Ultimate Guide To Getting Unstuck With Type 1 Diabetes gives you strategies you can start using TODAY to insert flexibility into your life with T1D.

GET YOUR FREE GUIDE HERE

Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries with yourself and others can help you stop the spread of anxiety. Take a break from social media or unfollow the people or groups that make you stressed. If you find you are anxious after talking to specific people or being around certain groups, find a gentle but firm way to let them know they are spreading anxiety and how it is affecting you. If that doesn’t work, you may need to leave the situation, so your anxiety doesn’t snowball.

Ground yourself

If you feel anxiety about diabetes spreading around you, try a grounding exercise. Grounding uses your physical environment to help you stay in the present moment. Remember, anxiety is worry about the future, so staying in the here and now can help you stop it from spreading. Try a simple grounding technique by holding something in your hand and focus on it – a rock or a cup are good options. Pay attention to the color and shape of the object. Notice how heavy it is. Notice the texture and the temperature. Focusing your mind on something you can feel and see keeps you present, protecting you from getting overwhelmed with anxiety from others.

Your Action Plan:

  1. Recognize that anxiety about diabetes spreads quickly!
  2. Be aware of how other people’s diabetes anxiety affects you.
  3. Take steps to protect yourself from ‘catching’ diabetes-related anxiety from others.
  4. If others’ anxiety about diabetes does spread to you, do your best to keep it contained.
  5. Post your best tips for stopping the spread of diabetes-related anxiety with the hashtag #diabetesmentalhealth. Be sure to tag @thediabetespsychologist in your post.
  6. Share this post if you found it helpful!