Teens, no matter how much you know, or how smart you are, you will sometimes slip. You may lie about it, or just plain ignore warning signs but the right thing to do is to admit it and ask for help. Don’t let feelings of fear and feeling overwhelmed control your life. There is help for you, ask you health care provider, talk to your parents, or speak with a counselor at school. Don’t be afraid to ask, they are there to help you.
With help, you can learn to manage your mind and emotions to react differently to the problems you face. Several methods are used to train your mind to not lose control, and therefore lose control of your blood sugar levels. Picture your success at controlling your diabetes. Olympic athletes use “visualization” to help them go for the gold. They picture themselves standing, receiving their medal, and hearing their national anthem play. By picturing it in their mind, it keeps their attitudes positive and helps them achieve the success they have trained for.
How does that translate into everyday living for teens? Think about your day; picture it in your mind, and all that you have to do to keep your diabetes under control. Treat your visions as a video in your mind. Play it all the way through, including the activities you have going on during the day. Did it turn out the way you want it? If not, rewind the video and go back to the portion of the day you lost control. Think about what you can do to change the outcome, or make it better at the end of the video. Making one extra right choice for the day can change the outcome of the video from failure to success. This simple method of preparing for the day and making a videotape of it will help you keep control of your emotions and your diabetes.
Simple exercises such as the visualization technique, learning breathing exercises to stay calm, and recognizing when you are out of control will help you to stay calm. By staying calm, you can control the diabetes instead of the diabetes controlling you. Developing good habits while still in your teens can help you to live healthier, with fewer risks of complications, as you get older.
Teenagers with diabetes need to know the signs that they are spiraling out of control. Recognizing the signs and not being afraid to ask for help is the first step towards a healthier life. A positive attitude can help in controlling blood sugar levels, and dealing with the problems that come with a diagnosis of diabetes. As a teen, you are learning self-control, independence, and how to make smart decisions. One of the smartest decisions you can make is to control your disease, and ask for help when you need it.
Eat healthy, take your insulin, and don’t do anything you know would cause your body harm. By listening to your health care team and your parents, you will stay in control and have the right attitude to living with this disease.