People with diabetes have a herculean task ahead of them if they fear needles. Most people with diabetes take their blood sugar twice a day.
So how do they get through the fear of the constant use of needles? When a person just receives their diagnosis, this can seem impossible. However, there are ways to conquer your fear of needles as a person with diabetes. We’ll dive into them below.
Don’t forget to breathe
It sounds stereotypical, but deep, diaphragmatic breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). When you fully activate your PNS, you’ll find that you don’t feel as scared anymore. Instead, you’ll feel lucid and clear. Try deep belly breathing for a full minute before taking your blood sugar. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth to calm your nerves and focus on the task. This is a great way to overcome your fear of needles as a person with diabetes.
You may find that all sorts of unfounded negative thoughts and irrational fears appear when you try to take your blood sugar. Learn to coach yourself by self-soothing. Try to subvocalize by reminding yourself that it isn’t that bad and will be a quick process with little pain. When you do this, you’re not letting the fear of the pain get to you. Instead, you’re counteracting it, whether in your head or out loud.
Let your doctor know your fears
Professionals are there for a reason, and it’s not just to help you take the right steps after your diabetes diagnosis. They also safeguard your health and help you make better physical and mental choices. That’s why opening up to them is so powerful. Let them know that you’re afraid of needles, and they’ll listen and provide some advice on remedying it. If you have an overarching problem with anxiety, you can even bring this up with your therapist or psychologist. Just make sure you talk to someone that can listen, empathize, and execute a solution.
There are many ways to tackle your fear of needles. It’s just a matter of taking the proper steps.