Positive thinking: Don’t blame yourself for that sugary drink!
Published by Elizabeth Chew, Psychologist and User Researcher at Glyco Leap
“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters” — Epictetus, Greek Philosopher.
We don’t make the best choices all the time. When we make slips in our diet, negative thoughts may pop into our minds every now and then. It is totally ok to be upset when these negative thoughts come by. More often than not, we might ask ourselves, “What do I do now?”. Let’s take a look at some useful ways to think positively and approach situations where negative thoughts come by.
The flow of this post goes like this:
Negative Thoughts → Action to Stop → Positive Thoughts
Let’s take a scenario: You have just finished an extremely sweet cup of Teh (Tea).
You might think:
“I AM A TERRIBLE PERSON — I drank it all up!”
“I can’t help myself. It is too delicious!”
“I’ll never succeed in managing my diabetes. I might as well quit trying to watch my diet and wait for diabetes to overtake my life.”
“I shouldn’t have even taken Teh. I should have been better than this.”
“I’m never going to manage diabetes as well as Sarah. She totally cuts off sugary drinks and here I am finishing the Teh.”
Action to Stop
See — All negative thoughts. It’s easier said than done to stop thinking this way. One way is engage in an action to shake this thought off. My favourite way is literally shaking the thought off by shaking my head.
Next, try out another way to think. Who ever said that negative thoughts that start off negatively must end negatively? Shake it off and transform this thought to a positive one!
Instead of “I AM A TERRIBLE PERSON — I drank it all up!”
Try: “Since I had Teh, I will reduce on other sugary drinks for the rest of the week.”
Instead of “I can’t help myself. It is too delicious!”
Try: “It’s hard to resist Teh because it’s so delicious. But I will try harder next time because it is possible.”
Instead of: “I’ll never succeed in managing my diabetes. I might as well quit trying to watch my diet and wait for diabetes to overtake my life.”
Try: “One slip doesn’t mean I’ll never succeed. Let’s take this slowly, learn from it and not repeat it.”
Instead of: “I shouldn’t have even taken Teh. I should have been better than this.”
Try: “I can choose differently next time. I can resist this! It’s my choice and I can choose Teh Siu Dai (Tea; less sweet) next time.”
Instead of: “I’m never going to manage diabetes as well as Sarah. She totally cuts off sugary drinks and here I am finishing the Teh.”
Try: “Everyone is different. She might be able to resist sweet drinks sooner than me, but BOTH of us can succeed in our own ways in managing diabetes.”
Let’s give it a shot.
When the negativity floods your mind. Shake it off (cues Taylor Swift’s song. Just kidding). Transform the thought.
When you think well, you treat yourself well. And that’s important in your journey with diabetes.