Positive Thinking Methods
Tips to enjoy sweet moments all year long
It's mango season in Miami! So, for a few weeks, I will wake up to dozens of tree-ripened, freshly fallen, delicious mangoes. Unfortunately, I can't and shouldn't eat them all. What can I do to enjoy this abundance long after it is gone? Do you see where I'm going with this metaphor yet? With diabetes, there will be times when your life goes especially well, such as after you start a new medicine and suddenly feel more energized than you have in a long time, or when a loved one supports you more than he or she ever has before. How can you use positive thinking methods to savor these moments?
To enjoy mangoes throughout the year, I freeze, puree, and dehydrate them. But that doesn't work with memories. To retain the joy and excitement of these good times, try the following:
• Write about them. If you read my columns regularly, you know I'm a big believer in writing. When you write things down, you take time to treasure different moments and consider them more fully. Jot notes in a journal or even on your phone. As you do, describe how all of your senses experience each event – what you see, hear, smell, taste and feel. Keep your notes handy, so you can reread them whenever you are a bit stressed or down. Describe your feelings when your A1C level improves or when your blood glucose returns to a healthy level after an unpleasant low. Write about how it impacts you when people go out of their way to help you. Record how nice it is to walk in the park or complete a challenging workout session.
• Revisit the moments. Close your eyes and connect to the memory of how you experienced the event. As with writing, try to recall what you saw, heard, smelled, tasted, and felt.
• Express gratitude. Take time to appreciate the people in your life who help you achieve your personal health goals. That's one of the best ways to encourage them to continue to offer their support. If you don't believe that, think about a time when you did something nice and were not thanked. How did that make you feel? Would you go out of your way to help that person again? Be generous with your thank-you's and observe how people respond.
• Give of yourself. As a therapist, I work with many individuals with depression. As you may know, people with diabetes are more likely to feel depressed. One activity that helps many of them feel better is to do for others. When you volunteer, donate, or offer assistance to others, you take the focus off of yourself and your issues. When you offer assistance to people in your life, you not only help them, you model supportive behavior that they can try in their own lives.
I hope you get an opportunity to try some of these positive thinking methods, so you can enjoy sweet moments throughout the entire year.
NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.
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