A positive attitude can bring benefits and rewards to so many areas of life, work, relationships and health. That includes when you’re diagnosed with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Your mental approach will have a big say in how well you manage your condition.
Being diagnosed with diabetes can be a huge shock for some people. For others, it may be something of a relief to finally know what has been causing them health difficulties. But in either case, life has been changed forever and challenges lie ahead.
Learning to stay positive after a diabetes diagnosis can be the greatest challenge of all, but also the most worthwhile. Your brain is incredibly powerful and positivity can affect how much or little control your disease has over you.
It is OK to go through the stages of grief. In fact, if you want to stay positive long after your diabetes diagnosis, it’s essential that you do. Those stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. If you get stuck on one of the first four, you won’t reach acceptance.
Grieving is a process. We tend to think of it as negative – it sure isn’t fun – but working through it completely brings growth and the opportunity to move forward.
The depression stage can be the hardest to work through. Indeed, diabetes can have a profound effect on mental health. It’s easy to be caught in repetitive anxious or negative thoughts.
Please see a mental health professional who can help you work through grief until you come to accept your disease. There is no prescribed timeframe for each stage of grief – everyone is different – but know that you can get through it. Diabetes is not a death sentence.
When you’re diagnosed, you may feel as though you’re on an island, alone. But you’re not. In fact, everyone around you wants to help you. That is a wonderfully positive and supportive thing. Accept some help.
Also remember, over 30 million of your fellow Americans have type 2 diabetes and 1.5 million have type 1. They’ll be glad to help you, advise you, and share their experience. Get involved in groups, both online and in person, so you can feel tangible support from others and see that life can still be lived to the fullest.
Adopting a dietary support plan that is proven to assist people with diabetes will go a long way toward reducing your stress and boosting your confidence for the future. Amid all the confusion and unknown factors as you adjust to your diagnosis, a clear plan for the foods you will eat and the diabetic supplements you will take can be a steadying influence.
If you try to do it all yourself, the information you take in can be quite overwhelming, which will affect your mental health. You’re going to read up on foods to avoid and how they affect you. Then you’ll research the foods you should eat each day. Your head may spin. Thinking about how to implement your new diet can cause plenty of stress. Plus you may grieve for a while about the foods you love that you can’t eat any more. Or you may have to break an addiction to sugar and go through the unwell, negative, and even depressive sensations that can bring.
You need a routine, a schedule, a meal plan. In short, you need a diabetic support plan.
If you want to stay positive after a diabetes diagnosis then you need to have milestones. Those milestones will be about eating the right foods each meal, weaning yourself off sugar, creating an exercise routine, hitting your blood sugar numbers, changing your weight, and much more. Create goals you can reach and lay them out in increments. Set yourself up to succeed, not fail. After you reach one goal, praise yourself, and set another. Seeing signs of success is vital to a good attitude.
Having a trusted few people beside you can help ease the anguish and anxiety you may be feeling. Close social interaction and physical touch are vital for your mental and physical wellbeing, so do your best to maintain and strengthen your bonds with your partner, your family, and your friends. Pushing them away or withdrawing into isolation will affect you negatively.
Build trusting partnerships with your medical professionals. They will get to know you intimately and point you towards many resources, educational courses, support groups, and technological advances, so find comfort in trusting them. Their knowledge, professionalism and practical help can be very reassuring.
Being diagnosed with diabetes can be overwhelming. Seeing a positive outcome can seem impossible at first. Indeed, some days you will not be happy and may even want to give up. So, like we said above about setting attainable goals, once you have your plans and programs in place, take each day as it comes, in isolation. Work through each task in the moment. Don’t look far ahead. Just do what you can to appreciate being in the here and now. If you can get through this moment, you can handle the next one, too.
We recognize that staying positive after being diagnosed with diabetes can be a great challenge. We trust this guide can help you on your new journey. So can many people. Learn from those who have been where you are and from those who have lived with diabetes for a long time. Learn from your physicians and advisors. A long and fulfilling life can lie ahead.
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