How to Stay Positive With Type 2 Diabetes

Medically Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on September 09, 2023
2 min read

It takes a big commitment to keep your diabetes in check. You’ll be more motivated on some days than others. You'll also wonder how it’s going.

It's natural for negative thoughts to creep in once in a while. You can counter them whenever they strike.

Rethink it: Take it 10 minutes at a time. Tell yourself, “I don’t have to do it all at once.”

Exercise doesn't have to take a lot of time. Even a little will give you a burst of optimism and energy while it improves your metabolism.

Try 10-minute spurts of activity. You won’t need to change your clothes.

For example, instead of playing solitaire on your phone when you’re in a waiting room, ask the attendant if you have time to take a 10-minute walk around the parking lot before your appointment.

This is a classic "it’s too late for me" thought. Your goal weight feels always out of reach. Maybe you’ve tried to get there before and got disappointed.

Rethink it: Bring your thoughts back to the here and now. Mental health experts say most anxiety comes from worrying about the future. The more you focus on what you can do today, the better.

Little steps, over time, will move your health in a positive direction. Ask your doctor to help you set small goals along the way to your ultimate goal. You want reachable milestones you can build on. For instance, if you lose a little bit of weight at a time, it can lower your blood sugar levels and blood pressure sooner than you may think.

Start slowly. First, learn to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

You didn’t follow your meal plan when you ate a giant plate of macaroni and cheese, and now you think you’ve wrecked all your progress.

Rethink it: Give yourself credit for your good food choices. It could be that you used to overeat all the time, and now you’ve had balanced meals most days this week.

Aim for progress, not perfection. You don't have to give up your favorite foods completely. Just account for the calories and carbs.

Set the setbacks aside. Tell yourself, “I can get back on track,” and the possibilities open back up.

It takes practice to turn your inner voice into your friend instead of your critic. Make it a habit with these tips:

Keep a journal. Write down your thoughts. After about a week, read your journal to look for patterns.

Write positive messages for yourself, like “I am healthy." "I am strong." "I am managing my health well.” Put them in places you'll see every day -- your wallet, a bedside table, near your toothpaste.

Say something positive to yourself every time you look in the mirror. “Nice smile!” “My hair looks really good today!” “This is a great color on me!”