Overcoming prediabetes comes with its fair share of challenges.
There will be moments when your participants become discouraged while making lifestyle changes to improve their health. But as a lifestyle coach, you’re uniquely positioned to inspire your DPP members to overcome negative thinking through positive self-talk.
We all know that growth doesn’t happen immediately and that the growing process isn’t always comfortable. However, once you achieve your goal, you can reflect on the journey to see how far you’ve come.
At Realizing DPP, we firmly believe in the power of positive thinking.
It’s possible to find light, even in the darkest of moments, with a growth mindset. Positive self-talk is a fundamental pillar of maintaining a mindset that is open to change, and you can help your cohort adopt an attitude that encourages growth.
So if you’re looking for ways to boost your participants’ confidence, encourage progress on their health journey, and learn how to foster positive self-talk, you’re in the right place.
Join us in this article as we discuss how to overcome negative self-talk and explore the benefits of positive thinking to reverse prediabetes!
Identifying Negative Self-Talk
When you hear the term “negative self-talk,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
For us, we have a vivid image of a certain animated donkey with a detachable tail. This character seems to always find a way to see a storm cloud in the sky, even on a sunny day, and the world is just a bit more gloomy when he’s around.
But negative self-talk doesn’t necessarily manifest itself as someone’s entire personality. People can often display positive outward emotions while wrestling with self-doubt and negative thoughts the whole time.
Your position as a lifestyle coach opens doors to learn more about your cohort and provide support when you notice participants who are down on themselves when they encounter obstacles on their journey.
Keep an eye out for the signs of negative self-talk as you help your cohort members reframe their mindset toward growth and success.
Examples of Negative Self-Talk
There will be times when you notice negativity from your participants right away. Responses like, “I can’t do this, that seems like too much work, and I don’t feel like it,” are immediate signs that your participants don’t have a positive mindset.
But what happens when the negativity is hanging out below the surface? Here are a few common examples of negative self-talk and how it manifests itself:
- Personalizing: When someone has a personalizing outlook, they believe everything that goes wrong is their fault. If plans fall through, they immediately assume it’s because the other person doesn’t want to be around them.
- Catastrophizing: This is when people think the entire day is ruined when one thing goes wrong, like the shower being too cold or receiving the wrong fast-food order.
- Filtering: A great example of filtering is when someone accomplishes something great but only focuses on how they could have done better, which keeps them from celebrating the achievement.
- Polarizing: People with polarizing self-talk believe there is no middle ground between right and wrong, and this causes them to feel like a failure if they don’t achieve perfection.
When you can identify negative self-talk within your cohort, it opens the door to something incredible — an opportunity for honest dialogue. Your participants may not want to change the way they think immediately, but opening a conversation about reframing how they think about themselves can slowly shift their mindset.
How to Stop Negative Self-Talk and Reframe it With Healthy Self-Talk
If you notice your participants struggling with negative self-talk, there’s good news. A negative point of view isn’t permanent!
As their lifestyle coach, you have the potential to meet your cohort members where they are and help them reframe their negative thinking patterns. With some willingness from your participants and a little extra help from you, they can transform their negative thoughts into positive affirmations.
Examples of Negative Thinking vs. Healthy Self-Talk
People who struggle with negative thinking often don’t need to change their outlook on life completely — they just need to realize how to find a fresh perspective on their thinking.
For example, negative self-talk would sound like this:
- I’m not going to get any better.
- I don’t have the time to exercise.
- What’s the point of improving?
- I already have prediabetes, and I can’t fix that.
Conversely, healthy self-talk takes those thoughts and flips them on their head. Instead of focusing on the negative, positive thinking opens the door for improvement:
- I only need to take things one day at a time.
- I may not have 30 minutes a day to exercise, but I do have ten that I can dedicate to it.
- I want to feel better about myself, so I want to take steps to get better.
- Prediabetes may be my diagnosis, but it isn’t my life.
Positive thinking may seem like a long shot at times when you’re working with your cohort, but don’t let that sway your determination to influence your participants. A great way to help them shift their thinking is to set a positive tone for the group.
One thing you should never forget is that positivity is contagious. When you hold group sessions with your cohort and maintain a positive attitude, that way of thinking will set the tone for your meetings. Ultimately, that uplifting support has the potential to influence your cohort to transition into positive thoughts.
Practical Methods for Teaching Positive Thinking
It’s important to remember that you need to maintain realistic expectations as you influence your participants to shift their way of thinking. If your group members have held a sour outlook on life for years, they are more than likely not going to change overnight.
To have the most significant impact on your participants and help them embrace positive changes, you need to encourage them to take small steps.
After all, changing a person’s mindset should be approached the same way someone approaches making significant changes in diet or exercise. Actionable steps with realistic goals will give your participants a straightforward way to reframe their thinking.
These strategies will help your participants reprogram their negative thoughts and find ways to shift toward a healthier mental attitude:
Encourage Your Participants to Start Journaling
Journaling is an excellent way for your cohort to gain a better understanding of how they think and how they can learn to rework their attitude. It may seem like an abnormal practice for them at first, but seeing their thoughts written on the page will help them understand how their thinking affects their actions.
We often try to block out how we talk to ourselves or reason away why we have a negative self-image. But when those words are laid out in front of us in writing, the way we treat ourselves becomes clearer.
Over time, journaling helps your participants recognize those thoughts and rework them into a more positive outlook.
Guide Your Cohort with Sticky Note Affirmations
An excellent way to encourage positive thinking is to surround your participants with positive words.
One great strategy to help your cohort members shift away from their self-defeating thoughts is to utilize the humble sticky note. Affirmations written on sticky notes and attached around their living space will help your participants choose to embrace positivity.
Encourage the cohort to post their notes around the house and read those examples of healthy self-talk aloud to themselves throughout the day. The more your participants read those positive words, the more likely they will adopt a positive mindset.
Promote Regular Meditation and Tape Talk in Coaching Sessions
Your participants may not be in a place to join a guided meditation from the first day they work toward adopting positive self-talk, but encouraging them to listen to positive affirmations recorded by themselves or others can significantly impact their mindset.
Over time, your participants will find that listening to those positive affirmations and meditating on them is the boost they need to approach the day with a positive outlook.
Yes, they will need time, and it will take effort to accept those affirmations or join in on a group meditation. However, that investment will pay off in the long run by shifting their mindset toward healthy self-talk.
Realizing DPP Has the Tools to Help Your Cohort Overcome Prediabetes
Adopting a positive mindset may be challenging for your participants at first. But with continued encouragement and practice, they can adopt a healthy mindset that helps them on their journey to diabetes prevention.
If you’re looking for ways to help your cohort members overcome their prediabetes diagnosis and improve their mental health, the Realizing DPP community has the tools to assist you. Our network of current and retired lifestyle coaches is there to support and aid you in being the best coach possible.
In addition to our online network, RDPP also has a mobile app to provide you with diabetes prevention resources on the go. Access blog posts, participate in group surveys, and interact with other coaches through our app powered by Mighty Networks.
Also, if you’re a lifestyle coach in the Mississippi region and haven’t joined RDPP yet, reach out to us today to become a member!