When to Ding Sum


A good way to practice Ding Sum is to do it before, during, and after a situation. When we Ding Sum before a situation, we calm down in advance and think of a plan for a helpful response. When we Ding Sum during a situation, we stop our reactions right then and there, so we can think clearly and make better decisions. When we Ding Sum after a situation, we stop the negative reactions that linger. We continue to calm down and think of ways to improve our response for the next time a similar situation occurs.


When we Ding Sum before the situation, we can prepare ourselves in advance. Arm ourselves with a better approach that will help the situation. For example, if we often argue with a particular person, we can use Ding Sum before we see that person, to prepare ourselves to listen and compromise in order to calmly work things out.


When we Ding Sum during the situation, we stop our reactions on the spot and silence the upset thoughts as soon as we recognize them. For example, if our reaction to a situation is to get mad because we don’t like something, Ding Sum immediately, when we first have the thought or feeling of “I don’t like it”. Ding Sum stops that reaction so that it doesn’t blow up into anger. Then, we can decide on a course of action to best resolve the situation.


When we Ding Sum after the situation, we stop the negative thoughts that linger, the ones that give us residual stress long after the situation is over. Maybe we remember the hurtful words someone said to us and we’re still angry. Ding Sum helps us stop these angry thoughts so we can calm down. Then we can review the situation to find out how we did, what went wrong and what went right. Think of a better way to handle the situation the next time it occurs.

Bottom Line

So, when should we Ding Sum? Ultimately, the goal is to use Ding Sum whenever we make a decision, because it is with each decision that we determine the outcome of a situation. If we just react to situations based on how we feel, we react without thinking and without looking at the facts. Then it’s easy to end up doing something that makes matters worse, like getting mad and walking out. Instead, when we Ding Sum, we stop personal biases that cloud our thinking. We stop exaggerating details that add to or subtract from what really happened. Then we can clearly see the situation and assess all the facts as they really are. We make good decisions based on solid information. As we constantly make decisions throughout the day, we Ding Sum throughout the day. Then, one at a time, we change each inappropriate reaction into a thoughtful decision, to help every situation that pops up in our day.