How do you handle the drama in your life? How do you respond when you are feeling challenged or disrespected? What goes on in your head when these types of external events cause internal distress?
One strategy for dealing with stressful and challenging situations is called ‘reframing’. In it’s simplest form, reframing is a way of replacing a negative, unproductive or irritating thought about a situation, with empowering thoughts that are beneficial and useful. At the very least, you are taking a thought or situation that pisses you off, and neutralizing it.
When certain aggravating thoughts or situations arise, the aggravation you feel is a result of the meaning YOU gave to the thought or situation, and the meaning you gave it tends to lean in the direction of your own insecurities.
In other words, it’s a case of “this means that” or “this caused that”. For example; “my boss yelled at me – that means he undervalues me”. Or, “my children often disobey me, which causes me to beat them”, or “my spouse spends hours on Facebook, that means “he/she is having an affair”, etc.,
The meaning therefore is an assumption that we concoct in our minds which is in direct alignment with our insecurities. If we gave it the assumption or the meaning in the first place, then we can change it and give it a different one – one that makes you feel better, allowing you to transition through it smoothly with less stress. I am not suggesting we try to turn a truly negative situation into a bed of roses – but only to soften the negative impact, making it milder and less painful.
Reframing a negative thought is just a way of putting a “spin” on it to give it a new and better meaning. The new thought should feel better, it should invoke no stress, and should empower you to take action.
For example, lets consider the thought: “she is really annoying me and making me angry”. Sample reframes could be;
When I’m feeling annoyed, it’s more about “me” than it is “them”. What can I do to make me feel better right now? (write a list of possible things)
I’m not going to give that person the pleasure of making me upset. I’d rather use my energy to think about people that make me feel good. (write a list of those people, along with some of the good things they’ve done for you).
If you begin to use this process every time you encounter an uncomfortable event, you will magically experience a shift in perspective that will keep you grounded and centered without all the drama. Also, the act of writing-the-list will further empower you and will change your mood to a better one.
Putting a positive spin on these situations makes the problem appear differently in your brain, giving you more creative options and freedom of movement. In actuality, you are rewiring and retraining the brain to respond and react in a healthier and more productive manner. Scientifically speaking, new neural connections are being created, which give birth to more internal optimism and resiliency. So no more brooding, pouting and sulking – instead, put a spin on it, consider your options, and move on in peace.Share