How do we reframe?
Many of you may already know this concept of reframing. In the mental health world, there’s this concept of reframing where you take a moment to reframe how you’re viewing the situation. Reframing comes from a therapeutic technique called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) where you recognize and identify our automatic thoughts and replace the thought with more helpful or balance thoughts.
For example, if everything feels as if it is falling apart in your life one can say, “Why do bad things always happen to me?” or “I will never obtain happiness” because our perspective is not helpful we may tend to become disempowered. On the other hand when things are falling apart if you said, “this is an opportunity for me to expand my capacity as a human being” or “things are testing me to make me stronger,” you may feel more empowered to tackle the struggles head on. This doesn’t mean you have to put a positive spin on everything like Chris Traeger from the show Parks and Recreation (SPIN MOVEEEE!!)
This means that when stuff happens, you take the moment to think; okay, why am I being emotionally derailed right now. Why is this triggering me? For many people it’s because fear and lack of control take over and go down the rabbit hole of I’m not ________ enough (smart enough, beautiful enough, wealthy enough etc.). It’s about shifting our perspective and reframing the situation.
Reframing the situation does not start with “at least” (i.e. at least I’m heathy, at least I have my family, at least I have it better than others.” No. Reframing means 1) taking a moment to think and reflect how we’re feeling 2) being in the present moment 3) thinking about how we can shift our perspective on the situation. More and more I’m recognizing that many people (including ourselves) are not present, and actually quite numbed out. In my case it manifests in numbing out and avoiding hard things. It is a hard thing to always catch yourself, but the more we can catch ourselves the more we can continue to move forward.