In the volumes written on positive thinking, one of the oft-mentioned skills is called reframing.
It is a powerful skill in dealing with difficult situations.
What is reframing?
Simply put, it is the ability to put a positive spin or ‘reframe’ on an apparently challenging situation or event.
I first came to know about reframing while I was studying an NLP book Introducing NLP-by Grinder and Bandler. (Please check out the book for a rigorous explanation of this and many other effective techniques for shaping your mind. )
It can take some time to master, but once you get good at this, it is virtually impossible to feel bad, no matter what the situation. Now if that doesn’t get your attention, I don’t know what will.
So how and where do we use reframing? Virtually in every situation which poses a challenge.
Let’s say your job required you to stay away from your family(Click here to read a related post on this). As a result you feel habitually lonely and depressed.
It’s summer, you watch people basking and playing outside with their happy families and big ,furry dogs.
Meanwhile you are stuck in a shabby chilly basement munching on a box of french fries.
And you keep telling yourself :I am so lonely. Nobody is there to spend time with me. I come home alone to my dark basement apartment everyday after work. It’s weekend and I have no one to go to movies with. It’s unthinkable. What do I do? How can I live like this?
Ok..the actual incident(problem as you might call it) is that you are in a town where you do not know a lot of people.
All the other interpretations of ‘nobody wants me, therefore I am so miserable’ is just in your head!
How can you use reframing here? By choosing a different interpretation.
This is the interpretation you choose:
I am in a new place and there is nobody with me to spend the weekend. Fantastic! This is my chance to do something on my own for my own pleasure. I can go out, dressed however I want(if it’s gay parade week, dress carefully!).I will go into some ethnic restaurant which my friends would normally ridicule me for, and then I will come back home and spend some quality time writing a story or a poem. Thank god I don’t need to be a part of those unending family problems and shi*y bf/gf issues. This is my time for myself. I better make it count!
How does that sound, my friend?
Sounds like positive thinking eh?
Use this technique of reframing in every difficult situation and you will be well on your path to lasting happiness. That is right, without any drugs!