A photo by Mayur Gala. unsplash.com/photos/2PODhmrvLik

No…..re-framing isn’t all about fixing your double glazing. Although it is about your outlook on life so I guess it is similar in that it allows you to see things more clearly.

We’re all familiar with the term ‘glass half full’ when used to describe someone who tends to focus on the positives in life as opposed to the negatives. But how do you you do it yourself? How can you make it a natural part of your thought process so that you can always feel resourceful instead of vulnerable?

The answer is Re-framing, and all it takes is practice!

When we go through dark times in our lives, it can become increasingly difficult to think positively and we tend to view everything that happens to us through a negative prism, and use it as validation for our feeling bad……life sucks!

Sure, things are going to happen in life that are beyond our control. But what is within our control is how we choose to react. It’s perfectly natural to feel bad, and that’s OK, but how we cope with things and move forward is what really matters. This is where Re-framing comes into its own.

How it works……..

The next time something negative happens to you, don’t just accept it and feel bad, look at it as something from which you can learn. See it as an opportunity to grow. Force yourself to find something….anything…..that’s positive. It doesn’t change what has happened but it allows you do see a path forward, and adds a perspective that enables you to realise that you have the strength to get through anything.

Start today. Begin looking at everything, good or bad, with the goal of identifying something positive that isn’t necessarily the first thing that popped into your mind. No matter how inconsequential you think it may be, it’s all practice that trains your mind to be flexible, and prevents you focussing on the negative.

For example…. last night I was enjoying a glass of wine after a particularly long, hard week. Well OK it was actually my second glass but who’s counting? I could feel sleep wasn’t far away and my glass had begun to lean once or twice. Yet I wasn’t quite sensible enough to put it down or finish it off before the inevitable happened. Well the next thing I knew, I woke with a start, and began to feel the coldness of the wine as it soaked into my clothing….I was drenched! My first reaction….NOOOO I still had a few mouthfuls left……then….. damn, the leather sofa, my clothes!

But then my mind switched gears as I started to see the positives. Phew, my clothes took the brunt of the liquid and saved my sofa (and even if it hadn’t, a quick clean would have solved it)….wasn’t it a good job there wasn’t much wine left (one time when a glass less than ‘half full’ is a good thing)….and best of all my son was howling laughing as he rushed to get a paper towel to help out. As I threw my clothes into the bath to soak, I smiled as I knew we’d just gained another funny anecdote to look back upon.

That was a light hearted example I know, but it shows how easy it is to start automatically focussing on the positives.

For a more serious example I shall mention a friend who recently suffered the loss of a relative. From diagnosis to passing, it was quite quick, yet they chose to embrace the time they had left and spent a wonderful few weeks together, as they created some lovely memories to carry forward.

Of course it didn’t take away the pain of imminent and subsequent loss, but it allowed them to cope with it better, knowing that they didn’t squander what little time they did have, and knowing that nothing was left unsaid. It served as a catalyst to re-connect with absent friends and relatives, and the funeral was turned into a celebration of life.

Even though they would have been totally justified in allowing their pain and grief to overwhelm them, they chose to focus purely on the positives, which has enabled them to begin to heal more effectively, and has given them comfort.

Re-framing trains your mind to be more flexible, more resourceful, and more resilient. It enables you to always look for a positive instead of focussing on the negatives. This creates a strength of character and an indomitable spirit.

So start Re-framing today, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!