Have you ever felt like you’re in a funk where all your thoughts are negative? Well, you’re not alone. It’s all too common for people to experience this, and so many things can cause it. Negative thinking displays itself in a variety of ways. For example, you could get annoyed at the behavior of your friends, spouse, or kids too quickly, or you could find yourself thinking pessimistically about what isn’t happening in your life the way you want.
Or you can read something negative on the internet, which gets you angry, and you start thinking negative thoughts about whatever it was you read. Negative thinking is a dangerous habit to get into, and it can be difficult to stop yourself when things are going wrong. However, if you know the technique known as cognitive reframing, you can get yourself unstuck and drop those negative thoughts.
What is Cognitive Reframing?
Cognitive reframing is a technique used by individuals to shift their thinking. Essentially, it’s used to get oneself out of a negative thinking pattern by changing one’s point of view. Imagine that you’re having a tough time at work, and everything seems to go wrong. You’re frustrated, annoyed, feel like you’re not cut out for the job, and maybe, even so, worked up to the point where you need to take some time for yourself in the bathroom.
This is the time when you need to be able to reframe your negative thinking. Instead of thinking about the bad things that have happened today, think about the fact that you have a job, think about the good days you’ve had, and think about the goals you’ve accomplished and the challenges you’ve overcome.
Another way to approach this is to imagine that someone else is having the day you’re experiencing—what would you tell them that everything is okay, mistakes are made, but in the end, everything is fine? Most likely. So tell yourself the same and reframe your thinking.
Key Benefits of Cognitive Reframing
1. Enhanced Optimism
Your overall disposition will start to shift when you learn to reframe negative thinking and do it with success. Believe me, the proof will be in how you feel, and you will definitely feel it. You’ll become a more optimistic person as you go through each experience, knowing that everything is okay even in the difficult times. Imagine that you get fired from a job. It’s easy to be crushed, lose hope, and think that it’s going to be impossible to find another job.
However, if you reframe your thinking, you can look at this from a completely different point of view. Even though you lost your job and don’t have a paycheck, you now have the freedom to explore something new. You can always take a class, look for a new type of work, or start that business you’ve always dreamed of. You are free to pursue things that speak to your soul or simply breathe for a moment as you figure out your next move.
2. Natural Gratefulness
Reframing teaches you that there is always a bit of good in the dark times. No matter what, you can find a little bit of light out of the worst possible situation. This is gratefulness.
Many people practice gratitude on their own to become more down-to-earth and level-headed individuals. And this I highly recommend! Someone who is grateful always has something to be positive about. And if they are down, they don’t let things keep them down.
Focusing on what’s not working and what’s going wrong in your life only feeds negative thinking and its ever-changing narrative. Choose to look for the upside. You can always focus on what’s working in your life, what’s good, the positive experiences you have had, and the people in your life you are grateful to know.
3. Reduced Stress
When you’ve successfully reframed your mind after being in a pattern of negative thinking, you feel light, as though a weight has come off your shoulders. The best part is that it has—you have genuinely lifted a weight from your shoulders. After reframing your negative thoughts with success even just one time, from that point on, you’ll know that you can do it again.
This knowledge of your ability will go a long way in making you a less stressed person. While stress is natural, and everyone experiences it, you’ll be able to control it better. The next time you experience stress, you can use reframing to change your point of view to see that the stress is unnecessary. Doing this further reduces the average stress you feel in a day.
The Overall Plus Factor
Reframing your negative thoughts and cognitive reframing, in general, has great potential for all of us. There is no perfect human being on the planet, and there never will be. We all succumb to stress, sadness, anxiety, anger, and a whole lot more. However, we can all use reframing to change our points of view to relieve these negative emotions and thinking.
With the ability to reframe, you can treat your anxiety, addiction, temporary pain, stress, grief, and much more. Reframing your negative thoughts is a powerful skill to have, so I encourage you to start learning it today. Taking a moment to think, reflect, and change your thoughts if you’re in a bad mental state has countless benefits. These are just a few key examples, but don’t be surprised when you find that reframing negative thinking can do much more for you.