Using Positive Reframing


As is always the case, simply knowing about a process is insufficient; you must actually carry it out.

Do you ever feel trapped in a negative thought spiral, always seeing the doom in life rather than the potential bloom? I’ve certainly been there… a lot. On days like that, I desperately want to reframe my dark imagination, which is filled with everything that could possibly go wrong, and inject it with a healthy dose of optimism. However, once you’re stuck in that spiral, it can be difficult to climb out. The art of finding the silver lining in any situation and approaching challenges with a positive attitude is known as positive reframing. It doesn’t work unless you do it, just like everything else in life. And doing so necessitates a willingness to put on rose-colored glasses, if only for a brief moment, can reframe your mind for a positive outlook.

That’s what we’ll look at here. You will see the amazing benefits of reframing if you can seize that moment and look up from the dark spiral long enough to do a quick little exercise. It’s like a kick in the trousers, getting out of the gloomy sewer and into the realm of possibility. And it works like a charm!

First, some fundamentals:

Reframing in a Positive Manner – Positive reframing is simply rethinking a negative or difficult situation in a more positive light. You could play a game by listing the benefits of the negative situation. In a hurricane, your car is smashed by a tree? Great! You are not required to schedule that oil change you have been putting off. Your ex-partner dumped you? Great! You couldn’t think of anything to get them for their birthday next week. I realise I’m being facetious here. I’m attempting to capture the absurdity that may be required to break free from the doldrums long enough to see the bright side of things.
On a more practical level, you may realise that you are learning an important lesson from the situation that you would not have learned otherwise. We don’t learn when things are going well. We learn when life grabs our attention, which is often through major challenges. Another way to reappraise a difficult situation is to be grateful. Again, in an ending relationship, you can be grateful for the time you spent with the person, the lessons you learned, and the opportunity to meet new people. (Having a daily gratitude practise, by the way, is a huge life-lifter.)

Investigating the Evidence – Are you seeing things clearly? Are you certain? One of my favourite quotes is: We don’t see things the way they are. We see things as WE see them a variety of attributions. What we perceive as reality is a filtered interpretation shaped by our biology, upbringing, cultural background, and personal experiences, rather than a direct representation of the world around us. We are aware of this. Our brain interprets what we see around us and combines it with memories and beliefs. A variety of factors can influence our perception, including emotions, biases, and whether or not we slept well the night before. It’s critical to be aware of these filters and how they influence our thinking.

When we’re in a difficult situation, we need to take a step back and examine our assumptions about the people and factors involved. Is it really as bad as we think it is, or are our perceptions influenced by our past experiences or how we feel today? Is it true that you couldn’t handle the horrible outcome you’re picturing, or are you actually quite capable of handling it? One thing to remember is that thoughts are not facts. They are only thoughts. We have a zillion of them. They appear and disappear. And that mental image of failure and destitution because your life has been ruined… it’s just your thoughts strung together in a bleak loop. Examine your assumptions and personal perspectives. What would someone else think about this situation? Consider people who aren’t like you and how they might react. Now comes the practise portion. This is where the magic starts to happen.

Part 1

  1. At the top of the page, write a brief description of a difficult situation. Simply the facts.
  2. Make a note of how you see it (your original interpretation).
  3. What thoughts do you have?
  4. What do you feel when you have those thoughts?
  5. What are you doing or planning to do when you have these thoughts and feelings about the situation?

Part 2

  1. The same thing happened. Make a note of it at the top of the page.
  2. Make a note of a different interpretation. Go completely in the opposite direction of your initial interpretation.
  3. What are your current thoughts?
  4. What are your thoughts on the second interpretation?
  5. What are you doing or planning to do when you have these thoughts and feelings about the situation?

Continue your journey. Consider a few more interpretations of the same situation and go through the same prompts. When you’re done, pick the best interpretation the one that makes you happy, gives you energy, and is best for everyone involved. And then follow through. The difference between your first and best interpretations can be quite dramatic. This simple exercise can alter your entire outlook on life.

Stop Thinking Already!
In his book “Don’t Believe Everything You Think,” author Joseph Nguyen declares, “Thinking is the root cause of our suffering. There is no other explanation for why we experience negative emotions other than our own thinking.” So, what should we do now? We think all the time. I mean, isn’t that just living? “I think; therefore I am,” right? There is a distinction to be made here. Nguyen is referring to emotional and psychological pain. “Although we experience a lot of pain in our lives, suffering is optional,” he says. “Pain is unavoidable, but how we react to the events and circumstances in our lives is entirely up to us.”

According to Nguyen, thinking and thoughts are distinct concepts. Thoughts appear on their own. You can’t stop a thought from entering your mind. But, he claims, thinking requires effort. We think in order for our minds to keep us alive. However, our minds are only concerned with our safety and survival, not with our flourishing. Nguyen proposes that our minds are connected to Universal Intelligence in their “default states,” which has a feeling energy of love, peace, joy, connection, and well-being. It’s our normal state. He claims that thinking can become viciously habitual, what we call ruminating going over and over a negative situation, with each iteration making it worse in our minds.

Have you ever caught yourself replaying a tape of what you should have said to someone, getting saucier and nastier with each repetition? The author invites us to simply observe and acknowledge that train of thought. But don’t get hung up on that. Allow it to be there, and then let it go. Look up and take in the view of the sky, some objects in the room, or the leaves on a tree. Then notice the mental space, the peace, and the quiet. Ahhh! He claims that peace is the natural state of the mind.

Recognizing that the Life Force of the Universe has been taking care of you your entire life is part of the cure for all of this suffering-thinking. There is nothing to be afraid of because you are a part of something much larger. With our limited minds, we cannot fully comprehend such vastness. However, we can give up our efforts and “experience total peace in our lives rather than worrying about everything.” You can rest assured that you are not required to figure out everything. Simply relax and do the next appropriate thing that comes to mind. Nguyen’s book is a comprehensive guide to learning to stop thinking. If the concept of not thinking appeals to you, I recommend that you investigate it further. It piqued my interest. Best of luck with your practise. Reframing may require some effort at first, but the results can be near miraculous!

Hi, I’m Garima and I write about life experiences. I have several books available on Amazon. Check them out today! Any purchases or KDP reads will be greatly appreciated. If you like my books, do leave a review. Here’s my author page on Amazon –


4 Comments Add yours

  1. sicetnon3 says:

    Anxiety and fear thoughts are usually of the future. Regret sorrow and anger thoughts usually spring from the past, even if that past thought was a minute ago

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      What you resist endures. However, embracing your struggle puts an end to your fear. Running from your surroundings is analogous to running from a mirror because you don’t like the unhappy face in the mirror. You can run to another mirror (and another), but you’ll keep seeing the same unhappy reflection until you stop running and start smiling.
      Your surroundings will not change unless you first change. It’s natural to feel trapped, but the more you resist the present moment and try to flee, the more trapped you will feel.

      Instead of running, we need to practice being fully present in every moment, especially the bad ones. Living in the present moment has become a habit. The more you practise, the more natural it becomes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sicetnon3 says:

    It seems to me you are saying we need to change on the interior in order to reach the goal of exterior change (which both seem situated in the future). From my perspective, change is of itself realized in the present moment as it is embraced. There is no “goal to reach”because we are already there (If that makes sense).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GS says:

      Yes I agree with you. It’s the decision to change that we make in the present is the beginning


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