Reframing is tool for entering into our minds and directing our reality. This therapeutic tool is often used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Narrative Therapy approaches. The technique teaches individuals how to assert agency, power, and instill a sense of control over one’s own fates and emotional and affective states. We are the adventures who make meaning of each moment, and determine its positive or negative effects on us. By reframing a seemingly negative event into an opportunity for positive learning and growth we can use everything on Earth as a tool for personal development.
For example, practicing positive optimism creates dispositional optimism in one’s outlook on life. As a part of my daily prayers I ask to be in a continuous state of positive optimism. I have felt this perspective of positivity spill into all aspects of my life, the prayer becoming more powerful with persistent practice. As in all things, practice increases ability. On a more cognitive level, asking for positive optimism, or anything for that matter, compassion, etc., brings awareness to that quality and throughout our day we will pay more attention to whether or not we are acting in accord with that goal. Contemplating a quality in a meditative state and prayer practice flushes juices to the brain areas in charge of these qualities, thus giving increased power to that cerebral region, and thus affecting thoughts, feelings, intentions, motivations, and behavior.
When we encounter disappointments or face challenges how do we frame these events?
Meditative practice tones the muscle of willpower and cognitive and affective control through expanding spiritual awareness, then when a decision arises we can take a moment to listen to what the right next step is. This awareness elevates us into a place where Earthly stress and agitation are like gnats humming in your ear, a nuisance, but not so tragic.
No matter the challenge or the mistake, keeping our focus on learning and growing, maturing and developing, transcending and ascending, allows us to use all events for the greater good: within ourselves and outside of ourselves.
Practice: When something goes awry in your day, if you fall into negative emotion, try to reframe the event as a lesson, in this way it contributes to your growth and becomes a positive.