Reframing Negative Thought Patterns
Except It's Working This Time
Reframing is a word that has been on my mind a lot lately. When it works, it is a big positive impact on my mindset. But when my brain is too distracted, and that reframing doesn’t work, it can be a slippery slope. It is time to put some big flags at the top of this hill, so I don’t fall down the slope anymore. I have to take a serious, consistent, and focused approach to reframing my negative mindsets to lay a healthier path ahead of me and my family.
A Serious Attempt at Reframing
This reframing practice is a well known mindset technique, and has been presented to me every time I’ve seen professional counseling. Consistently, I would try bending my situation and circumstances and look at it in another way. Though it wasn’t until recently that I have been able to do this effectively. Last time I was attempting this practice, I was mired so deeply in my own negativity that there was no way this would work. I crafted my identity around my depression. Instead, I should have been curbing my depression with my identity.
I wasn’t able to reframe my mindset before, because the only mindset I knew of was depression. I surrounded myself with depression, followed things on social media solely about depression, only listened to sad music. There was no reframing possible because I wasn’t gathering positive vibes anywhere to give out. I’ve finally been able to step back in my life, put myself and my surroundings in perspective and decide what is important to me. I’ve been able to nail it down to 3 Things that mean the most to me. Family, Nature, and Creativity… Those 3 words, have become focuses of my “reframed mindset”.
Now that I have been able to focus myself on what is important to me, the reframing of negative mindsets becomes much easier. I am able to draw positives from so many sources, and use them when my brain, heart and body need them the most.
Starting any new habit is difficult to make stick, let alone something as heavy as a thought pattern. Negative thoughts, impulses, and memories will remain for life. My job now is to remain consistent in reframing those things into different views. That dirty “c” word… Yeah, consistent.That is what makes a new habit so difficult. In order to help me keep the consistency, I have to use reminders. From sticky notes, to calendar reminders, to daily rituals… I have to remind myself where my priorities lie, and not let my mind wander on the loud outliers.
Today, I spent the first half an hour of my work day looking at my desk and just making visual improvements to my environment. I put a sticky note on my Monitor, simply telling me
“Breathe. You’ve come so far.”
This one phrase has already proven to be paramount to my health, and ability to reframe throughout the day. When I feel my anxiety begin to numb my fingers, or when I recognize my depression dictating my thought patterns, I can look at this note and be reminded of 2 things. Most importantly, to focus my breathing and regain order. Secondly, it reminds me of my accomplishments in life. Very basic therapeutic process of breathing, and distracting momentarily.
Focused on the Path Ahead
Every step of this process is exactly that. A step in a larger process. I’m still going to have days where it is harder to capture a calm enough space in my mind to reframe a deeply embedded picture. I have to have enough self respect to understand that I am always evolving my process, and adapt accordingly – A lesson I’m learning continuously, and starting to take note of. The path ahead is a mixture of emotions. I am scared, but I am focused. I am ready.
I’m ready to take a serious attempt at reframing my negative thought patterns, I have a set of tools to help me leverage a healthier part of my brain, and I have consistent reminders throughout my life to stay focused on my path ahead in life. Being able to reframe my present mindset, will help me set proper foundations beneath my future goals, endeavors, and tribulations.