Reframing is the ability to change your life without actually changing your circumstances. It is a powerful shift that costs us nothing but can make a huge impact on our daily lives. This is not to say that you have to pretend sh*tty things are actually rainbows and blessings – that is toxic positivity. But instead considering things that we come across in our daily lives that we tell ourselves are problems or burdens. What mountains have we made out of molehills? What story are we perpetually telling ourselves? In theory reframing is great but IRL it can be harder to implement, especially if all you’ve known is to reflexively look at situations through a lens of criticism, blame or negativity. Below are some tips to actually make reframing something you can put into action versus just a far off concept that you’re never able to wrap your hands around!
Start finding the good – The harder you look for it the more you will find. The easiest and most effective way to start finding the good is something I’ve talked about before, gratitude. Simple gratitude lists will shift the way you see your day to day life and the more you do it the more powerful this practice becomes. It doesn’t have to be fancy or in-depth, keep it simple. Keep a gratitude list pinned to the top of the notes section in your phone. Next time you’re standing in a line instead of mindlessly scrolling see how many things you can find that you’re grateful for.
The power of pause – when you find yourself doing dishes and telling yourself “this sucks, there’s always dishes, I can never keep up, my kids make such a mess” pause! Try to create some space and reframe. Often times we can’t control what happens to us in life, the dishes will inevitably be there day after day, the unexpected work project, the cancelled babysitter, so much is out of our hands. But the control we have lies in how we choose to react and respond to our lives. There is immense power in seizing that control versus simply relying on old habits or built in reactions. Pausing and reframing takes practice like all of these – often times you won’t pause until well after you’ve complained about xyz, but even catching yourself later that day is progress. As you continue to reframe and look for the good it will get easier to catch yourself in real time. The first huge step is even just realizing you were building a negative narrative in your mind whether you notice a minute after or a day after, progress is progress!
Write. It. Out. Journaling is talking things out with yourself, a diy therapy session… How are you supposed to know what you want, or what’s bothering you, or how you actually feel, if you never give yourself a moment to be with your thoughts. In today’s world we are bombarded by stimulus through our phones. We so rarely turn inward to assess our inner dialogue. At the end of the day all this stimulus can leave us feeling some sort of way that can be difficult to pinpoint. Was it that rude interaction at the store or in traffic, was it the triggering tiktok that you stumbled upon, was it an off handed comment a friend made, was it a narrative your subconsciously told yourself? Writing can give us clarity. It can help us find the good.
Ultimately reframing, like most mindset changes doesn’t happen immediately. It takes practice, and each day present new circumstances and challenges. With mindfulness and mindset improvement it’s so important to remember the journey is not linear. On my own personal journey I’ve often felt the idea of two steps forward, one step back. I’ve thought “I’m writing gratitude, I’m meditating, why is this so hard, why am I still losing my cool and yelling at my kids?” And the reality is it’s because life, and motherhood is freaking hard and I’m human! Over the years I’ve learned how important it is to hold grace for myself the same way I give it to others. We are human and life is hard. But that is what makes it beautiful, and choosing to lean into our emotions and become more aware of our thoughts is powerful. It allows us to feel and live life more deeply, even if it feels like we move backwards from time to time.