Want to Change Your Life? Challenge Your Thoughts (Part 2)
by Angie Miller
Part II of a II Part Series
Last week we learned that stress is perception, that Toxic Thoughts pollute our thinking and create mental sabotage, and that our mind is our greatest asset or our worst liability. This week, we’re going to talk about Reframing: Reconstructing our thoughts and changing the way we view situations… changing our mental mindset.
A Recap of Reframing
Reframing is like rearranging the furniture in our home, or painting our walls a different color. It’s the same furniture in the same room, but somehow it looks completely different when we change the layout. Reframing is similar to putting our favorite photo in a different frame. It’s the same photo, but we see it differently because the frame changes the way we look at the picture. Reframing is a technique aimed at changing the way we perceive situations and altering our mindset from a negative to a more positive approach. Reframing allows us to rid ourselves of Toxic Thoughts, those thoughts that cloud our judgment and get in the way of positive solutions. Below is a recap of the Toxic Thoughts I discussed last week.
Reframe Your Reality
Below I list the four steps that help us “Reframe our Reality.” Remember that our mind is the most powerful tool we have. We can’t avoid stress or challenges, because we can’t control what comes our way, but we can take charge of our attitude about the challenges we face and more positively direct the outcome.
- Awareness- Identify and write down your three greatest challenges, why they are causing you stress, and why they are bringing negativity into your life. Identify the Toxic Thoughts that might cloud your thinking when you face these stressors.
- Reappraise the Situation- Write down two to three possible solutions for each stressor or challenge. If there is no “solution,” in that you can’t change what has already happened, write down two to three things you can learn from the situation, how it can help you grow, and what you might do differently in the future. This is an empowering exercise that reminds us that we're in charge of our attitude and the way we approach our problems. It allows us to step back, generate a more objective point of view, and focus on solutions rather than the problem itself.
- Implement Your Solution- Adopt and implement your solutions. Meet your challenges head on. It could be that your solution isn’t a solution, so much as a different mindset, or a different outlook. Again, maybe you can’t change what happened, or what might happen, such as a job loss, but your greatest stressor might be nothing more than your own negative thoughts. It could be that the toxicity your mind creates alters your perception and clouds what is good in your life. Repeat your solutions, and adopt your new outlook each and every time you meet those challenges.
- Evaluate Your Solutions and Your Outlook- Do your solutions make you feel more in control? Does your new outlook bring you more peace? If not, start back at step 2.
Reframing is all about changing your perspective, taking your current situation and appreciating that for every negative, challenging event that happens to us, there is something to be learned or gained. We have a choice in how we meet our challenges and find resolution, even if it’s just resolving our own thoughts and finding peace in recognizing what we can and cannot control.
Best to You in Health~
Angie Miller, M.S., is a fitness educator, university instructor, and Licensed Professional Counselor who blends her skills and expertise to empower individuals, mentally and physically, and provide them the tools they need to succeed. A veteran group exercise instructor and personal trainer, Angie is the star of acclaimed exercise DVD’s, including the Bedroom Body™ workout. Her passion for progressive education brought her to Northern Illinois University, where she teaches in the Dept. of Kinesiology & Physical Education. Outside of the university, she presents at fitness conventions worldwide and leads industry trainings as an AFAA Certification Specialist and Kettlebell Concepts Master Instructor. Angie writes for fitness journals and digital communities, and blogs for Collage Video. Connect with Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com