When facing potential stessors, the way we view what we're experiencing can greatly increase our stress—or minimize it.
If you don't already use this stress relief strategy regularly, you may want to consider it.
Reframing is a way of changing the way you look at something and, thus, changing your experience of it.
Reframing is a way that we can alter our perceptions of stressors and, thus, relieve significant amounts of stress and create a more positive life before actually making any changes in our circumstances.
Using reframing techniques can actually change your physical responses to stress because your body's stress response is triggered by perceived stress, more often than actual events.
Reframing techniques are a way of minimizing the stressors you perceive in your life, thus easing the process of relaxation.
The first step in reframing is to educate yourself about some of these negative thinking patterns (like cognitive distortions) that may greatly increase your stress levels.
The next step is to catch yourself when you're slipping into overly negative and stress-inducing patterns of thinking. Being aware of them is an important part of challenging and ultimately changing them.
One thing you can do is just become more mindful of your thoughts, as though you're an observer.
When you catch negative thinking styles, just note them at first.
As you notice your negative thoughts, an effective part of reframing involves examineing the truth and accuraccy (or lack thereof) of these thoughts.
Instead of seeing things the way you always have, challenge every negative thought, and see if you can adopt thoughts that fit your situation but reflect a more positive outlook.
When you're looking at something negative, see if you can change your self talk to use less strong negative emotions .
When you're looking at a potentially stressful situation, see if you can view it as a challenge versus a threat.
Look for the 'gift' in each situation, and see if you can see your stressors on the more positive edge of reality: see them in a way that still fits the facts of your situation, but that is less negative and more optimistic and positive.
That's the gist of reframing, and you can do it as often as you'd like.
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