Can’t Fix What You Can’t Control - BEST REFRAME EVER To Reduce Stress, Be Happier & LIVE BETTER
How to Reduce Stress with Positive Reframing
There are many ways to reframe difficult situations from a positive perspective. You cannot necessarily control everything in your life, but you can control how you view it. Reframing difficult situations in a positive light can help reduce your overall stress level. Learn to view trying situations more as a chance to grow and learn than a burden. Take action in the moment you feel stress. Afterwards, evaluate what you can take away from the situation.
Coping During Tough Moments
See opportunities in tough moments.Tough moments can present you with a chance to hone your problem solving skills and find more effective means of dealing with an issue. When a difficult situation arises, pause and think to yourself, "What opportunities are there for growth here?" Try not to think of the situation as inherently negative.
- For example, say you're trying to meet a major deadline for work when your cat gets sick. You have to deal with caring for a sick animal while trying to complete a large report.
- Think of this in the positives. You will learn from this. You will develop better time management skills and learn how to work under pressure.
- These skills can be applied to a variety of situations. You're being given a great opportunity to develop positive skills you can use for life.
Catch and reframe negative thoughts.During a tough situation, you may experience a range of negative thoughts. You may catastrophize the situation, unnecessarily viewing a setback as a disaster. You may also internalized things that are beyond your control. Be more aware of what you're thinking during difficult moments. If you catch yourself indulging negative thoughts, adjust them. Instead of beating yourself up, ask what you can learn.
- Instead of thinking, "I can't believe I was so lazy during my workout," think about how to change the situation. Ask yourself questions like, "Am I getting enough sleep? Am I eating enough before my workout?"
- Catch irrational thoughts as well. For example, you do poorly on a test and think to yourself, "There goes my semester. It's all downhill from here." However, you can't predict the future. Pause and reframe, thinking something like, "I did poorly, but there's a chance I can turn it around if I work harder."
Take steps to stay calm.If you start to panic, work on reframing actively in a way that helps you stay calm. Remember that you are okay, even if things are hectic at the moment. Remind yourself this is a chance to learn, and you can channel the pressure into energy. Lastly, keep the big picture in mind. Think something like, "Will this really matter a week from now? A year from now?"
Laugh it off.Humor can help you cope in a variety of trying situations. Oftentimes, people look back at negative situations and laugh. However, with some self-awareness, you may be able to laugh in the moment.
- It can often help to invite others to laugh. If something negative happens to you, post it on Facebook as an amusing anecdote. Other people may respond positively, allowing you to feel better about the situation yourself.
- Look for aspects of your situation that are simply absurd. These often provide the best fodder for humor.
Practice positive self talk.When you're struggling with something, be kind to yourself. How you treat yourself affects how you view a situation. If you want to be able to reframe things in a positive manner, your internal monologue must be positive.
- Think about how you would talk to someone else in your situation. Then, compare that to how you're talking to yourself. For example, you miss a deadline at work and you think to yourself, "I'm so stupid for screwing that up." Would you tell someone else that?
- You would probably tell another person something like, "Everyone makes mistakes. It's not a reflection of your whole life." Give yourself this kind of kindness. Make sure you're as kind to yourself as you are to others.
- Try to remind yourself that how you are feeling is temporary by saying things like, "This will be over soon," "This won't last forever," or "This project will conclude in three months. I just need to manage until then and I know I can make it through."
Have positive media to fall back on.Having a bank of positivity can help you be prepared to reframe things in the positive. Spend each morning reading positive media, looking at inspirational quotes, or seeking advice from people you admire. When a difficult situation presents itself, have something in mind to bring yourself up.
- You can write down inspirational quotes, poems, and other things in a notebook and carry it with you throughout the day. You can also write things down in your phone. If music inspires you, have an upbeat playlist saved on your iPod or M33 player.
- When you start to face something difficult, fall back on your inspirational media. This will help bring you up and allow you to see things in a positive light.
Reframing Your Overall Outlook
Identify where you can take action.Remember, difficulties can be viewed as an opportunity. When you find yourself facing a trying situation, the first thing you can do is see where you can take action. Think to yourself, "I don't have to succumb to pressure. Now is the time to take action."
- For example, you're late for work because you can't find your car keys. Your apartment is generally messy and cluttered.
- Instead of beating yourself up for being late, realize you've identified a way to make your life go smoother. You need to clean up your apartment. While today was hectic, taking this action now will make for a better future.
Surround yourself with positive people.If you want to be more positive by nature, look for role models. Do not spend time with people who whine and complain and tend to see things very negatively. Instead, look to people who seem to have a positive outlook overall These people will help you reframe situations in a positive light.
- When facing a difficult situation, don't ask your notoriously pessimistic brother for advice. Instead, call up your mom, who always seems to have a positive outlook.
- Make friends with co-workers who seem upbeat and cheery. Make a coffee date with the secretary who always has a smile on her face.
- Pay attention to how positive people view the world and how they frame difficult or trying situations.
Adopt a more optimistic vocabulary.If you want to empower yourself to reframe things in the positive, listen to how you talk and think. If your vocabulary is negative or neutral overall, this can subtly affect your mentality. Tweaking your vocabulary to include more positives can make a profound impact on your outlook.
- Look for negative absolutes you use. For example, "I can't finish this report in time. It's impossible." This is not likely, and you're just putting more pressure on yourself. Instead, think something like, "I can do this, even if it will be a challenge."
- Be positive when talking to others. If someone says, "How are you doing?", do not reply, "I'm all right." Instead, say something like, "I'm doing great."
- Try to see negativity through the most positive lens possible. For example, don't think, "This is a disaster." Instead think, "This is a little rough, but I can cope."
Examine and reduce your workload.See pressure as a means to examine your current obligations. There's a good chance you're taking on too much if you're busy all the time. Try to see where you can cut back.
- Being busy can be fulfilling, but if you're over-focused on the wrong tasks it can be detrimental. If you're busy with tasks that aren't of personal importance to you, you may want to cut these obligations out of your life.
- Take an overview of your current workload. What matters to you most and what does not matter? Identify areas where you're unnecessarily committed and not gaining anything from these commitments. Cut out these obligations.
View difficulties as a lesson in accepting the uncontrollable.Instead of feeling frustrated when you're overwhelmed, see trying situations as a chance to learn life lessons. A major life lesson is learning to accept what one cannot control. If you're worried, and you've done everything you can to deal with the situation, it may be time to acknowledge you cannot control everything. Instead of beating yourself up when you don't complete everything to your liking, take this as a chance to be more accepting of life's hurdles.
- For example, you're working on a group project at school. Despite trying your best to keep your group members on track, certain people are not taking on a fair load of work.
- At this point, you've done everything you can. Take this as a chance to accept you cannot change or control others rather than reveling in the pressure.
Work on your problem solving skills.Having good problem solving skills can also help you to stay positive and look at solutions when you are dealing with a stressful situation. Some things you can do to improve your problem solving skills include:
- Identifying the problem in detail.
- Listing your options for solving the problem.
- Considering each alternative carefully.
- Choosing the best option and making a plan to follow through.
Adjusting Your View of Stress
Think of stress in terms of energy.How do you typically view stress? Many people see it as an emotionally draining, exhausting experience. However, stress is just a form of energy. Stress can get your blood pumping and your heart racing. Instead of thinking of this as negative, think of it as invigorating.
- Stress gets your body pumped for action. It puts on defense and provides a boost of energy. Do not think of stress as negative energy. Just think of it as your body's natural response to situations that require a lot of attention and care.
- People who view their body's natural stress response as helpful, rather than harmful, are generally able to handle stress in a more productive fashion.
Appreciate that stress shows you care.People who are more engaged with the world around them tend to experience heightened levels of stress. Therefore, the fact you are stressed out may not be a bad thing. It shows that you are engaged and that you care.
- People who view their lives and work as meaningful tend to experience more stress. This is likely because a failure or setback matters more to them.
- When you feel stressed, pause and consider why you're stressed. Chances are, you're stressed because you care about a situation. This is a good thing.
- For example, say you're stressed because you can't find a good birthday present for your friend. Why does this matter? It's because you care about your friend and want her to have the best birthday possible. This is actually a positive.
Accept you are imperfect.Instead of thinking of stress as showing you your limitations, think of it as an opportunity to embrace them. If you're feeling stressed because you can't get something done, do not think, "I am a failure." Instead, think, "This is a chance to embrace I can't be perfect all the time."
- It's important to acknowledge your imperfections. When you're up against a lot of stress, sometimes you won't cope as well as you would like.
- This can be a good thing. When you realize you're at the end of your emotional limit, take this as a chance to accept your imperfections. You now have a better sense of what you can and cannot handle as an individual.
Acknowledge everyone has stress.Oftentimes, people allow themselves to become alienated by stress. You may view stress as an inherently negative thing and feel weak for experiencing it. However, everyone has stress in their lives. Embracing this fact can help you better cope.
- When you find yourself weighed down with stress, remember that life is complicated. No one feels happy and together all the time.
- Remind yourself you're likely not the only one experiencing stress. Everyone feels this way from time to time.
- This can help you think of stress less as something that's annoying or cumbersome and more as a natural part of being human.
Video: How to make stress your friend | Kelly McGonigal
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