Mental Wellness: The Power of Reframing.

Reframing is easily one of my favorite concepts that I learned in grad school. While we learned about it in the context of consulting with organizations or companies, the ideas and principles can be applied to your personal life as well.

Unfortunately, when I moved from Kentucky back to Iowa after grad school, I recycled all of my journal articles and I’m having a world of time coming up w/ the research to cite. But just know this isn’t my original idea and I’m pretty sure Schneider is the back bone of this. Mainly b/c Schneider is the back bone of ALL org development/culture research. Seriously. Big name. I drooled a little tiny bit when I sat in on his panel discussion at SIOP in San Diego.

Ok, enough of me fan girl-ing a researcher (I know, I know, nerd alert). Back to reframing.

Reframing. Is. Magnificent. We first started talking about it in my org change and culture class and I just LOVED this concept. I like to use it in my everyday life as a way of taking criticisms and making them into learning opportunities. I have been really working to make reframing negativity as a positive learning opportunity. It’s difficult to immediately hear something negative or go through a negative event and be able to BAM automatically change it into a positive learning experience, I’m not saying it’s easy. But I think it is fascinating and a good way to work on switching negative thinking.

Try working on reframing this weekend. I sometimes dread cleaning my apartment. I just flat out don’t want to. I would rather be outside or really anything besides cleaning. But I try to reframe this mundane and boring task to not think about as something I have to do, but something that when it is done makes me happy. I love having a nice, clean apartment. I don’t like dealing with clutter everywhere. I did this when I started following a blog called “Unfuck your habitat”. It basically advocates for getting stuff done at night that way when you wake up in the morning you just have to grab your lunch and head out the door. When I started doing this, I despised having to wash my dishes at night and pick out my outfit for the day and what not. But instead of thinking about how much I hated doing that and it was preventing me from getting to bed earlier, I reframed that task. By “un-effing” my habitat at night, I was making my mornings less stressful and setting the tone for my entire day. It is now just habit for me to make sure I’m ready for the next day before I go to bed.

These are two really easy examples of reframing. The more complex you get into the task or thought, the harder it is and the longer it takes for the reframing to settle in. But it is worth giving a shot and seeing how you can change your thinking around.

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