Stressful situations are often hard to deal with from the amount of pain it inflicts on us and those around us if left to fester. Instead of allowing those negative thoughts to keep locking us in our own emotional prisons, here are the keys to help you escape learning how to reframe negative thoughts through cognitive restructuring techniques.
Negative emotions can be the dominating forces that trap us like criminals. The more we dwell on those problems and bad experiences, the tighter our chains or prison bars become that keep us struggling without seeing a way out. As hopeless as it may seem, finding freedom starts by understanding what destructive things we do to ourselves. Once uncovering them for what they really are instead of what we believe to think is true, it is easier start changing our behaviors to turn awful situations and harmful thought processes around.
Cognitive restructuring involves trying to get a better handle on stressful issues by reframing unproductive negative thoughts with more positivity and balance than allowing those emotions complete control.
Learn to Recognize Negative Thoughts and Reframe Them
We usually have a habit to blame ourselves when life falls apart, which is counterproductive to our mental health. If we hope to get past bad thinking, it is important to look at the problem from a different point of view to change our thinking. We might not like what we see when examining the issue through another’s eyes, but looking at it as an outsider enables us to see our reaction with fresh prospective that may come as a surprise, which can be also enlightening.
Something else just as damaging is concentrating on the stressful crisis and blowing it out of proportion. Sometimes, we make things worse without even knowing due to our own negativity. When this becomes all else that matters, it causes us to forget all the good positive things in our lives as the negativity crushes our spirit and hampers any chance at mastering the situation.
In lieu of that, step back from the problem and make a check list of all the good you have in your life. Even if you don’t have much to jot down, you have at least one by being alive. This is something to be grateful for. Of course, you may not agree at that moment. Yet, think of the alternative of being dead and buried or cremated when there is always hope, if only you are open to seeing it.
Rather than continuing doing that by magnifying the situation, here is a cognitive restructuring exercise to try that comes in handy. Get a piece of paper and mark on one side your younger self and the other side jot down your self now. Now ask yourself how you would have reacted when you were younger and jot all the possibilities of what you might have done. On the other side, you write how you reacted.
Another of these cognitive restructuring techniques is by making it a habit to stop when catching yourself thinking negatively instead of rationally. This takes practice but learning how to take baby steps and incorporating them into daily life is how to reframe negative thoughts and learn how to let go of that crippling emotional pain.