Nothing Lasts Forever
“Sad things happen. They do. But we don’t need to live sad forever.”- Mattie Stepanek
Often things happen that are outside of our control. However, we have more in our control than actually meets the eye. We tend to focus on the negative more than the positive, but positives lie in everything we do.
When we spend so much of our energy focusing on all the “bad things” that happen in our lives, we can forget there are always “positive aspects” as well. A way to shift our focus to the positive is by reframing, a technique used in therapy to create a new way of seeing a situation by intentionally changing its meaning. Reframing our thoughts is not an easy task; however, it is not impossible.
Here are some examples of negative statements that I have heard over the years, and how you can reframe them:
1. “Everything seems to be going wrong. There is nothing good in my life.”
Reframe: “I feel sad about some things that seem to be going wrong in my life at this time, but I am glad that I am healthy and able to work.”
2. “I have nothing to look forward to.”
Reframe: “Some things may not be going well right now, but I can make changes and plans for the future.”
3. “I don’t have control over anything in my life right now.”
Reframe: Make a list of things in your life you can control and focus on those.
4. “I am always going to be stuck like this.”
Reframe: “Things may seem difficult now, but they won’t last for long.”
5. “It is all my fault.”
Reframe: “I may have contributed to the problem, but I can only take responsibility for my part and make changes going forward.”
6. “I can’t handle this.”
Reframe: “I have faced many challenges before, and I will be able to handle this one as well.”
Reframing negative thoughts/statements takes effort and practice. Yet once you learn to make a habit of reframing, life looks happier and more hopeful. Here are a few more tips:
- Stay away from using words that limit your beliefs such as forever, always, everything and never.
- Try not to assume that things are going to be negative. If you have positive intentions behind your thoughts and statements, it’s easier to reframe occasional negative thoughts when they do arise.
- Keep a thought journal, listing the positive aspects of your life, to remind yourself that everything doesn’t have to be negative.
Sometimes it is easier to focus on the negative things in our life, and we struggle to find any positives…but they do exist. If you are struggling with negative thoughts and need some guidance in reframing your thoughts, please contact one of our trained counselors at Life Enhancement Counseling Services in Orlando at 407-443-8862.