As I drove along Interstate 75, en route to Chattanooga to meet one of my two wonderful daughters, I noticed a Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) electronic message which read, “Turn signals, the original instant messaging.”  Another one read, “Ain’t nobody got time for a wreck, slow it down.” The messages were TDOT’s method for reframing motorists’ thoughts about driving safely.

Reframing involves changing your perspective on a given situation to give it a more positive or beneficial meaning to you. Reframing can be used to help curb self-doubt, to encourage appreciating life moments that you might otherwise miss, or for any other negative thought you would like to change.

All of us have wandering minds. Even when you’re focused on a particular subject, speaker or activity, your mind may wander away from the task at hand. It’s easy to begin daydreaming, planning other projects or just aimlessly drifting in your thoughts. But sometimes our minds wander into areas that feed our problems, rather than help resolve them.

Reframing your thoughts will help you turn irrational, negative thoughts into rational emotion. Misbeliefs can be toxic to the mind. We need to be in touch with what we are really thinking.

Do you have positive thoughts about your current situation? If not, reframe your thoughts about it.

Rather than:

  • I wish my husband would wake up on time to go to work!
  • My waiter has given me the wrong order and I am going to complain to management!
  • I will speed up and not allow that driver to cut in front of me!

Consider reframing those thoughts:

  • I will wake my husband up on time.
  • My waiter did not mean to give me someone else’s order.
  • I will allow that driver to get in front of me.

Negative thoughts about something that has occurred, or is occurring in your life, can be changed by reframing your perspective on a given situation to give it a more positive or beneficial meaning to you.

Chaplain Walter Ghosten

By Chaplain Ghosten

chaplain@lhp.net

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