Can we teach ourselves to change perspective on problems? The answer is YES! By changing perspective.
I started with Meditation and Research (Philosophy, Psychology and Biology). I then realized that a lot of my thoughts were conditioned by the culture I was living in, by the language I spoke, my upbringing and my life experiences.
Our Learned Habits constitute our program. They are generally very helpful to co-exist and thrive in society. But at times, they can cease to be beneficial and generate negative and repetitive thoughts ending in poor self-esteem, depression, anxiety, etc.
But we can change the program, by changing the Inner Voice (the voice of the Judge) from negative to positive! The first step to changing thoughts is to be aware of them. To achieve this, we must practice being in the present moment: The Here and Now.
A. Mindfulness and Meditation are a great way to develop this skill. Meditation & Mindful Awareness strengthen the ability to create a little space between impulse & reaction – a space helpful to change the script.
B. The second step is to reframe thoughts by Stopping & Swapping.
When an automatic thought is generated, Create Space – Identify the automatic response and the judgement or label. Reframe. Reframing is just looking at a situation or problem from a different perspective. There are two ways to reframe:
- Context Reframing: Place the situation in a different context where the problem disappears or is beneficial. Context is reframed from feeling of loss to opportunity. Finding the positive of a situation is often an effective way to reframe our attitude towards a problem. It starts by creating an enabling space between impulse and thoughts. Then you can swap thought.
- Meaning Reframing: We can reframe meaning when we look at problems as challenges and failures as learning opportunities. Challenge yourself to do activities you fear. Learn to shift from expecting the worst to visualizing your desired outcome. Practice getting comfortable in the uncomfortable. By consciously challenging what is “normal”, you can change your learned habits and automatic thoughts.
The awareness of thoughts and emotions enable a shift in beliefs which lead to different actions and results.