When your thoughts are just not helping...
If you have had an experience recently of your view of events contrasting sharply with the perspective of someone else who had experienced the same series of events, this article is for you.
When others don't share your perspective, its easy to get angry. How dare they disregard you? Why are they not doing what you thought they should? Why do they not care what you felt? In fact, everyone involved in a situation will have a different story to tell about what happened. What we perceive depends on our unique set of beliefs, values, previous experiences, relationships and many, many other factors.
If the same thoughts go round and round and round in your head, you might notice that the story you tell yourself is morphing, and not always in a good way. Indignation can fuelling small tweaks that justify you, and condemn others.
When this happens, it's time to step back and reflect. Noticing that there are already differing interpretations of events is a reminder that you can choose your own story, and you can make it empowering, nurturing, bitter, angry. What impact do you want to have on yourself? Really, you can tell yourself whatever you want to in the privacy of your own head.
Thoughts are just thoughts. They arise, sometimes in a pretty random way, and we give them meaning. The process of challenging a thought by changing its content or context is called reframing, and it can be very empowering.
If a thought is getting you down, ask yourself how else you might think about this? What might someone you admire say? What else might it mean? Giving yourself at least two other perspectives or interpretations puts you at choice to decide what helps you most right now. Then you can go with that.
Reframing is not about avoiding the truth, or shirking accountability for our actions, it's about taking responsibility for what goes on in our own head and for our impact on our self and others. When we do that, the options are endless.
Therapy is a very helpful way of becoming familiar with the patterns of thinking that are getting in your way. Therapy can help you find ways of explaining things that energise and inspire you, and move you towards what you want in your life. For an honest look at how you are creating your current mental reality, and some help in reframing that reality, get in touch.