3 Benefits of Reframing Your Negative Thoughts into Positive Ones
The day finally arrived: I had to make a trip to the grocery store for the first time during the Covid-19 pandemic. My anxiety wrestled with the idea and tried to talk me out of it:
We don’t have to go! We can just eat pasta for the next month!
We don’t need toilet paper — we can always use napkins!
And what if someone coughs on us?! Then what?!
As much as I wanted to listen to my anxiety and just keep staying inside — after all, I can now make pasta 101 different ways — I knew what my late therapist, Lara, would say. “Reframe your negative thoughts into positive ones”:
Just think — we can buy all sorts of food aside from pasta! Yum!
We get to buy more toilet paper — we won’t have to use napkins!
We will be sure to stay socially distanced from others, so if someone coughs, they probably won’t be near us and we won’t have to worry about it. (Besides, they may just have a cold or allergies, not the virus.)
The three or so years Lara was my therapist, I took everything she said to heart, especially when it came to ways to quell my anxiety. Even when I’d resist it, her advice and helpful strategies would end up being right.
Never before have I reframed my anxious/negative/worst-case-scenario thoughts more until the past few months. So if you’re not a reframer already, now’s definitely the time to start.
Aside from reducing your anxiety, here are two more benefits of reframing your thoughts.
It’ll help you be more optimistic
These days, in addition to the virus, there are more than enough things we can potentially worry about:
- How will I possibly keep working from home (and actually get enough work done)?
- I can’t believe I was just laid off! Now what?!
- I’m immunocompromised and cannot leave the house — how will I get essentials?!
And the list goes on and on …