Monday, 4 March 2019

Reframing - Find the positive

Continuing our series on dealing with stress from Dr Chaterjee’s book  ‘The Stress Solution’ I would like to talk, this time, about reframing your day. 

Is your life a mess?  Do you hate your job?  According to Dr Chaterjee, if you consider these types of options (or any of the many negative frames we put on our life) and spend all day reinforcing these ideas then that is how you will continue to see your life.  By dwelling on the negatives in your life you will simply reinforce them.  So you are stuck in traffic, in fact you get stuck in traffic every day.  You can get cross and rant or you can think ‘great, more time to listen to the radio / my audio book’.  You can say ‘I have set off in good time and I won’t be late and anyway, getting cross won’t shift the traffic’.    Its about how you frame it.

If you think constantly about how much you dislike one of your co-workers then will probably be unpleasant to that person and the situation will get worse.  How about telling yourself ‘I don’t really get along with them well but I will be polite and cheerful and not dwell on her nasty remarks’?  I bet you will feel less stressed. 

Dr Chaterjee gives some great examples of finding value in your work (pages 40 & 41).  One that particularly resonates with me is that of a nurse.  If we spend all our time moaning about the fact that we are underpaid and overworked we will be unhappy and fed up.  However, if we acknowledge that we are making a difference to people’s lives we are much more likely to be less stressed.

Now the cynics amongst us will be unsure at this point – but give it a go – find a positive in the situation and cling to it! 

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