I happened to write this article on mental health day, and I wondered how many of us…
It can be easy to fall into a pattern of thinking and getting caught up with it as if it is the only option.
Following on from the blog on Tracey Emin (which can be found here) and her ability to use the situation she found herself in to view life in a different way, it has inspired me to do the same and challenge the way I think.
Our actions and the way we feel are all impacted by the way we interpret situations and the perspective with which we view them. This can influence how we feel and could lead to rash decision-making. When we challenge how we view situations it can allow us to overcome barriers or work through difficult situations and may leave us feeling more positive and with greater choice.
A couple of ways this can be done:
Writing down limiting beliefs – evidence which supports / challenging them
- Taking time to write down how we are feeling and what limiting beliefs we are faced with in the situation we are in.
- Then take time to question these beliefs – is there any evidence to support them and is there any evidence to challenge these beliefs?
- If it was true once, ask yourself how it serves you to hold this belief – is it benefiting you in any way?
- If there is no evidence to support it being true then think about how we can reframe it to be more empowering.
Using a triple perspective
By allowing yourself to address different perspectives on a situation it gives you the ability to understand how there are other ways to view your situation.
- To start – address your own perspective, what you are thinking, and how this makes you feel?
- Secondly – use your imagination to understand and view the situation from an outside perspective. This may be the view of your friend or a family member. Try to think of it in the way they see, feel, believe and value.
- Thirdly, take a step outside both these perspectives and look at the relationship between the two, an overview of the situation.
By completing this activity we are open to 3 different ways of viewing the same situation and this allows us to have a more open mind.
Reframing ideas or events allows us to shed a different light on them. It can make situations seem less daunting than they may seem to be, or make our position seem more manageable.
It also allows us to think about the language we use when describing a situation and how this has an impact on the way we view it.
For example, a certain event may seem particularly stressful or overwhelming in that moment but when we view it in the span of a year or lifetime it may seem less significant. This realisation may help us to reduce stress or the pressure we put on ourselves for that event.
Additionally, if you are to approach a situation with the expectation it will be awful or unenjoyable, then it is likely you will experience it in this way. If you were to approach it with the perspective that, whilst it may not be what you want to do, if you can find a way to try to enjoy it or use it to your advantage then the likelihood of you feeling more positive about it is a lot higher.
Therapy can help shed light on new perspectives. It is usually helpful to talk to a therapist who is not only professionally trained but is impartial, non-judgemental and confidential – and outside of our family and friends; to explore our feelings and perspectives, which may allow us to overcome barriers or approach things in a different way. Therapy can help us develop a deeper understanding of ourselves and how we may, inadvertently (often unconsciously), be contributing to the situation we find ourselves in.