The Act of Cognitive Reframing

 The following post was written by writing intern, Amelia Wright.

In life, we often feel held back by our own minds. We waste precious time preoccupied with negative thoughts and anxiety. Most of the time, it's hard to even notice when these thoughts occur. So what should be done about these thoughts?

In psychology, there is a method known as “cognitive reframing,” which assists people in changing the way they view negative scenarios and themselves. Reframing is often successful, as it takes a process our minds already do, and alters a few key points to better facilitate confidence and grace. In an article by Better Help, multiple negative ways of thinking are named, such as “overgeneralization,” and “all-or-nothing thinking.” Recognizing the pitfalls your mind falls in is an important step in reframing. If you have time, I strongly encourage reading through the list to see which ones you find yourself struggling with. 

To start, note down the instances which make you think something negative. An example of this could be thinking “I’ll never be able to complete this task,” or “this person is annoying and talking too much.” 

It's okay to have these thoughts, normal even. What is important is how you react to these thoughts. When you are hit with an overwhelming, “I’ll never be able to complete this task,” try and tell yourself after, “I just need a break and a fresh set of eyes. I can figure this out.” When confronted with the person you think talks too much, ask yourself  “what could they be going through?” Especially in these times, people are lonely and desperate for more attention. 

Are you really ‘not good enough’ to complete something, or just haven’t found the right approach yet? Do bad things always seem to happen to you, or are you forgetting to notice the little joys throughout your day? Acknowledging the negative opinions and having a willingness to change them signifies growth in character and will. Next time you find yourself swamped in negativity, think about the different ways you can view your situation in a positive, uplifting light.


Amelia is a student at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. She is majoring in English and is working on growing her freelance writing. You can connect with her on LinkedIn

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