Saturday, March 1, 2008

Stressless Saturday: Reframing

Several years ago I left the church that I grew up in. The church that felt like home to me. It wasn’t because I moved away, but because of some major problems in the church. I won’t go into the gory details, but it was a necessary move for our family. I remember thinking that it would be easier for me to move across the country than to make the move to a new church. It was a painful time. One of the things that I discovered in the move was the psychological technique of reframing. Somehow, if I was going to survive emotionally, I had to change the way I looked at the move.

Interestingly enough, I found that there was a great opportunity that I hadn’t realized in going to a new church. No one knew me there. While that was what I feared, it also meant that no one had any preconceived ideas about who I was and what I was capable of. In my home church I was viewed as “shy little Diane,” a description that no longer fit, but kept people from seeing my potential. I was able to recreate myself in the new church. I took on responsibilities that would have never been offered at my home church. It was an exciting time!

I learned that the way I looked at the situation affected how I felt about it. When I focused on the loss of my home church I felt depressed, lonely, and mad. But when I began to focus on the opportunities of going to a new church I was energized, optimistic, and excited. Same situation…two outlooks.

Reframing is a powerful tool that can help us refocus our attention from the negative to the positive. So, the next time you are going through a stressful situation, try to reframe and refocus…there may be a hidden benefit that you’re not seeing!

1 comment:

Tina Mosher said...

I like the concept of reframing and can see how it would be helpful. I wonder if the Apostle Paul had reframing in mind when he wrote that he forgets what is behind and presses on toward what is ahead.

Love the look of your website and the theme.