Re-framing

Re-framing is an important cognitive tool that allows us to improve our situation by assigning a meaning that serves us better.

We’ll occasionally be wrong, but we’re in a better place to assume our friend who hasn’t called back is busy rather than that she stopped caring about us, or that our pre-performance anxiety is actually excitement (look it up – the symptoms are identical).

Words matter.  Not just in how we use them with each other, but how we use them with ourselves.

The impermanence of emotion

Language often reflects our thoughts.  There’s a reason we don’t say “I am a broken ankle” and “I am a fever”.  And yet when it comes to emotion we say “I am depressed” or “I am angry”.

There’s a chicken and egg problem regarding influence of language on thoughts (or vice versa), and I can’t solve that.  But I can tell you that it’s easier to recognize the impermanence of your current emotion if you just think: “For the time being, I feel angry”.

This too shall pass.

What is freedom?

It’s tempting and occasionally true to equate the level of freedom with one’s wealth and resources.  And while it’s cliche of me to tell you that these things alone rarely dictate the amount of freedom we have, I’m going to offer an alternative definition.

Freedom = options.

For me, our freedom increases in relation to the options and choices WE are able to make.  And most people reading this are fortunate enough to choose our own adventures, rather than pick from a short list of what we’re “supposed to” (or worse yet, “have to”) do.

Be grateful for your options.