Reframing our thinking

Our brains are ‘hard-wired’ to seek potential danger or the negative in situations. Also known as it’s ‘negative bias’.

From the dawn of human history, our very survival depended on our skill at dodging danger. The brain developed systems that would make it unavoidable for us not to notice danger and thus, hopefully, respond to it.

Whilst this is extremely helpful in certain situations, if unchecked can cause us to become very negative in our thinking, both towards ourselves and others.

Recent horrific events on our soils have shown how people can, through conscious decision-making and effort, reframe their thinking from potential retaliation or anger to love and possibility. They/We have been able to “Flip the script”, both internally and outwardly.

Our actions need not stop there. By reframing our thoughts we can turn the tide on negativity and use of destructive language and labelling.

One way we can do this is using an approach I learned called “Flipped Negatives”.

  1. Begin in the left column, recording the negative trait you either have had associated to yourself or have associated to others.

  2. Now move to the right column and state the positive opposite of the negative trait.

  3. Finally, seek the positive intent/trait within the negative trait and record this in the middle column.

When we seek the positive intent within previously negatively labelled behaviours, we change our mindset from one of judgement to one of possibility and positivity. This then supports us to see people in a different light.

As you go forward this coming week consider the ‘labels’ you wear, and those you place on others.

Start to change them one at a time and watch to see how this small action can spread ripples of positive change around you.

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