In my Doc Flamingo persona, I am a licensed Psychologist in California and after a 40-year career as a therapist, am now serving as the Mental Health Clinical Director for a large health plan providing medical and mental health services to over 500,000 Medi-Cal recipients in 14 northern CA counties. In my Karen Stephen writer persona, I invite you to LIKE my AUTHOR FACEBOOK PAGE and tell me about yours.
One of the most powerful ways to change our stinking thinking is to reframe persistent negative thoughts. It’s not a matter of just putting on rose-colored glasses, pretending that something which seems awful is just hunky-dory. Cognitive reframing is a dramatic shift that occurs simultaneously in our brains and our emotions, one that allows us to see the disappointments, even the disasters of our lives in a entirely new way.
This saying is a recent example of how reframing dramatically changed even my own pessimistic and stubbornly-held attitude about a loss in my life. The saying popped up on my FACEBOOK Profile. It was just the ticket that, first of all, perfectly reflected the painful event in my life, the unexpected loss of someone whom I had assumed would always be there for me. Then it turned that lost dream into a believable promise for the future, one that I would never have considered as a possibility.
My thinking shifted immediately. Yes, absolutely, life can deal me an unimaginable blow, but on the flip side, it can also deliver an unimaginable promise. Even as I read it, I could feel something deep inside of me change. And every time the old pessimistic thinking, the grief, the sense of unfairness, the “why’s” of it all sneak up on me, my mind and spirit immediately go to the new promise. I find myself opening my eyes, my hands, and my heart, in anticipation of finding that something or someone that I’ve never dreamt of having.