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The Power Of Reframing – How To Stop Feeling So Stressed Out Right Now

Written by: Kyoko Yamamoto, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Are you always finding yourself in your DEFAULT SETTINGS, mentally? What if there was another way to stop having the negative emotions take over? 'Reframing' is all about changing the way you approach the stress factors in your life.

If you ever find yourself feeling angry, anxious, frustrated, or swearing when you are stuck in traffic, getting in a huff when your favourite item is out of stock, freaking out over a looming deadline, or repeating yourself over and over to your kids, then 'reframing' is for you.

It's time to take control of your situation and make an immediate change to your default reactions and hone in on the POSITIVE ASPECTS in any stressful situation.

"I can't find a positive element to my stress" you may say, "I've tried". Trust me, you CAN, and I can help you identify it. The majority of my clients have succeeded in finding positive aspects in even their most negative of events!

Reframing is the process of finding a positive aspect to any undesirable situation, and then focusing on that positive rather than the negative elements. This simple refocus changes the way we react to any given situation.

Your focus on any event actually depends on the frame of mind in which you perceive it. Depending on which way your thought process is focused, the event could be good or bad.

A good practice is to step back, and see the whole picture. Doing this changes how you can perceive particular situations. It allows you to redirect your focus, and enables you to see all of the details, which allows you to discover the positive elements.

The point you usually focus on seems like the whole event itself but when you consciously choose to reframe, you are able to change your default reactions, reducing the stress in your life.

To help you better understand the concept, I have a good example of reframing for you.

But before we go further, I need to advise you that reframing is best used when the source of your problem is caused by how you're perceiving and reacting to an event. If the cause of your issue ever puts you in danger or is against your values, then you would do something to change your situation.

Example of Reframing

Here is how I reframed a stressful situation.

A couple of years ago, I had to have surgery. It meant that I had to stop teaching all of my yoga classes for 8 weeks! I was devastated.

My immediate thoughts were; "Eight weeks is a very long time to be absent from my business. It will go backward while all my competitors are moving forward."

I was thinking of all of the hard work I had put into my business, being away from it for such a long time would mean that it will surely fail, and that I would have to start from scratch again.

On top of that, I also had to stop my yoga routine which had been my daily ritual for 10 years.

“This surgery is ruining all the effort I have made!”

After these initial thoughts, I started to feel disappointed, sad, anxious, and stressed. This was my natural response.

Then, I took a step back and turned off the emotions for a bit to allow me to try and see the whole picture.

Was there any possibility that something positive could come from this?

And I wasn't expecting the answer that "Yes! There was something positive about my situation."

I would have time. I would have the time to widen my views. I had the time to learn something new. This was an opportunity to come back to my business bigger, better, smarter, and stronger than I had been.

So I started learning marketing, because any marketing knowledge is essential to have in order to grow and nurture a business. I hadn’t had any spare time until I was forced to take a break because of my surgery. I was always so busy running classes.

Stepping back from my initial reaction changed everything about this situation. I was feeling positive, appreciative, and even excited. I no longer felt stressed about being away from my business.

How to reframe your stressful situation

Here is a simple process when you are needing to find the positive aspects from a negative situation.

Now, before you proceed to read the following, I want you to stop here and I invite you to think of what’s been stressing you out recently. Choose one and apply the following process to your stress factor.

Once you have chosen one of the causes of your stressful situations, ask yourself these three questions to bring an immediate change to your perspective of the situation.

1 What else could this mean, beyond being a negative thing?

This question is the first step to let you momentarily pause your reaction to the stress. It allows you to step back, look at the whole picture and possibly notice something you previously didn't see. It doesn't necessarily have to be positive. It can be a neutral detail.

An example of a neutral detail is something like... I lost my job. My neutral focus is that I could find a new job.

If you did find a new meaning or even if you weren't able to find this new detail, ask yourself the second question.

2 What’s good about this situation?

By asking yourself this question, you can attempt to add positive elements to past unfavourable events.

3 What can I learn from this?

Almost every aspect of our lives gives us the opportunity to learn and grow. Especially in negative situations. By learning and growing you automatically change your focus from negative, to positive.

Once you can find answers to at least one of three questions, you can then find a brand-new perspective on your chosen situation. This will completely change the way you feel.

Benefits of reframing

So, what are the benefits of situation reframing?

  1. Reducing the physical and mental health problems associated with too much stress.

  2. Raising your self-esteem and allowing yourself to see the world in a much more positive light.

  3. A helpful way of turning a negative experience into an opportunity for change and growth.

  4. Allowing you to believe in yourself and achieve more goals in your life.

When you can’t find any positive

If you are having trouble finding a different aspect, it might be because there are strong emotions attached to your situation.

If this is the case, you need to picture that you are physically distancing yourself from the cause of the stress so that you can step back as far as you need to go.

I suppose you are interested in my Stress Management Workshops as I always guide participants step by step during my workshop. I offer my workshops to businesses and communities. You can get more information from here!

Follow me on Facebook and visit my website for more info!


Kyoko Yamamoto, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Kyoko Yamamoto is a passionate master life coach and yoga instructor. Her mission is to transform her clients’ and students’ minds into a more positive space. She regularly holds Stress management workshops and Yoga classes.

In order to create transformational results for her clients in such a short period of time, she incorporates the methods of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) into her workshops and classes. NLP is a scientifically proven process of helping rewire your thoughts and behaviours to let you achieve your desired life.

Kyoko moved to Australia from Japan in 2004. She was following her intuition that she would find a better and happier life in Australia. And she found what she was looking for and now enjoys a more relaxed lifestyle and more conducive work-life balance.

Having more than a decade of corporate background working as a certified accountant in Australia and a consultant in Japan, she is passionate to help improve employee wellbeing in the workplace as well as helping individual clients achieve a clearer path to follow. She has worked with clients locally and from around the world through online and face-to-face sessions.



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