Chapter 16: Reframing: The Power of Perspective

There are multiple meanings to any experience. The meaning is whatever you choose to emphasize, just as its content is what you choose to focus on.

Reframing means putting the best frame on any experience. We are able to change our representation or perception about anything and, therefore, change our behaviors or states. Our brain decides if the situation is bad or good. But we can see situations from different points of view and deliver different meanings of the same situation to our brains.

There are two ways to alter our perception: context reframing and content reframing. Context reframing is when we take something that seems to be bad and find a positive meaning. It is often used in cartoons and fairy tales. For example, Dumbo’s big ears gave him the ability to fly. Content reframing is when you see the exact same situation from a different point of view. For example, a talkative child can be irritating in class; however, on the other hand, he is very smart or well-read and has many things to share.

Reframing is not a type of therapy. It is more a metaphor for potentials and possibilities.

Actions to take