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Reframing Exercises

  1. Is there a situation where you are habitually stuck because you are totally unwilling to part with your point of view about it? We guarantee that if you think hard enough you will find that the answer to this question (for everyone) is typically yes. Can you think of a particular instance? Pick one of the reframing techniques and practice shifting your perspective on this issue. If you are at a loss for how to proceed, experiment with reframing a past mistake or failure as a valuable learning experience. Think about how your life might have improved or been enriched today, either directly or indirectly, as a result of this experience. You may have to dig deep to adopt this perspective, or to see connections between past mistakes and current successes, but if you persist you will be rewarded.

  2. The next time you find yourself feeling anxious or depressed, look deeper into yourself, and determine whether any irrational thoughts are fueling your feelings. Look at the list of irrational thoughts and check whether any of your unconscious cognitions are a close match. If so, follow the three-step cognitive restructuring technique to counteract those irrational messages.

  3. Identify the area of your life about which you are most pessimistic. Experiment with the four techniques presented earlier and notice how you are able to shift your perceptions or expectations in a more optimistic direction.


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