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The Art Of Reframing And Its Benefits To Our Wellbeing

Reframing can be a useful skill to have, but is often something we don’t naturally use. Hopefully, this article will show you how useful this skill is so you can learn to use the skill yourself. Every skill we learn is another tool in our wellbeing toolbox, after all.



What Is Reframing?


Our brains like to keep things as simple as possible to make everything more energy efficient, which is great in a lot of ways and not so great in others. Because of this, how we interpret the world is based on certain patterns, known as mental frameworks, giving us our unique perspective of the world around us. However, if these frameworks are warped or based on false beliefs and conclusions, then it can lead to maladaptive thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Thinking errors are often the cause of the warping of our framework.


As a therapist, we combat these problematic mental frameworks by using reframing skills to help clients see things from different points of view (Clark, 2013). Often, this can bring people relief from their mental burdens. This shift in perspective can play a vital role in people’s recovery (Talkspace), which is what makes it an important skill to learn.


In short, reframing is the practice of consciously shifting the way you view events, memories, people, feelings, and situations (Talkspace).




What Cognitive Reframing Can Help With


Reframing is about learning to think more flexibly, which will allow you to gain more control (NHS). The flexibility that comes with this skill means that reframing can be useful in a lot of different contexts. For example, according to Verywell Mind, it can help with:



When we keep playing the same negative thoughts in our minds, it’s easy for those thoughts to become incorporated into our mental framework (Psychology Today). If you keep saying, “Everything bad always happens to me”, then you’re going to develop thinking errors that will cause you to see the world that way.


One such thinking error that can develop is that you will filter out all the positives, thus causing you to believe your negative thoughts. Reframing can avoid that happening in the first place or undo it if these thinking errors have influenced your mental framework.


According to Clark (2013), a depressed client in the course of therapy can demonstrate the reversal of the thinking errors caused by having depression when their thoughts change. The example they gave was how they might go from thinking, “I am a complete loser who will never amount to anything” to “I have had some failures in my life but also many successes; this means I can learn from my failures and forge a brighter future for myself”. These changes are the result of helping the client reframe their depression-induced thoughts.




How To Use Cognitive Reframing


Reframing is a skill that therapists use, and it can be beneficial to see a therapist to help you learn to use reframing, especially when your negative thoughts are particularly strong and resistant. However, reframing can be used as a form of self-help (Verywell Mind).


Therefore, the next time you feel depressed, anxious, or just notice unhelpful thoughts and feelings, take a moment to try reframing (Talkspace). Here are some simple ways you can try reframing:


Thinking errors

One of the first things you could do is to consider what thinking errors could be influencing you. Every one of us is susceptible to thinking errors and there are quite a few to pick from. To find out more about thinking errors, check out my article ‘What We Know About Thinking Errors‘ by clicking here and ‘What You Need To Know About The Sunk Cost Fallacy‘ by clicking here.


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Look for the evidence

One quick thing you can often do to reframe your thoughts, feelings, or situation is to look at the evidence for and against them. The more objective you can be, the better. Because we can develop thinking errors it’s easy to lose objectivity by taking a one-sided negative focus on everything. However, the evidence will probably show that the negative focus you’ve taken is wrong.



One skill that successful people are meant to have is their ability to take a problem and redefine it as a challenge. A challenge is something that can be overcome, whereas a problem has an image of having a cross to bear (Psychology Today).


Change perspective

To allow yourself to see from a different perspective, you may want to consider the following. You could try to see it from someone you know well’s perspective. A partner can often be good for this.


You could also imagine that instead of it being you with the thoughts or problems, it was your friend, and they came to talk to you about it. Then think about what you might say to them and how you might feel. For example, if you keep thinking that you’re useless, imagine your friend came to you and said that they feel useless. What would you say to them and what would you feel? More than likely, you’d say they’re not useless and tell them how they’re not. Then apply that to yourself.






Reframing is a really useful skill that is regularly used within therapy, but it can also be a skill you can develop on your own. Although it’s a simple skill to use once you’ve learnt it, it isn’t something that doesn’t come naturally, so be patient with yourself as you develop the skill. Once mastered, it’ll be a valuable skill for your mental wellbeing.


As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, please share your experiences with reframing and thinking errors in the comments section below as well. Don’t forget, if you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.


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Clark, D. A. (2013). Cognitive restructuring. The Wiley handbook of cognitive behavioral therapy, 1-22. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9781118528563.wbcbt0.

28 thoughts on “The Art Of Reframing And Its Benefits To Our Wellbeing

  1. This is interesting to know about reframing and how to use it. I don’t know a lot about it. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Every article that you write is a new information for me and is very useful. You have explained the reframing skill in a very easy to understand language. Certainly, the reframing skill can help people to change their perspective and adapt a more positive attitude and thoughts. Thanks for sharing this valuable information. 🙏

  3. Very useful and informative article! Reframing our way of viewing things to a more positive one can be beneficial for our wellbeing.

  4. Yes, I can definitely see the value in reframing and how it can help unburden you from destructive thoughts and thinking errors. Our perception of the world is governed by our mental frameworks, so learning how to reframe your beliefs about yourself or the world can have amazing positive effects and make the world feel brighter and hopeful. Thanks for sharing. It’s a tool I’ve been putting into practice more this year myself.

  5. Good post with some useful tips. This is something I need to try as I have a tendency to think in a negative manner a lot

  6. Reframing is something I’m doing now. It also helps me to see good things in all kinds of situations. It also makes me more grateful with my life. Thank you for sharing.

  7. I’m a great believer in the law of attraction and that what you think you are is what you see. I changed my life through reframing, and it was reading about Stoic philosophy that really helped me see the bigger picture, and how my thoughts are just that, they are not reality. Seneca said, “we suffer more in imagination than in reality”, and phrases like this can help anyone to shift perspective on challenges we face in life. Another really useful insight from you, thank you.

  8. It didn’t know much about this concept. This post was so informative. It is something similar that was talked about in cbt regarding negative intrusive thoughts. Thank you for sharing.

    • From what my poor memory can recall, reframing is a skill taught in CBT for dealing with negative intrusive thoughts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts

  9. Ver insightful post. I suffer from depression and often tend to think very negatively; I think this will benefit me greatly 🙂

  10. I often wondered why whenever I used to get into a rut and found myself suffering from depression, it lasted longer each time I went through it. Once I learned a little bit about how to change my perspective and continuously tell myself “things are going to get better”, “we all have bad days”, “we wouldn’t know the joy in the good ones without the bad” I realised how much shorter these ruts lasted. I didn’t know re-framing was the term used for this, this was a helpful post and I will definitlely be following your advice the next time I am feeling down.

  11. Reframing is such a great technique to use. Simply because our memories are not always as reliable as we think. And we can attach emotion to them.

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