Longworth: Thinking reframed

Richard Longworth column header

We are certainly in a state of flux.

Times are a-changing. Many believe it is the worse of times. We need to be diligent and make the best of bad situation. And quite possibly a small change in our thinking will make a world of difference. Let me explain.

By reframing our thinking and taking positive action, our mental health and well-being will improve significantly.

Our personal challenge is to change negative emotions or thoughts and reframe them into something that will benefit us.

Here are a few suggestions. You may want to make a list of “Your (Own) Negative Emotions” and how you can “Reframe” them and then take positive “Action” that will help.

Negative Emotions or Thoughts Reframe Action
Businesses are closed. I feel closed-in and isolated. I am financially strapped. I have had more time to be creative with what I have at home (cooking, crafts, gardening, etc.) I have been more involved with family and have caught-up with old friends. I have been analyzing, rethinking and adapting my spending.    Help support businesses by purchasing take-out/delivery meals or gift cards that can be used when they re-open again or as gifts for the holidays.
Schools are remote/online. My children are frustrated and in need of structure and socialization. I struggle to move their learning forward. I have had 8 uninterrupted months to form a closer bond with my children. Together we are learning to cope with life changes. Life lessons are being taught and we have engaged in different forms of academic curriculums. Reach out to educators and tell them how much you appreciate them. They are struggling to keep students engaged, learning, and connected. They can use all the support they can get. Focus less on academics and more on the life lessons encountered daily. Focus on developing positive attitudes to maintain emotional well being.
I am unable to see loved ones.

We are all craving hugs!

I have found new ways to connect. I have been reminded of just how precious life is and I am more open in expressing my love and appreciation for others. I am counting my blessings. Write a handwritten letter/email to those you love. Put into words all the things you appreciate about them. Mail it to them. Better yet, call them and read it to them. Send a care package or gift if you are able.
I am anxiety ridden and fear the future. Accept that it is natural to be fearful, anxious, upset, angry. Keep telling yourself that you are strong and resilient. A brighter tomorrow will come. Allow yourself to ‘feel the feelings’. Observe your thoughts silently without any commentary. Find someone who can help alleviate your stress. Talk to someone who cares and understands – a friend, a family member, a mental health professional.
I am not able to do the things I normally like to do. I have discovered and tried new things. I am slowly becoming adept at playing the piano. I am enjoying the world outside my door. My ‘to do’ list is shrinking. I am committed to becoming more active. This is a time for new beginnings and positive reflections on personal growth. Celebrate your accomplishments and share your discoveries and feelings with others.
People are suffering. I feel helpless. I have researched and found opportunities to help. I have become less self-centered.  I am eager and willing to join in the cause to support those in need. Consider support groups that are engaged in helping those who are vulnerable. Collect food for a food pantry nearby. Run errands for seniors.  Research Time Banks, Mutual Aid Networks for the community. Connect people with mental health support.
Things are not going to improve. This is never going to end. I know they will get better and ‘this too shall pass’. I can become more patient. I am becoming more tolerant, giving grace to myself and others during these trying and demanding times. When you hear this from others, reassure them that things are going to get better. Live in the moment filling your mind with cheerful, optimistic thoughts.   Let them know that despite the pandemic, “Life is Still Good.“  We are all in this together standing strong.

Read and reflect on what has been expressed here. Consider, accept, celebrate our diversity. The time is right to join hands and hearts to weather this storm and work towards creating a kinder, more compassionate, better world of tomorrow.  

If you’re looking for further inspiration, I encourage you to visit the websites at https://turnsio.com and for seniors http://seniorsclc.com/.

Reframe your thinking! Adapt your mindset to become a more contented, more productive, a happier  “YOU!” 

A cartoon featuring two chickens with one saying 'How do I get to the other side?' and the other replying 'you are already there.

For 40 years Richard Longworth worked as a systems analyst and university professor at Capilano University teaching math, information technology, and system analysis and implementation. Longworth has published three books Reflections on Life Issues, Turning the Self Inside Out, and Harnessing the Internet into a Knowledge Framework – all related to technology and trends in the industry.