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Experiment No. 004:
Reframe

Your Mission

This week, when something unpleasant happens that’s outside your control, shift how you look at it – in other words, change your frame.

Micro-Skill

Reappraisal

Macro-Skill

EQ, self management, creativity

Example

You didn’t get the assignment you wanted at work. First ask: “Can I do something about it now?” If not, let yourself feel down for a little while, then reframe it! You will now have more free time to focus on your development, connect with coworkers, or just get more sleep.

You can also reframe with others. If a coworker rushes past you in the morning, and you think, “He’s rude!” reframe and say, “Maybe he’s stressed/anxious/having a bathroom emergency.” If it impacts you or happens again, share feedback. If not, a reframe might be all you need.

Our favorite reframes:

  • “The good thing about this is…”
  • “What I can learn from this situation is…”
  • “Another explanation for what happened is…”
  • “At least it wasn’t as bad as…”
  • “I won’t even remember this a year from now!”

Why

Research on the neural impact of reframing (called ‘cognitive reappraisal’) reveals that reframing literally changes how we see the situation, reducing our stress levels and making us more curious, creative, and empathetic.

This Experiment was created by Tania Luna

(Want to learn more, we recommend the book What’s Your Problem for advanced reframing skill building!)