Do you enter November vowing to take more notice of all the things you have in life so when Thanksgiving comes around, you can rattle off an impressive list when everyone goes around the family table (you do this, right?) and recites what they’re grateful for? Family, friends, good health, your country, freedoms, nice home, car, clothing, jewelry, an abundance of food (Jenny Craig, get ready!) and so much more.
But have you ever thought of being thankful for things that initially sound negative? It’s called reframing, but it has nothing to do with fixing a broken wall portrait. Happy, healthy, positive people are experts at reframing. Here’s just a small sampling of how it goes.
10 Bad Things That Are Actually Good If You Reframe
- Stubbornness – – Let’s rename it perseverance or determination and you’ll soon be grateful to have a mate with this personality trait even when it’s normally viewed as off-putting.
- Being all alone – Give me solitude any day. Try convincing a mother of six that this state of being isn’t heaven on earth! Sometimes my household is so noisy that I’ll shout (ironically at the top of my lungs) “Quiet! I can’t even hear myself think.” To which one of my smarty-pants teens will retort, “None of us has ever overheard you thinking either, Mom.”
- Getting a cold – – It’s an excuse to slow down and pamper yourself just a bit. Remember when you stayed home from school sick, dunking your toast in tea and watching I Love Lucy reruns? Why shouldn’t there be an adult Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? Besides you can spoof the Nyquil commercial by rhythmically uttering that annoying slogan, “The night time sniffling, sniveling, sneezing, snoring, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, so you can sleep after you have sex with your bedmate, medicine.” Okay so I took lots of liberties there.
- A Sink full of dirty dishes – – This is proof positive that you had the energy to go shopping for a nice home cooked meal (instead of junky fast food) and the time to cook it, hopefully with great people around you to enjoy it with — thus the fuller the sink, the better the evening was!
- Rainy days – – Forget Annie and her “Sun will come out tomorrow” philosophy. The stormy weather provides a great excuse to cuddle up with a loved one around a roaring fire, sipping hot cocoa while working a 500 piece jigsaw. No guilt that you should be outside, enjoying the sunshine. Oh and no fair looking at the picture on that puzzle box! Pass the marshmallows.
- Hitting a continuous string of red lights – – Take a deep, cleansing breath and thank the compassionate universe for gently orchestrating these random respites in your frenzied day. Proceed to use each pause in the road to practice this fun reframing skill. Not gonna happen? Okay, then glance at the car next to you and indulge in an innocent fantasy about the driver.
- Broken Cell Phone – – First realize this is a first world problem, then immediately feel grateful you don’t live in a third world country. Next relish the chance to be unplugged, unreachable, and free from those incessant notifications.
- Your child’s bad math grade because he played video games instead of studying — Congratulations! There’s no finer and more justifiable parenting moment than this one for saying “I told you so!” Savor it.
- Having a flood in your basement – – Seriously, this totally makes all those years of paying homeowner insurance completely worthwhile.
- Your spouse forgot your birthday — You’ll be tremendously appreciative that you were overlooked once you realize this gives you the perfect excuse to order your own online birthday present. And what better gift to give yourself than a brand new Spire — the foolproof way to turn something negative (stress & tension) into a positive (relaxation & mindfulness). Now go frame the picture of your bright, wide smile once you experience owning a Spire!