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During times of change and stress one of the most important things a person can do is to reframe an experience. In the 1990's reframing was done by spin doctors who gave a different twist to an idea or issue. Reframing allows a person to look at what is happening from a different perspective.

Let's say that you have called your favorite local service provider about a billing error and you find yourself listening to music you don't like as the minutes tick away. You could start getting angry about your valuable time being spent on-hold. Feel your blood pressure increasing as your face changes to deeper tones of red? Or you may hear yourself saying words that don't normally cross your lips. We all have experienced times like these and know that the result is not positive. You may hang up in anger. Or when you get a live person you may start yelling and screaming at someone who has no control over the phones.

Instead, you can say to yourself, "I can't change this situation. I need to talk to them, but while I am on hold I will balance my checkbook or catch up on emails or practice the stress reduction exercises the doctor prescribed." This new way of looking at the same situation will lead you to feel calmer and less stressed.

Reframing works in many situations that could be viewed as negative. In our current economy we can be fearful about a company downsizing or closing. It would be easy to think, "Oh no what is going to happen? I have a mortgage and car payment and..." Reframing would allow you to think, "I have always been employed and have been an excellent employee. If companies don't change they stagnate and die."

Try some reframing next time you need a different perspective on a situation!