There’s a psychological term I like to bring up a lot when I’m speaking to members of the M2Strength family. That term is “cognitive reframing”. Now I’m not a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, or even a bar tender, so my knowledge of these things is pretty limited, but I can tell you this much: we can all benefit from a bit of cognitive reframing right now.
Cognitive reframing, in the most simple of terms, is the process of changing ones negative perspective on a situation to one that highlights the positive. Yes folks, I’m aware that I have a near permanent scowl on my face, so I’m the last person who any of you would presume to be spouting off a “look at the bright side” philosophy. However, let me assure you, I’ve been through some pretty heavy stuff in my life, and that scowl would probably be beaming out from behind bars or from under a bridge right now if I hadn’t have gotten really good changing my perspective. That’s not to say that you have to be all “But guys, think about the rainbow that’s going to come out after this rain storm!” (fart noise). No, not all situations have a full on bright side, although that rainbow probably was pretty sweet. Some things in life are almost pure dark, but cognitive reframing is sometimes about grabbing the one little shard of light out of the darkness and using it to light your path. Look, none of you want to read about all the dark points in my life, so I will only use one vague example. I’ve had people very close to me pass away and ,after the initial tears have dried up, had to look in the mirror and remind myself that it’s going to be really epic when I get over this and succeed, and my loved one is going to be really proud of me when I do it in their honor. The thought didn’t make me want to start singing “Tomorrow” or anything like that, but it helped get me through. Sometimes reframing makes a bad situation good, and sometimes it just helps you move forward, but it never hurts.
So that brings us to our current situation, One which dictates that you’re all probably looking at this from a home you’ve barely left for weeks or a desk in an empty office. Guy and I have spoken to all of you throughout the last couple of weeks and can see that the quarantine is starting to take its toll on even the best of us. If the news is to be believed, we’ve still got some time away from each other to go. So do we let ourselves sink deeper into the funk? Or do we recognize the fact that if we aren’t reading this from a hospital bed, and our families are ok, that we’ve all been given the opportunity to be “stuck” somewhere with the ones we love? That we’ve been forced to abandon the grind for a bit, had our access to bad food and bad choices limited for us, and that if we all handle this properly will have one of the most insane stories ever to tell out grandkids some day? No one is happy that World War 2 took place, it was objectively a terrible situation from all around, but just ask someone who lived through it about it, and 99 out of 100 times they will have pride in their eyes that they lived through that time. Of course, there are those who saw the worst of that time and those who are seeing the worst of these, and for those people we hope, pray, send love, and give any help we can give to them. If you or someone you love is sick right now, I understand if it’s way harder to see the light, even if I think it’s still there and hope that you reach for it. However, odds are that if you’re someone truly affected by this, you’re probably not wasting your time reading a dumb blog post written by a guy who owns a gym.
So folks, stand up, put on your cognitive reframing goggles, and start looking for something positive to do with yourself while you’re quarantined. Don’t waste time explaining to everyone you know that it stinks to be stuck inside, everyone gets it. Instead realize that you’re healthy, with the people you care about, and you’re part of one of the largest efforts in human history to protect our fellow man. Take pride in that, take pride in yourself, and please stay the heck away from each other!