Reframing Fearful Thoughts
The ATOMS Template:
This tool is a great template for reframing fearful thoughts.
When a fearful thought enters our head we need to take the time to acknowledge its presence.
Ignoring thoughts and trying to push them away or into a box is resistance.
This is counterproductive because the thought is still present; we have only pushed it deeper into the psyche. We are not listening, and so we are encouraging it to shout louder.
When we seek to acknowledge the thought, we can process it, and then reframe it.
Going further than acknowledgment, we in fact, need to thank the universe for the thought and indeed the fear from which it stemmed.
Everything that happens to us, good or bad, is a lesson. Being grateful for every lesson is walking the path towards positivity.
Next, we need to observe the fearful thought. What is it trying to tell us? Where does it come from and what does it want?
Observation with emotion is in fact over-analysis and this should be avoided. The observation needs to be without the emotions that fuel distorted thinking.
Step back and observe with compassion for yourself and any others involved.
Once you can truly see where the fearful thought has come from. Only then can you measure its validity. What is the evidence for it and against it? Again, step back and do not let emotions cloud your assessment.
When you have observed the validity of your fearful thought, you can consciously choose your response.
Will you repeat the same negative cycle? Or will you move forwards in a positive way?
Will you evolve? Or will you repeat?
A - Acknowledge the Thought
T - Thank the Universe for the Lesson
O - Observe the Thought Without Emotion
M - Measure the Validity of the Thought
S - Select your Response