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Reframing Thoughts – a Powerful Tool for Retraining Your Brain

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Positive Reframing of Thoughts - turn negatives to positives and worry to positivity. #Reframing #Reframe #ReframingThoughts #TrainYourBrain #PositiveThinking #RainRainSong #iCreateDaily

Reframing thoughts from negative to positive is a powerfully simple way to retrain your brain and change your life. It’s free therapy… free coaching from the inside out, and IT REALLY WORKS!

I’ve used this successfully and daily. To recovery from major emotional traumas and loss, from fear, anxiety and phobias, to the little everyday annoyances, reframing thoughts is an incredible tool for retraining your brain and literally rewiring your neural pathways.

Viktor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning, used it to survive the horrors of Nazi Concentration camps.

Nelson Mandela reframed his unimaginable circumstances to survive 27 years unjust imprisonment, and came out better, wiser and stronger.

Reframing thoughts sets in motion a magical alchemical process of transmutation and transformation. And it’s available to all of us from within us, any time, for free.

As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.
~Nelson Mandela, former South African President, author, 1918-2013

NELSON MANDELA QUOTE on Freedom and the transformative power of forgiveness and positive thoughts.
Image by Michel_666 from Pixabay

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
~Viktor Frankl, Nazi Germany prisoner, author-Man’s Search for Meaning, 1905-1997

Reframing Thoughts Works if…

Like most things worthwhile, it’s not easy at first but with practice it gets increasingly easier until it’s so much a part of your nature that you do it automatically. In fact, it’s a lot like working out. Reframing thoughts works if you do it daily or regularly.

Exercise is not easy either but it gets results in what is also a transformative process. Daily effort via exercise transforms the physical body and the more you do it the stronger you get and the easier it is to do it. Exercise does for the physical body what reframing thoughts does for the mental and emotional body: it makes it stronger, healthier and more capable.

“What starts with effort becomes an effortless habit, and a habit becomes a way of being.”
~LeAura Alderson, coauthor-iCreateDaily 90 Day Goals Journals

Gratitude and Reframing

Gratitude is a tremendous component of positively reframing thoughts. Reframing is about positive association and looking for the good. No matter how dire a situation, there is always something for which to be grateful.

Examples of Reframing With Gratitude: From… To…


  1. This [Covid-19] toilet paper is so skimpy
  2. Awful toilet paper shortage
  3. It’s so hot today
  4. It’s so cold outside
  5. I’m stuck in traffic
  6. I’m late
  7. I have to do laundry
  8. My clothes have to be folded
  9. (Sigh)… I’ve gotta cook dinner
  10. I need to exercise but I hate it
  11. The negative news is so depressing
  12. Have to stay home for Covid-19
  13. It’s pouring rain


  1. So grateful to have toilet paper
  2. So grateful for indoor plumbing
  3. What a wonderfully sunny summer day
  4. So grateful for a warm coat
  5. Now I have time to listen to an audiobook
  6. I’m grateful for this reminder to plan better
  7. So fortunate to have a washer and dryer
  8. So grateful to have plenty of nice clothes to wear
  9. Grateful to have food to cook
  10. It’s wonderful that l’m able to exercise
  11. I choose to elevate with positive podcasts for free
  12. Technology puts the world at my fingertips
  13. Umbrellas are a great invention

Here’s another list of positive thoughts.

The list of possible reframes for virtually any negative is endless. Even in dealing with something tragic such as the loss of a loved one.

We need to mourn, grief is a part of the natural spectrum of emotions of a rich life, for loss means that we once had and loved and were loved. But we don’t want to get stuck there, so after giving grief it’s time, we can reframe our loss into the blessing of the time we had together.

Whatever we focus on is what grows in the garden of the mind.

Science Proves Efficacy of Positive Reframing of Thoughts

  • Positive reframing through gratitude reduces depression.
    SOURCE: 2012 Study on Gratitude and depressive symptoms: The role of positive reframing and positive emotion
  • Gratitude fosters positive perspective on negative events, labeled, “Sense of Coherence”.
    SOURCE: 2009 Study” A Changed Perspective: A changed perspective: How gratitude can affect sense of coherence through positive reframing
  • Reframing thoughts toward gratitude reduced negative emotions amongst prison inmates.
    SOURCE: 2017 Study: Cognitive correlates of gratitude among prison inmates

For more on gratitude, please check out this article on the power of gratitude to transform.

Thousands of Thoughts

Citations of supposed research on human thoughts report vast discrepancies when it comes to how many thoughts the average person has per day. A common figure is cited as between 12,000-60,000 thoughts per day. However, we’ve not yet found that study, even after extensive searching in general as well as specifically on the platform of the source site. So for our purposes here, suffice it to say that humans have thousands of thoughts per day.

We can consider our own brains and how there are days when our thoughts are flowing with dynamic fluidity. Then there are days where our brain feels sluggish, especially on a Monday morning after weekend treat meals and late night movies.

So not only can the number of thoughts vary wildly from person to person, but also within the same person on any given day. Kind of like the scale on Monday mornings post weekend treats, as compared to fit Friday’s when we’ve been good all week.

However, fortunately for our purposes here none of those uncertain “studies” matter. The exact number of thoughts per day we may have on average isn’t as important as what we do with the thoughts we have.

The point is that opportunities for reframing are almost as vast as the number of thoughts we have each day. That means we literally have thousands of opportunities each day to turn our thoughts around at any time. Through conscious effort we can convert our thoughts from the drain of dross to the powerful and positive in seconds by the thoughts we choose to focus on.

It isn’t what happens… it’s how we think about what happens that makes all the difference.
~LeAura Alderson, writer, editor, creator ®

QUOTE ON THOUGHTS: It isn’t what happens… it’s how we think about what happens that makes all the difference.
~LeAura Alderson, writer, editor, creator ®
Quote on Thoughts – Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

Trash Negative Thoughts

Researchers found that the simple act of writing down negative thoughts and then trashing them, helps to eliminate them from affecting you. If you write them and keep them, it can act as a sort subconscious retention of the negatives. But if you simply trash or burn them, it can help to rid your mind of them in much the same way throwing something away removes it from our environment.

Trashing negatives works with all sort of things, including anxiety and fear. Write it down, throw it away and watch its diminishing presence in your life, especially when followed by daily practice of replacing negatives with positive words and thoughts.

“However you tag your thoughts — as trash or as worthy of protection — seems to make a difference in how you use those thoughts.”
Richard Petty, co-author of study, psychology professor

Worry Wastes Precious Life

85% of the things that people worried about eventually had positive or at least neutral-outcomes.
~Robert Leahy, PhD. professor, director-Am.Inst.Cognitive Therapy, author, b.3/6/1946

An interesting study conducted by Robert Leahy, PhD, in 2005 at Cornell University found that 85% of what we worry about never happens. Worse, is that while most of what we worry about never comes to pass, worrying causes things to happen. Worriers experience diminished quality of life because worry contributes to disease, relationship issues, unhappiness, stress, depression and even panic attacks.[1]

Researchers now know that traditional psychotherapy and/or medications help only about 20% of chronic worriers. But 77% of patients who receive cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps patients recognize and change distorted thought patterns that fuel chronic worrying, experience significant reductions in their anxiety-related symptoms.
~Robert Leahy, PhD. professor, director-Am. Inst. Cognitive Therapy, author, b.3/6/1946

Reframing Examples

From the seemingly trite to the poignant and profound to unimaginable loss, the simple act of reframing negatives to positives unleashes tremendous positive power in your life. Positivity through reframing is free and as available as the air we breath.

“There will always be matters that are beyond your control. Worrying about those issues
won’t do any good. Take whatever steps you can to address the problem-then let it go!”
~Robert Leahy, PhD. professor, director-Am.Inst.Cognitive Therapy, author, b.3/6/1946


When it comes to loss, instead of mourning or bemoaning what isn’t, we can celebrate the good that was and accept what is. 

Reframing negatives to positive isn’t about denial or suppression. 

Rather, it is about a choice of what to focus on. And why would we ever choose to focus on the negatives longer than absolutely necessary?

I assure you that gardeners don’t focus on the manure other than to appreciate it for what it helps bring to life. They deal with it, then focus on nurturing plants to life.

“We handle loss through gratitude for what was good and acceptance of what is.”
~LeAura Alderson, writer, editor, creator ®

QUOTE on how to handle loss through Gratitude and acceptance of what is
Image by Cindy Barth from Pixabay

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
~Anais Nin, diarist, essayist, novelist, 1903-1977

A Reframing Story From Childhood

When I was a child, my brother and I loved to play in the rain. If it was raining too hard or if it was too cold such that we couldn’t go outside, then we got to watch TV with popcorn, our two favorite things.

So rain always meant something good. There was no fear, fret or regret when it rained. Reframing thoughts to retrain your brain to find the good, works for just about anything.

Train your brain to find the good. And you will. Find it.
~LeAura Alderson, writer, creator ®

When I was a child, my brother and I loved to play in the rain. If it was raining too hard or if it was too cold so that we couldn't go outside, then we got to watch TV with popcorn, our two favorite things. So for me growing up, rain always meant something good. Reframing to retrain your brain to find the good, works for just about anything.

Reframing Thoughts Around Childhood Memes

When my kids were little and we were going through the children’s stories, songs and jingles, I became aware that some of these actually involved negative programming. There’s even a thing called “Disney syndrome“, having to do with programming of children through seemingly innocuous stories.

I don’t think there’s anything intentionally sinister going on… no conspiracies or plots to destroy humanity. However, many of the common terms we use do end up unconsciously perpetuating negative thinking.

When it came to rain, I felt bad that rain gets a bad rap and is never really welcomed. Consider the familiar childhood song of “Rain, Rain Go Away”.  In that song it says, “come again another day”, but then on those other days the song is sung again. So rain then, is never really welcomed.

That seemingly sweet and innocent song was programming our kids to dislike the rain. Wow! Now perhaps that seems benign to you, and perhaps it is. However, what’s certain is that there are many societal “norms” that get uttered and perpetuated as common thinking in every culture and society.

Unconscious mental programming is deeply pervasive. Time to install conscious program through positive reframing.
~LeAura Alderson,®

A New Rain, Rain Song

So I rewrote the song, Rain, Rain, Go Away lyrics to be something entirely positive, but using the same tune. Instead of “Rain, Rain, Go Away, Come Again Another Day“, it became “Rain, Rain, Welcome Here”.

Maybe somebody who can sing will record it and share it.


Rain, Rain, welcome here
Plants and trees all shout “Hurray!”
Rain, Rain, welcome here,
We can play inside today.

Rain, Rain, welcome here,
Rivers and Streams are calling you.
Rain, Rain, welcome here,
We can sing and dance with you.

Rain, Rain, welcome here,
Mother Earth is thirsty too.
Rain, Rain, welcome here,
We love sun and we love you.

~LeAura Alderson,
Happy song about rain-rewrite of the rain rain song-positive song about rain

Positive Programming for Brain Training

Chances are that my mother used the popcorn and movie diversion as an opportunity to keep us quietly entertained. However, it actually resulted in some really cool programming. The benefit to my mom was peace and quiet. The benefit to my brother and me, was a lifetime of enjoyment thanks to positive programming that trained our brains.

We grew up associating rain with all things good. The movie and popcorn privilege made us look forward to the rain. Subsequently, to this day, I love the rain and have never been afraid of storms. But if you grew up with poor programming around rain—or anything else—the good news is that your brain is totally reprogrammable.

You can change your mind to train your brain.
~LeAura Alderson,®

We grew up associating rain with all things good.

Reframing Thoughts From Popcorn to Productivity

Now, in my family, we see rainy days as perfect writing days.  I did need to reframe my programming of equating rainy days with movies and popcorn though. Instead, now I look forward to rain as a cozy time to be inside creating and writing. It’s still all positive. And yes… maybe the occasional movie and popcorn treat. 😉

Rainy days are perfect creator’s days.
~LeAura Alderson,®

Now in my family, we see rainy days as perfect writing days.  I did need to reframe my programming of equating rainy days with movies and popcorn though. Instead, now I look forward to rain as cozy times to be inside creating and writing. It's still all positive.

Reframing to Train Your Brain

So what’s holding you back that you can turn around by cognitive restructuring through reframing? The first step to getting rid of negative programming is to become aware of it. The next step is to simply replace the negative with a positive.

In time, the positive mindset will become automatic. You’re training your unconscious brain to work for you and reinforce what you want, not what you don’t.

Reframing helps cultivate creativity and helps free you from the limiting beliefs that block your light.

We’re all unconsciously operating under the weight of limiting beliefs.

For a master on reframing and retraining your brain through the power of your mind, visit this Dr. Joe Dispenza quotes, article and video. I think you’ll be glad you did.

Success. Reframe your negatives to positives. Easy? No. Simple? Yes.
~LeAura Alderson, writer, editor, creator ®

Reframe negatives to positives… because you can.

Extras for Relaxation – Soothing Rain

In closing, and back to my childhood theme that has carried throughout this life of loving the rain, you may enjoy this short but soothing rain chain videos.

Copper Rain Chain Video in Summer

Copper Rain Chain Video in Winter

And… here’s a video of our rain chain in winter!

You may also enjoy this brief article and two short videos on rain. Both will warm your heart and make you smile. You might even need a tissue.

For more on rain chains you may wish to visit our garden website.

Toward a More Delight-Full Life

A Stoic Discourse by Sam Harris

A free lesson on practicing delight through presence, appreciation and awareness. Travel a lot of ground while relaxing into a stoic state with this audio clip in just over 16 minutes.


It isn’t what happens… it’s how we think about what happens that makes all the difference.
~LeAura Alderson, writer, editor, creator ®

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