Mental Resilience: Reframing
I'm thirty long minutes from the finish line.... I've been going for over an hour and I'm falling apart (or so I think). What the heck do I do?
Reframing is a quick and useful tool to manage fear or mental fatigue. Maybe I'm doing an event, or training and I've momentarily lost the vision.... I'm second guessing the outcome or I plain just wish I'd stayed home.
Thirty minutes is a long time.... That is, unless I compare it to three hours. Then maybe it's not so bad. I think about this and can feel grateful, I can breathe. Then (before I lose that positivity), I'll reframe it the other way around - and break it into bite-sized pieces. Half an hour is now fifteen minutes twice, or five minutes six times. It's one minute, then another and, yes, I can do a minute. But what if even a minute is too long? The next lamppost, that tree, the next step or breath.
And then there is the choice of what to think about. I'm hurting and sweating buckets and maybe I can say to myself, "I suck. Why am I doing this," or I can think, "I'm having the time of my life and it's a tad more brutal than I was expecting, but I'm kinda stoked I finally found my courage and screwed it to its sticking point." Reframing Turning Point.
I failed physics in high school and don't know much about elasticity of time, but I remember a line in the movie "Deep Blue Sea (1999)," a line by the Preacher where he says, "Einstein's theory of relativity. Grab hold of a hot pan, second can seem like an hour. Put your hands on a hot woman, an hour can seem like a second. It's all relative." (I think it's OK to insert 'hot man', if that's what gets you through the next step).
Your imagination is powerful. Next time you are on a hike, run or climb and you are cold... imagine sprawling on warm, white sand in Hawaii, waves lapping, the tropical sun sweetening your hair. You get too hot on a hike... think swimming in an icy alpine lake, or imagine sipping cold water from a tall, sweating glass.
This stuff really works. And like physical conditioning, it only gets better with practice.