Updated: Jul 4
Emotional resilience is absolutely crucial for your health. As I talk about extensively in all of my programs, your emotions have a huge impact not only on your mental health, but on your physical health as well. If you’re looking to be happier and to build better skin health – and better health overall – then focusing on emotional resilience will make a huge difference.
There are lots of tools for building emotional resilience, but one of the most powerful ones is known as reframing. To do this, I like to use a framework known as ABCDEF. This is a simple way to help remember the steps of this powerful method.
What are the steps of the ABCDEF method?
Here’s an outline of this method:
A: Adversity. This is a challenging situation that arises for you. For example, it could be a flare-up of your chronic skin condition.
B: Belief. Notice the beliefs about the situation that arise in your mind. For example, you might start thinking things like, “I’m worthless,” “No one could love me when I look like this,” or “I’m ugly and unwanted.” These beliefs took root in your mind many years ago, and it’s important not to beat yourself up for them. Just notice what’s arising.
C: Consequences. The consequences are the behaviors that naturally arise from these beliefs. For example, if you believe that you’re ugly because of your skin condition, then you might avoid social situations while you’re having a flare-up. This causes you to feel more isolated and alone – which can then reinforce the negative belief.
D: Dispute. This is the crucial step where we start to interrupt the negative thought patterns. Take a close look at the beliefs that have arisen. Are these really based in reality? In many (if not most) cases, they’re not. Would you reject someone you cared about because they were experiencing a skin flare-up? Of course you wouldn’t. Your friends probably won’t reject you, either. Question the beliefs, and determine which ones really aren’t true.
E: Exchange. Now that you’ve brought the false beliefs out into the light, you can start to substitute in beliefs that are more in line with reality. For example, “My friends like me for who I am, not for what I look like,” “People who care about me want to spend time with me, no matter what my skin is doing that day,” “My friends want to help me take care of myself and feel good.” These beliefs are not only more positive – they’re actually more true, as well.
F: Feelings. As you’re going through the process of discovering false beliefs and exchanging them for truer ones, you’ll likely experience a variety of different emotions. This process can be quite uncomfortable at first. This is simply because your mind naturally tends to feel uncomfortable in new situations, and you’re creating a very new situation by changing your beliefs. Just know that uncomfortable feelings are normal, and this doesn’t mean that you’re doing it wrong. The discomfort will dissipate over time, as your new beliefs gradually replace the old ones and become your default beliefs.
How can I use the ABCDEF process?
Although this process sounds pretty simple, it’s not always easy. It helps to have an experienced guide, who can help you through learning how to make this work for you. Inside Mind-Gut-Skin Academy, I help you learn to use reframing to change your negative thought patterns and become more resilient. If you’d like to join the beta-test group for the brand-new version of the program, you can check it out here.