While the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why was a popular series that many teens related to, the theme of revenge suicide is an uncomfortable and controversial topic for others. Some teens report that it opened up conversations with their parents that they had never had before. Other teens over-identified with the lead character had thoughts of taking their own life.
The focus of the story line was on the bad things that happened to Hannah, but in reality could there have been some good things that happened to her character as well?
There are multiple sides (both good and bad) to any situation you encounter in life. For those who have an all-or-nothing approach to life, or who engage in black & white thinking, it can often be difficult to see the brighter side of difficult situations. This type of thinking may give the person a sense of control in the moment, but ultimately it can create unnecessary stress, anxiety, and frustration.
Looking at both the positives and negatives allows us to see situations more realistically because reality is often found in the middle. When we have very strong opinions about something, it can be beneficial to train our brains to try looking at the opposite side of how we normally think or feel.
This series provides a great example of the benefits of attempting to reframe something negative in a more positive way. While 13 Reasons Why focused on thirteen reasons for the character Hannah to choose to end her life, try using these options to help channel your brain toward more positive thinking:
- List 13 things you are grateful for.
- Think of 13 things that you have to look forward to in the future.
- Write down 13 positives about yourself.
- Identify 13 people in your life that you care about.
- Think of 13 ways you can be kind to others this week.
If the character of Hannah was a real person who reframed her thoughts and feelings in a positive way, she might have found 13 reasons (or more) for living!
No matter what you are going through, you can start over and find the positivity in a new beginning.