Resignifying Experiences is Essential for Change

September 2, 2019
Resignifying experiences can give you the courage to begin a great metamorphosis. Read on to learn about this!

Who hasn’t felt the desire to change unpleasant experiences for others that are a bit more pleasant? Unfortunately, we’re talking about something that isn’t always possible. Although you may not be able to change reality through your behavior, resignifying your experiences is definitely in your hands.

Psychology taught us how to do it through a cognitive, humanistic, and integral approach. In addition, psychoanalysis also showed us some paths to transformation.

Throughout this article, we’ll show you what resignifying your experiences is all about. We’ll also tell you how psychology contributed to it. In addition, we’ll explain why this is a transformative issue, how to resignify your experiences, and what the benefits of doing so are.

Resignifying experiences: What’s it all about?

A watercolor of a concerned woman.

When we talk about resignifying one’s experiences, we’re talking about changing their meaning and seeing them from a new perspective, one that’s less distressing and exhausting.

For example, you experienced something that caused you great suffering and pain. You can’t change what happened, but you can transform it. How? By considering it a learning experience. It definitely taught you something valuable. Thus, seeing it in this light will in fact diminish your pain. It’ll help you move on.

Each of your experiences is associated with an emotion. And the meaning you attribute to each experience will always be tied to it. Therefore, giving it another meaning is going to make you focus on a different emotion. For example, you could go from sadness to joy. The idea here is for the transformation to be positive.

The contributions of various disciplines

One of the objectives of psychology, among others, is to study a person’s behavior, thoughts, and emotions. From its diverse approaches, it’s made many contributions in terms of resignifying experiences, such as:

  • Cognitive psychology. In therapy, there’s a theory called cognitive restructuring whereby a person identifies aspects in their life that are maladaptive with the help of a therapist. Once they’re done identifying them, they begin to replace them with new ones that are more appropriate. This way, their emotional load decreases.
  • Humanist psychology. It’s made up of several branches that focus on the potential of the human being. One of them is logotherapy. Its basic principle is to make life meaningful. That is, it proposes that we’re all able to find a meaning that will help us overcome adversity.
  • Psychoanalysis. It helps to resignify one’s life, from accessing the deepest part of one’s being to realizing any unconscious features, resistance, and defense mechanisms you might have. It’s a form of transformation since you can start seeing everything from a different perspective.
  • Integral psychology offers you a way to resignify your experiences from the expansion of consciousness and spirituality. It allows you to discover what’s beyond yourself.

Each one of these branches approaches the depths of a person’s being to resignify their experiences. That is, they all start from self-knowledge because you can start on the path to transformation by knowing yourself better.

Now, you can’t always do it alone. Some situations will be out of your hands either because they’re very traumatic or because they produce an overflowing joy. It’s important to ask for help if you feel this way.

How to resignify experiences

A painting of a lonely woman in a storm.

Here are a few different proposals:

  • First, know yourself.
  • Next, value yourself.
  • Then, think about what’s toxic to you and how you could change it.
  • Set limits.
  • Make a list of priorities to discover which emotions and experiences are stagnating.
  • Then, learn to manage your emotions.
  • Next, give yourself plenty of time.
  • Finally, ask for help.

Although it may seem like an easy path, it isn’t. In addition, a huge part of its complexity is the need for walking on roads never before taken. Thus, you’ll have to get lost and get to know yourself over and over again.

The benefits of resignifying your experiences

  • It helps release tension.
  • Next, it leads to greater self-knowledge.
  • It boosts your self-esteem.
  • It leads to greater emotional management.
  • In addition, it makes you more assertive.
  • Finally, it develops resilience and allows you to learn how to take care of yourself.

Resignifying former experiences is essential for transformation. It’s your choice to either transform or remain stagnant and unable to fly.

Be brave and explore yourself fully. You’ll find a meaning that motivates you. Boost your resilience and use it to face any upcoming difficulties. Resignify your experiences so you can heal and move on.

  • Bados López, A. & García Grau, E. (2010). La técnica de la restructuración cognitiva.
  • Frankl, V. (2015). El hombre en búsqueda de sentido. Herder Editorial.