The Power of Re-Framing - lessons learnt from a big wave nutter

Ross Clark Jones is a big wave surfer paid to chase and ride massive ocean swells. I was reading a recent article on him the other day in the paper (he's got a doco out that features Tom Carroll and himself riding huge surf), and in it he describes his attitude and approach to the big wipeouts and hold downs that are all part of what he does. This is what was written:

Watching Storm Surfers 3D confirms that any reasonable person would believe being wiped out on one of these giant waves would be their worst nightmare. Not for Clarke-Jones. To survive these hold-downs, for the one-time party boy it's a night club down there. "I did spend a lot of time in nightclubs in the '80s and '90s" he says. "When I'd lose a heat in a contest around the world I was excited because you could go out now."

The research came in handy. When he's being held under a surging cauldron, Clark-Jones visualises a nightclub. "It simulates the energy (of a wipeout). You've got the flashing light and the flashing lights of the sunlight (underwater) because you're being spun around and you're spun around on the dance floor bumping into people.Your noticing the lights, the interior of the floor, all these little details that take time to think about, and during that time you're getting thrown around and it takes up the time when you should be panicking. So you've almost deluded yourself into thinking about something else and all of a sudden you're up, it's over.

That's the difference between Ross Clark Jones and the rest of us: our nightmare is his party.

So it got me thinking about situations we typically encounter that we might perceive as "stressful", that we could re-frame to be something much more "enjoyable" - or at least less taxing. Can we shift our perception of an event, to cope better?