If you’ve ever heard your friends or loved ones talk about how a mental health professional helped them identify unhelpful thoughts, patterns, and behaviors and altered them to work more effectively toward their goals, you’ve heard about the impacts of CBT.
What is CBT?
CBT is one of the most used tools in the psychologist’s toolbox. Although it is based on simple principles, it can have tremendous positive results when put into practice.
Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to change our thinking patterns, our conscious and unconscious beliefs, our attitudes, and ultimately our behavior, to help us cope with difficulties and achieve our goals.
Examples of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Mindfulness can have a wide range of positive impacts, including helping with depression, anxiety, addiction, and many other mental illnesses or difficulties.
Mindfulness can help those suffering from harmful automatic thoughts to disconnect from rumination and obsession, helping them stay firmly in the present.
This is a fancy name for a simple idea you’ve probably heard of already: breaking big tasks down into small steps.
It can be overwhelming to face a big goal, like starting a business or remodeling a home. This is also true in mental health treatment, as the goal of overcoming depression or anxiety and achieving mental well-being can seem like a monumental task.
By breaking down the big goal into small, easy-to-accomplish steps, we can chart the path to success and make the journey seem a little less overwhelming.
Writing self-expressions to counteract negative thoughts
This technique can be difficult for someone who is new to treating CBT or suffering from severe symptoms, but it can also be extremely effective.
When you are affected by negative thoughts, it can be difficult to cope with them, especially if your belief in these thoughts is strong. To counteract these negative thoughts, it may be helpful to write an opposite positive thought.
For example, if the thought “I’m worthless” keeps popping up in your head, try writing a statement like ” I am a person of value” or “I am a person of potential . “
At first, it can be difficult to accept these replacement thoughts, but the more you bring out these positive thoughts to counteract the negative ones, the stronger the association.
Visualize the best parts of your day
When you feel depressed or negative, it is difficult to recognize that there are positive aspects of life. This simple technique of remembering the good parts of your day can be a small step in the direction of acknowledging the positive.
All you need to do is write down the things in your life that you are grateful for or the most positive events that happen on any given day.
The simple act of writing down these good things can forge new associations in your brain that make it easier to see the positive, even when you experience negative emotions.
Reframe your negative thoughts
It can be easy to succumb to negative thoughts as the default setting. If you immediately find yourself thinking negatively when you see something new, like walking into an unfamiliar room and thinking “I hate the color on that wall,” try rethinking yourself.
Reframing involves countering negative thoughts by noticing the things you feel positive about as quickly as possible. For example, when you think about how much you hate the color of that wall, you would go out of your way to notice 5 things in the room that you feel positively about (for example, the carpet looks comfortable, the lampshade is pretty, the windows let in a lot of light. from the sun, etc.)
You can set your phone to remind you throughout the day to stop what you are doing and to think about the positive things around you. This can help you push your thoughts into the realm of the positive rather than the negative.