“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”
This simple premise is the cornerstone of my work as a therapist.
I have found that the root of a client’s anxiety and/or depression is often directly related to his/her core beliefs about himself, others and the world around him. These beliefs, in combination with distorted thinking patterns, cause a great deal of emotional distress.
So it stands to reason that if we harness the power of our thoughts, we can directly influence our feelings & behaviors. This idea is the backbone of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a short term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem solving. Quite simply: changing your thoughts can change your life!
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. With a lot of introspection and a little homework, you will be well on your way to mastering your mind.
In my upcoming blog posts, I will shed light on the core principles of CBT. Today, however, we will begin to explore the foundation upon which CBT is built.
The first step in understanding CBT is to understand that feelings, actions, and thoughts are always connected.
Here is an example of this triangle in action:
Situation: I have an upcoming blog post deadline & a mountain of laundry looming in the other room. If my thought is…I’ll NEVER get this blog post done in time, I immediately feel ANXIOUS. This feeling of dread might cause me to avoid doing either task & instead, binge watch 1,000 episodes of Odd Mom Out.
My negative (all or nothing-always /never) thinking in this situation led to anxiety and avoidance…Not to mention some serious mind sucking t.v. time…which does little to help me conquer the Everest of Underwear in the other room.
With a small mommy mind makeover, I will rewind this scenario & hopefully end up with a more productive outcome.
Situation: I have an upcoming blog post deadline & a mountain of laundry looming in the other room. If my thought is…This blog post deadline is looming & so is the laundry. I’ve been in this situation before & I managed to get it all done. If I stay relaxed, I will be more productive. As a result, I feel less ANXIOUS and more hopeful. This new feeling of calm helps me to work on each task a little at a time and eventually get both of the tasks done. …Which in turn allows time for a glass of wine & 2 episodes of Odd Mom Out.
This mind makeover is obviously a win/win for booze, BRAVO & Borax!
Your homework this week is simple:
1) Put on your big girl panties… (Hopefully they’re clean!)
2) Put a lot of thought into situations that trigger you to feel anxious, overwhelmed, etc..& jot them down.
3) Stay tuned….In upcoming posts, we will explore how to label these thoughts and (if they are irrational), change them.
Happy Mommin’ –