Perhaps you’ve heard of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, often referred to as “CBT.” A combination of psychotherapy and behavioral therapy, CBT changes the way you feel by altering the underlying behavioral and thought patterns that shape behavior.
If that sounds fascinating to you, it's because it is! But now you might be thinking, how do I even get started?
Working with a professional is an excellent option, but there are many tools you can begin to employ on your own to feel better now.
Below are a few CBT tactics to try TODAY!
This is a powerful strategy and one of the first principles of CBT. The idea is that events or situations do not have inherent meaning; rather, we assign them meaning based on our interpretation of the event. Even when something seemingly difficult happens to you, it feels that way because of how you perceive the situation. In other words, how you look at it affects how you feel.
It is a great technique to help you work on pressing issues while also gaining a deeper understanding into the underlying fears and limitations you face.
It is important to know, however, that when you reframe, the process should have an emotional impact on you. It needs to be felt, not merely intellectualized. The new frame needs to be more emotionally compelling than the old one if it is to be accepted. Don’t fear your feelings!
It’s having a mainstream moment and thankfully looks like it’s here to stay. We couldn’t be more excited about this, as meditation is majorly powerful tool. Meditation can help you ease up and feel emotionally healthier. Try just 10 minutes a day and see how you feel after a couple of weeks. It's very important to stay consistent with your meditation practice, meaning it is profoundly better to have a 5-minute practice daily, rather than having a long meditation session once a month.
Positive affirmations are another great way to slowly but surely evolve your inner dialogue. (Said that, we post weekly positive affirmations on our social media here). If you’re new to these, they may feel awkward or even uncomfortable at first, but they a powerful tool. We suggest choosing three that suit your goals. An example would be, “I expect to be successful in all of my endeavors. Success is my natural state” or “I release the past and live fully in the present moment”.
Find the affirmations that work for you and try repeating them several times a day. This is a great exercise to try in conjunction with journaling about how you feel. After practicing positive affirmations for a couple of weeks, notice the positive change and track it!
While some types of meditation utilize breathing techniques, many of these can be done on their own as a separate practice. Whether you want to feel calmer or more energized there are breathing techniques to suit your goals. A popular one for calming anxiety is the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Try this one when you want to calm down. It’s also found helpful for insomnia.
Schedule in FUN!
Yep, it’s just as important to make time for fun as it is for work. Try scheduling sanctioned time for fun, writing it on your calendar just as you would a doctor’s appointment or a job interview. Set aside as little as 10 minutes a day for something you enjoy. It can be as simple as reading or doodling in a notebook. Whatever it is, make a habit of doing it daily and scheduling it in advance. Over time, your mind will automatically focus more on positivity so you can feel lighter and happier.