Categories
Mindset/Strenghts

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 101

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) isn’t a new concept; it’s been around for over 80 years. But, in recent years, it’s started to come back as a useful and reliable approach. In fact, it’s being hailed as highly successful in the way it provides day-to-day relief from many mental health issues.

Today, we’re going to share with you some of CBT’s tools and techniques. Read our Cognitive Behavioral Therapy101 guide to learn more.

Let’s get started.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 101

So, what is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy exactly? CBT is a blend of cognitive and behavioral therapy treatments that were developed in the 1960s by Aaron T. Beck.

This type of psychotherapy is based on the belief that our thinking controls how our lives turn out. In other words, how we think (cognition), the way we act (behavior), and the way we feel (emotion) are all connected.

The main focus of almost every CBT session is on how to shift our thinking from negative to positive. It also aims at overcoming self-defeating behavior, which ultimately leads to recurring episodes of depression and anxiety.

CBT can work on its own or in combination with other types of therapies. Either way, it helps us reduce our anxiety levels. More importantly, it teaches us various hands-on ways to deal with stressful situations.

The job of a CBT therapist is to try and get us to change our negative thought patterns to be more positive and hopeful. By changing our thinking, we can regain control over our lives. They encourage us to shift our mindsets for the better, regardless of what’s going on in our lives.

CBT is suitable for almost all types of mental and emotional health issues. Although, it’s more typically used to help treat the following:

  • Anxiety and mood disorders
  • Various disorders, such as PTSD, eating, or panic disorders
  • Depression
  • Anger management
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Certain phobias, such as agoraphobia

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Goals

CBT has proven to be effective in allowing us to take charge of our lives, rather than letting external forces manipulate us. One way it’s proven its success is that it sets realistic goals. It also encourages clients to take an active part in therapy by directing their attention to the present instead of focusing on the past.

Most therapists will assign clients various tasks to complete on their own. These tasks are an opportunity to modify thought patterns. They also help establish healthy, practical coping methods.

Check out a few other goals that you can achieve through CBT:

  • Recognize that you’ve become stuck in a pattern of unhealthy thought patterns
  • Transform negative thoughts into more realistic positive ones
  • Make the right choices in difficult situations
  • You have the ability to make good choices – have faith in yourself

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Sessions

The beauty of CBT is that it doesn’t stick to one formula and try to apply it to everyone. It’s malleable and easily customizable.

Yet, every therapist has one aim in mind: to help their client achieve a certain goal. Depending on the situation, each goal has to be SMART, as in:

  • Specific to you and the current events happening in your life
  • Measurable goals need to be broken down into elements you can gauge and assess weekly
  • Achievable goals are those that get you out of your comfort zone while still being possible to do
  • Realistic goals give you a practical target to strive toward and help contribute to what you want to achieve in life
  • Time-bound goals have a start and completion date so you can learn how to divide your time wisely and get more done.

Here’s a general outline of what you can expect to happen in a CBT session:

  1. Check the overall mood
  2. Review events of the previous week and identify negative thoughts
  3. Talk about the assigned ‘task’ including which goals were met and which weren’t 
  4. Discuss how to reshape thinking patterns that may be contributing to the problem
  5. Set a new set of goals for the upcoming week
  6. Assign a new ‘task’

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Pros and Cons

We’ve seen how CBT is effective and can be useful in treating many mental health issues. Yet, as with everything, it has its benefits and drawbacks.

Pros

  • Is considered to be short-term compared with other forms of therapy
  • Works great in cases where medicine, like antidepressants, doesn’t work by itself
  • CBT techniques are available in different formats, such as self-help books, group therapies, and apps
  • Teaches practical coping methods that you can apply in everyday life, both during and after treatment

Cons

  • Isn’t suited for those with learning difficulties or complex mental health issues
  • Doesn’t delve into past problems, which could be the underlying cause of the problem
  • Regular CBT sessions and ‘tasks’ can be time-consuming
  • Involves facing your anxiety, which can be difficult for some people

A Final Note

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has become a highly sought-after treatment method. It’s suitable for many mental health issues because it can be customized to each client’s individual needs.

Find a knowledgeable therapist who can help you pinpoint the right CBT techniques for you. This way, you get personalized treatment to help bring about the positive changes you need in your life.

Categories
Relationships Uncategorized

What Do The Ageing Need From Us?

Its sad – but it’s the way life goes, our much loved parents and grandparents – like all of us , are getting older. These are the elders we love, the people who were – and still are, always there for us.

They’re moving more slowly and grey hairs are popping up more and more each time we see them.

Now we are becoming the generation whose turn it is to step up – step up and be available to be the support to our parents that they were for us – in this crucial stage of their lives.

Yes, now they are a bit older, our parents or grandparents might love the fact that now they are free to do whatever they want to do – to do the things they never got the chance to do when they were carrying for us. At other times however, they may be isolated and lonely.

So, what can we do to help them stay healthy and happy? After all, most of us want the elderly in our lives that we treasure and love to feel content and comfortables.

As our loved ones grow older, they need certain requirements in their lives. Here are some of the ways we can help them feel their best and live their life to the fullest.

# Meaningful Relationships

As people get older, they become more aware of what’s important in life. 9 times out of 10 seniors will tell you nothing is more important than family.

So, it’s important to take the time to sit and listen to what they have to say. Or just hi and ask about their day.

It may seem like their problems are different from ours. Yet, the truth is, they worry about the same things we do: money, health, and relationships. They may just not have anyone to share their worries with.

#A Role in the Community

Seniors also need to build relationships outside the home and be part of their community. Feeling that you belong and are needed is crucial.

Studies show that the sense of belonging has the power to reduce stress, ward off illnesses. When they feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves, it adds meaning to their life. It also buffers feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Plus, it stimulates the release of feel-good hormones and improves our overall well-being. How can anyone say ‘no’ to that!

Being part of the community can come in the form of volunteer work. They can do simple tasks, like help out once a week at a homeless shelter or local soup kitchen.

There are also senior centers that offer a wide variety of programs. These programs are designed to bring seniors together to join in activities, such as:

  • Gardening
  • Crafts
  • Cooking
  • Book clubs
  • Exercise programs

# Daily Routine

Some seniors find that living by the moment is more exciting. Although, the majority enjoy having a daily routine more than spontaneity.

They actually view routine as a source of comfort and reliability. Part of their regular routine could be waking up at around the same time each day. Then, they head to the bathroom and change their clothes.

After that, they have a nutritious, well-balanced breakfast along with their morning cup of coffee. If they take any morning medications, now would be a good time. Finally, they would start getting ready for any planned activities or visits.

It’s important to have a weekly schedule already drawn out ahead of time. It gives seniors a sense of stability knowing what’s on their agenda.

In addition, it’s easier knowing what they have to prepare for beforehand. It also puts less stress on their memories when they can predict what will happen during the entire week.

# Physical Activity

Physical activity is important at any age. Yet, it’s more important as we get older to help maintain muscle mass and support joints. Not only that, but exercise has been proven to make us feel happy and reduce mental health problems.

For seniors, exercising can become a difficult and boring chore if not done right. The key to encouraging seniors to exercise is to offer simple, low-impact workouts they can do on their own.

Staying physically active reduces the risk of falls as it improves balance. It also increases both bone density and muscle strength.

# A Sense of Independence

No matter what anyone says, we all love being cared for, even seniors. Besides the pampering, you’ll notice that there are also quite a few things they need help with.

But there comes a time when you have to know when to take a step back and give the senior in your life some space. They still value their independence and self-reliance a great deal.

Being able to do things for themselves boosts their self-esteem. It’s also beneficial for their cognitive functions and keeps the brain in tiptop shape.

#A Final Note

Now that we’re aware of what our aging people need from us, we can offer the right type of care and support. This can range from helping out with daily tasks or lending a sympathetic ear.

The important thing is to be there for our seniors. They need to know that they’re a respected and honored part of the community and our lives.

Categories
Personal Growth

Journaling Techniques for a Better You

Are you interested in learning the best journaling techniques you can utilise for a better you? There are so many great techniques you can focus on, and each has their own pros and cons. 

The main thing to remember when searching for the best technique, is that what works for somebody else may not work for you. We are all unique so find what works the best for you.

Experimenting with different techniques will help you to see which one works better. With that said, there are some journaling techniques known to be more effective for personal growth.

Here are a few of the best journaling topics and techniques to use for a better you.

# Gratitude

Potentially the best technique you can use for personal growth, is gratitude journaling. This involves writing down the things that you are grateful for each day. And everyone can find something to be grateful for.

Studies have shown that keeping a daily gratitude journal can alter your mindset in just 21 days. It teaches you to be more positive about life and to be grateful for the things that you have. 

It is common in life to only focus on the things we want and the things we don’t have. By switching to thinking about the positive things already in our lives, it helps to make us happier and content.

# Dreams

A dream journal may sound like an odd tool to boost personal growth. However, studies have shown that keeping a dream journal can help to improve your mindset.

A clear link has been discovered between dreams and mental development. The emotions you experience in your dreams can relate to your mind’s ability to cope with and process information. It is thought that the skills we learn while we are awake, come out stronger in our dreams.

So, if you want to recognize emotions, traits, and fears that you may have, looking at your dreams can give you the clues you need to change.

Start recording you dreams by writing them down in your journal as soon as you wake up before you forget . You can then go back over them later to see what they could mean.

# Goals/Visions

Another popular journaling technique is to write about your goals and visions.

A goal setting journal is potentially one of the best ways to better yourself. You can use it to work on absolutely anything that you want to change.

It could be you want to become more cultured by traveling more. Or maybe you want to lose weight and get generally healthier? Whatever part of yourself you are trying to improve; a goal or vision journal can prove invaluable.

With a goal journal, you basically write down your goals and then track your progress.

With vision journals, you use them to write about your dream life. They also tend to be more visual. For example, you would add pictures of things you want to achieve in your dream life.

As you can see, there are a few different types of journaling you can utilize. The above are just three of the best techniques you can use to better yourself.