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Using CBT ideas in daily life

Using CBT ideas in daily life – CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It is an approach to counselling that encourages you to explore how your thoughts and beliefs effect you feelings and actions and then through changing those thoughts and beliefs you can manage the difficulties you face differently. The charity Mind has a very useful video that helps to explain CBT.

CBT could be used to help with a wide range of issues including:

  • OCD
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Anger problems
  • Chronic Pain
  • Chronic Fatigue

If you would like to understand more about CBT please read another blog post on this website

CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

CBT often uses exercises and homework to help clients explore their situation and put in to practice alternative ways of viewing things and doing things. Below are three different CBT exercises that you can use in everyday life to help you adjust your thinking and behaviour in a more positive direction.

  1. Gratitude Journaling – this could be something as simple as noting down three things that you are grateful for at the end of the day in a list. Or it could involve you writing about the things in the day that you are grateful for or gave you joy. Doing this practice helps to shift your outlook to being more optimistic, it helps you to practice getting into the habit of noticing the positives in your life and not get so entangled with with the negative, and always taking a pessimistic view of things.
  2. Positive Self- Talk – In a similar way, if you are someone who always has a negative narrator, an internal voice constantly pointing out the things you have done wrong, or that could go wrong, or that other people are doing wrong, practicing positive self-talk could be really beneficial and can work to counteract or challenge the negative thinking. When you are doing this repetition is very important and works to consolidate a new way of thinking. If we tend to be chronic negative thinkers this tends to have developed over a number of years, a couple of positive thoughts won’t be able to undo this, we need to practice positive, affirming thoughts over and over again to make a difference.
  3. Behavioural Activation – this technique encourages clients to participate in enjoyable activities to enhance their mood. So, you may make a list of activities that you would enjoy or find rewarding, make sure to include a wide range of activities or experiences from small to large. For instance, a small example might be making yourself a hot chocolate at home, a big example might be going to a spa for the day. You would then schedule at least one activity a day. The idea is that doing this will help to increase your motivation, sense of accomplishment and pleasure.

The aim of incorporating these CBT practices in your daily routine is to help you feel better in general and to promote emotional resilience. It is important to remember if these are things that you don’t engage in very often it will be important to be patient with yourself and to consistently practice including them in your life.

If you would like to speak to a professional about any issue that is concerning you and you would like to speak to a CBT therapist please contact Paul today. Paul offers Psychotherapy and counselling, EMDR and Clinical Supervision. If you are struggling with any issue and would like to make an appointment with Paul please call Paul on 07843 813 537 or fill in the form on the Contact Page, if he doesn’t answer he is probably in a session, please leave him a message and he will call you back as soon as he can.

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