Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of talk therapy that has been clinically shown to improve things like mental health, human behavior and overall well-being. It is usually done with a professional, but it can be self administered.
Now, if you’re like I was and you hear the word “therapy”, you might get a funny feeling about it. Or you might get a little defensive, ashamed, or even angered by the word. “I mean therapy?!? Come on. That’s not for me.”
But you shouldn’t think like that at all. It’s just talking. Whether it’s talking to somebody or talking to yourself in your own head. It’s very healthy and we could all use a little more talking! Face to face I might add, in this day and age of computer screens and smartphones.
CBT involves analyzing negative thinking or harmful thought patterns, challenging those thoughts, and then replacing or reframing them. This helps change behaviors and emotions associated with particular ways of thinking.
LM&H and CBT
Logic Mind & Health is a platform essentially rooted in CBT. We provide the education and necessary action for first becoming aware of negative thinking. Then we help to restructure those thoughts, and replace them with better ones (rooted in philosophy). That leads to healthier actions, emotions, and a greater sense of well-being.
That is why we stress actions like mindfulness and meditation. Before you can become aware of your thought tendencies, you have to quiet your emotions and become more in tune with your thinking. Mindfulness and meditation does exactly this. They give you greater control and greater awareness over your thoughts so that you can challenge them and reframe them.
The next step in reframing your thoughts comes from techniques like Cognitive Restructuring. With this practice you ask yourself questions that really get to the heart of your thoughts:
Are these facts or opinions? What’s the likelihood that these thoughts are true or will come true? Is this a worst-case scenario? Is there an alternative?
Finally, once you have identified your thoughts and challenged your thinking, you can begin to replace those thoughts. Here’s where the Logic Mind & Health emphasis on philosophy comes into play.
The greatest thoughts we can have pertain to philosophical notions: love, goodness, meaning, purpose, and the ultimate source of reality and being.
When we set our thoughts on love, beauty and goodness, our lives improve. We have less negative emotional outbursts, more loving emotions, and more virtuous actions. We express ourselves in more beautiful ways, and realize greater meaning and purpose in life.
The more we think about our thinking, the better chance of improving it. If we challenge our thinking, and practice techniques that give us greater control over our thoughts, we can become more philosophical. The more philosophical we become, the better our lives become.
We find greater meaning and purpose in life’s simple pleasures, but we also connect with people more deeply. We build better relationships, and give to something beyond ourselves in a greater capacity.
Additional CBT Techniques
There are other CBT techniques in addition to cognitive restructuring, such as journaling and pleasant activity scheduling. This is done exactly as it sounds – planning something enjoyable and then doing it!
It may sound a little silly, but it has numerous benefits: It gives you something to look forward to. It gives you a goal to attain. CBT also gives you purpose and direction through planning.
And if it’s an activity with another person (which is encouraged) it gives you a chance to connect and deepen a relationship.
So why not give CBT a try? Take a look at your thinking. Dissect it and develop ways to reframe it or improve it. Buy a journal and write in it daily. Take some time to identify an activity you enjoy doing. Put it on the calendar, make plans for it, work toward it, think about it often and make it happen!
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