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Can You Change Your Negative Thoughts?

Have you ever thought about why you are having negative thoughts? Or Have you ever tried to recognize your negative behaviour pattern but, you have failed? Well, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) helps individuals learn how to identify their negative thought patterns and change them into positive patterns. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is also considered the Gold standard of psychotherapy. This article focuses on understanding CBT, the benefits of the therapy and, what should an individual expect during a CBT session.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a form of psychotherapeutic treatment which doesn’t focus upon your past. It focuses on your present and revolves around how your thoughts, emotions, and actions are connected. In simple terms, if you think about something positive, you will feel the same way, leading to the quality of work you are doing. For example, if you are working under tremendous stress, you would see situations differently, which would affect the choices you make at that time. If you are a teacher working under stress, you might get frustrated and shout at students you usually do not prefer.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is one of the most effective short-term therapeutic treatments. It helps people solve the particular problems that they are facing in their lives. It is highly focused and goal-oriented as the therapist is tremendously involved in the process. The goal is to understand that an individual has control over how they interpret and deal with things. For example, a couple is facing communication issues. During the therapy, Karan mentions that he is afraid to ask what is going on in their partner’s mind and feel that they will break up. The therapist advice the partner to talk about this matter but, the client gets very anxious. Hence, through CBT techniques like role-playing. The therapist helps the client in conversing and processing through various situations that might arise. Therefore, when the client talks to their pattern, he is not anxious and mentally prepared for various outcomes during the conversation with their partner.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help with the treatment and provide relief in the below mentioned mental health illness as well as everyday issues like -

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Schizophrenia

  • Anger issues

  • Relationship issues including a breakup, divorce, extramarital affair

  • Addictions (Substance abuse and alcohol abuse)

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Low self-esteem and low self-confidence

  • Anxiety and panic attacks

  • Phobias

  • Depression and stress

  • Eating disorders

  • Insomnia

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has proved to be one of the best treatments for various mental health illnesses. A study conducted in 2018 shows that the CBT approach improves the symptoms among OCD, PTSD, and anxiety disorder individuals. When an individual suffering from anxiety uses CBT in the long term, there are higher chances that they might not show anxiety disorder symptoms.

Various self–help techniques can help you identify your thought patterns and reframe them in positive ways.

  • Set goals- It is vital to set goals in our lives as they help us improve our physical and mental well-being. CBT focuses on setting SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based goals.

  • Maintain journal- In a day, at various points, you might experience negative thoughts and beliefs. It is essential to note them down in your journal. The next time you experience similar thoughts, you can replace them with positive actions.

  • Positive activities- Being positive is extremely important in our lives. It improves our mood, increases our productivity, and produces happy hormones in our brain. From receiving sunlight every day, going out for a walk, to having brunch with your loved ones, try doing at least one positive action each day. It may even be the most minor thing, like opening the lift door for someone or playing with any pet for a few minutes.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is highly structured, and it might be a little difficult for an individual to change their thoughts. Do let us know your experience with CBT. If you wish to experience Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, you can consult a psychologist.

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