This post first appeared on wfmchealth.com
Are you often stressed out and frazzled? Are you unhappy with your life? Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (CBT) can help in these situations. It can help improve your life no matter what type of emotional struggles you may have.
What Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?
CBT is a method of changing unhelpful behaviors and thoughts to those that are helpful in accomplishing your goals and being happy. If you have a bad habit you want to change, CBT can help.
Do you get stressed out while caring for a child? Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches you how to manage your emotions better and find greater calm when a child is misbehaving. You can even incorporate CBT techniques you learn about into your parenting style.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy was originally used to treat depression, but people have found it’s effective in treating many other mental health issues. You don’t need to have a mental disorder to use cognitive-behavioral therapy to improve your life, however. Three CBT techniques you can use are cognitive restructuring, mindfulness meditation and square breathing.
Stop Phrasing Thoughts as Facts
A simple cognitive-behavioral therapy technique is to begin treating your thoughts as guesses instead of facts. Challenge yourself to think of numerous possibilities, including positive ones. Doing this helps to stop you from going into a strong negative reaction to experiences you don’t like.
Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment and being aware of the sensations in your body and what’s going on in the world around you. It has been shown to be effective in reducing stress, improving management of emotions and even alleviating pain. Mindfulness meditation also takes you out of autopilot, so you can enjoy your life more.
Not all CBT techniques are mental. Square breathing is an exercise that helps relieve the physiological symptoms you experience during stress and anxiety. As a result, you reap mental benefits from soothing your physiological symptoms. Square breath involves breathing in deeply, holding the breath, breathing out deeply, holding the breath and repeating for about 10 minutes.
You can imagine creating a square to help keep track of the breath, which is why it’s referred to as “square breathing.” Each breath and holding of the breath should last a certain amount of time. Depending on what works for you, it could be four seconds or six seconds as long as it’s consistent.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an excellent way of learning to be more in control of your thoughts, actions and behavior. You’ll live a happier, more fulfilling life by implementing CBT practices.