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Updated: Feb 1, 2023

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy that has been proven to help people cope with a wide variety of mental health issues. It works because it's active and you're in charge of your own treatment path. The goal of CBT is to help you recognize that your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are connected. It is a specific therapy focused on shifting the way you think about yourself, your environment and your situation. CBT can be helpful for people with anxiety disorders, depression, stress, relationship issues, and substance abuse recovery programs.

CBT helps you learn to separate what's actually happening from what your negative thoughts tell you is happening. It helps you identify and challenge your negative thoughts, which can lead to a more balanced view of the world. Cognitive distortions are irrational beliefs that people hold about themselves and others. These beliefs often cause them to feel bad emotions like anger or sadness, which may lead them to behave in ways that make other people angry or sad as well, and then they have more reasons for feeling bad.

For example, you may believe that I will never get promoted because the boss does not like me. I can never do anything right. You do not take time to think about the perfect attendance award or the Most Recognized Award you received three months ago. CBT helps you identify negative thoughts, beliefs and assumptions about yourself and your world. This allows you to challenge these thoughts with more realistic ones that are based on evidence rather than on your emotions (cognitive restructuring).

You learn to recognize your feelings and to change negative thoughts into positive thoughts. It helps people have more positive attitudes towards themselves and others by focusing on positive aspects of life rather than dwelling on negative ones.

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Here is a list of resources you may find to be helpful.

1. Tai Chi Video for Beginners

2. Dr. Tara Brach links to meditation and talks on mindfulness and emotional healing

3. QiGong and Louhan Patting

4. QiGong for Anxiety with Rosemary

10. Holland Code (RIASEC) Test - It groups people on the basis of their suitability for six different categories of occupations.

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There are times when our brains give us a lot of negative thoughts. These thoughts spend around and around and around and cause us a lot of distress. Another term for these negative thoughts is cognitive distortions. In an earlier article Post it above, I listed the ten cognitive distortions. For example, some cognitive distortions are all-or-nothing thinking, discounting the positives, jumping to conclusions, and blaming. We have a lot of negative thoughts when our stress is high, our anxiety is high, and our depression is high. One of the things that we can do to lessen these negative thoughts is to become aware that our thoughts are not facts. They are just thoughts.

I often use the expression rewire the brain. What does this mean? It means that we replace a negative font with a positive thought. When we replace a negative thought with a positive thought, we are telling our brain to stop focusing on negative thoughts and to focus on what we want to focus on. For example, you can focus on a positive event that you experienced at some time in your life. It can be something that happened years ago, it can be something that happened this week, or it can be something that you are planning in the future, like your vacation. When we give our brain a positive thought, we are telling the brain to focus on what we want to think about right here and now.

Negative thoughts can keep us trapped in the past. But when we tell the brain, I want to focus on this positive thought right now; we are putting ourselves in the present moment. When we put ourselves in the present moment, we let go of the blame, shame, and fear that the negative thoughts give us. So, the next time you have a lot of negative thoughts spinning around and around in your head, remind yourself that there are many positive things you can think about. Find a pleasant memory and take some time to sit back and think about that positive experience. Use this experience to replace negative thoughts!

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