Do Cognitive Behavior Therapy on yourself!
August 24, 2010
I came across an article in the Huff today called “Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Every Day.”
It provides a good example of how you can change your thought patterns, and stop making yourself suffer. The author refers to them as “automatic thoughts,” but I’ve also heard them called ANTs, Automatic Negative Thoughts. Notice as the ANTs go marching through your head, and you can redirect them!
I know I get ANTs in my pants all the time. Either I’m assuming something negative, or worrying about the worst possible outcome, or playing some sad storyline over and over in my head. As they say, awareness is the first step, and then you can choose the kinds of thoughts/words/images/stories you’d prefer to populate your head. That’s how you create a happy life. Happy lives don’t just happen; it takes practice.
A tidbit from the article:
“As long as I keep thinking, “This is terrible! I’ll be so bored! I’ll be exhausted! I won’t be able to focus on anything tomorrow. I’ll get even more seriously behind work than I already am,” I’ll feel irritated, perhaps angry.
Now I can’t stop those thoughts from popping up. They are what we call “automatic thoughts.” I’m not deliberately trying to think these thoughts. They just pop up spontaneously.
But now that I’ve identified them, I can do something about them. I don’t have to feel so irritated. I can change my thinking.”
Yes you can! 😉