5 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques To Try

When you’re going through something difficult in life, it’s important to have something or someone to turn to for support and comfort. However, because there may not always be a readily available person to be there for you right away, having a toolbelt of coping skills can be critical.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a frontline approach for treating a range of mental health concerns. Not only is it highly effective, but its techniques can be applied to many different circumstances. In this article, we’ll go over five CBT techniques that you can try implementing into your life the next time you feel stressed, overwhelmed, or alone.

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a therapeutic approach that can help you recognize which of your thoughts are unhelpful and choose more productive patterns of thinking. By becoming more conscious of your thoughts, you can see how they might be affecting your behaviors and adjust as needed to become a healthier version of yourself.

5 Types Of CBT Techniques To Try

While there are many types of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, the following five are some of the most common. Consider giving them a try and seeing if they work well for you.

  1. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a practice that involves learning how to stay focused on the present moment instead of letting your mind wander. Instead of becoming overwhelmed whenever your thoughts come into awareness, mindfulness teaches you how to simply observe them without judging or interpreting their meaning. Practicing self-acceptance and taking some time for yourself can encourage self-compassion and inner peace.

Mindfulness can promote stress reduction, relaxation, and self-awareness, serving as an effective coping strategy during stressful times. Mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety may also be improved through mindfulness.

  1. Cognitive Restructuring

Cognitive restricting is a technique that can help you change how you think. It works by helping you recognize your automatic thought patterns and then challenging those that are harmful or irrational. Over time, by identifying these unhelpful thoughts and changing them to be more positive, you can adopt healthier ways of thinking. Your thoughts are directly related to your feelings and behaviors, meaning that the more constructive your thoughts are, the better you can feel and act.

  1. Worry Time

Worrying can cause a lot of distress and affect your productivity and daily functioning. The concept of worry time refers to the practice of intentionally setting aside time in your day to let your mind go through your concerns, doubts, and other worries as much as you’d like. Just 10-15 minutes of worry time can allow you to work through the issues you’re facing and come up with potential solutions. That way, you’re not focused on them throughout the day when you’re trying to concentrate on the responsibilities and tasks in front of you. Getting your worries out of the way can also help ensure you get a good night’s rest instead of having your mind stuck on endless stressful topics.

  1. Systematic Exposure

Systematic exposure is a technique that involves being slowly exposed to something that you fear until you no longer have an anxious response to it. People with phobias can often benefit from this strategy. To understand systematic exposure, imagine that you’re afraid of dogs. You might start trying to move past your fear by looking at a picture of a dog, then watching a video of a dog barking online, and then going to view dogs through the window at a pet adoption agency. Next, you may ask a friend if you can pet their dog. The goal is to help you respond to situations involving dogs with ease and calmness instead of anxiety and panic.

  1. Thought Recording

The purpose of thought recording is to allow you to remember your thoughts about a situation, examine them, and then challenge them or see how you’ve grown over time. You can record your thoughts by writing them in a journal, typing them into a note on your phone, or putting them into a document on your computer. Being able to monitor your thoughts and feelings can allow you to recognize your irrational thinking patterns and understand areas of potential growth.

Growing With CBT

Although many people attend therapy with a provider who uses cognitive behavioral therapy, this approach can also be a powerful form of self-help that you can learn and implement on your own. CBT techniques can enhance your quality of life, allowing you to approach life’s challenges with optimism and confidence. There may be a specific strategy that works best for you, or you might rely on a combination of techniques for different situations. No matter what your journey looks like, it’s crucial to find coping methods that allow you to persevere despite obstacles.

Disclaimer: Presented by BetterHelp.

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