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CBT, Mindfulness, and Thinking



How Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness can help us overcome many mental conditions that are “thought-focused” – like anxiety, OCD, and depression.


Main Points

  • CBT is a modern form of psychotherapy that has shown to be effective in treating anxiety disorders, OCD, and some forms of depression.
  • I believe CBT is effective in treating these kinds of mental disorders because they are often very “thought-driven.” CBT’s specialty is focusing on how thoughts affect our mood and behavior.
  • Mindfulness is a big tool in the CBT arsenal that helps us acknowledge whatever thoughts arise in the present moment, without reacting to the content.
  • Using mindfulness we can watch the thoughts that enter our head, but without judging ourselves nor acting (or reacting) to those thoughts impulsively.
  • Mindfulness of negative thinking can be analogous to watching scary movies. We know there is no real, immediate threat. We can sit back and view our thoughts without attaching or identifying to them.
  • By acknowledging thoughts non-judgmentally, they lose their power over our mood and behavior. They just are what they are – neither good nor bad.
  • At times, awareness isn’t enough to alleviate a mental disorder. In this case, CBT and mindfulness can be used to come up with solutions, such as ways to cognitively restructure how we view a past or future events.
  • We can assign new meaning to past events by framing them as learning experiences or events that made us stronger.


Question

  • Have you tried CBT or something similar? How did it work out for you?



Not Everything Is In Your Control


Personal development often means a shift in responsibility. But we have to be cautious when assigning blame to ourselves, as many things are often outside of our control.



Main Points

  • Before we can make a change in our lives, we have to shift our responsibility to aspects of our life that we previously didn’t take responsibility for.
  • One big caveat to responsibility, however, is that we can assign blame to ourselves when an event was actually outside of our control.
  • This can be detrimental to mental health, because it leaves us ruminating and regretting events that have nothing to do with our personality, intelligence, or choices in life.

  • Recognize that while some things are in your control, other things aren’t. Let go of the things you can’t control – they aren’t worth occupying your mind over. Instead, focus on what is in your power.

Image Credit


Beliefs Matter: The Power of Beliefs



Be proud of me – I’m trying new things! Like creating videos. I think being able to listen to someone with a face talk is sometimes a better way to absorb information than reading text, especially since our culture seems more visual now than ever. Therefore, I decided to resurrect this YouTube account that I’ve had for awhile. I hope to be using it more often to expand on some of the ideas I write about on this blog.

This first video touches on a very fundamental concept to personal development – beliefs. Beliefs affect how we act and in many ways the results we get out of life. Discovering the beliefs that drive our actions and identifying the ones that don’t serve our needs can help us to adopt more helpful and satisfying beliefs that motivate us toward our goals. This is a core component to cognitive therapies like Rational Emotive Therapy (RET) and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT).


Open Mind Meditation

open mind meditation


Open mind meditation is when we acknowledge whatever rises into consciousness without trying to react to it. Sensations, thoughts, emotions, memories, and imaginations may arise, but we don’t cling to them or avoid them – we just let them be. Open mind meditation is a full acceptance of whatever the present moment has to offer, without any particular directing of attention.

Most meditations are focused on a particular “object” of meditation. For example, focusing on your breathing (“Breathing Meditation”), or walking (“Walking Meditation”), or a particular mantra (such as in a “Loving-Kindness Meditation”). However, the “Open Mind Meditation” is different because it is an objectless meditation. There is no particular “object” to focus on.

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Find The Good In Others


We all go through life liking some people better than others. And I’m sure some of those “others” are people we find much contempt for, maybe we even downright hate them. I know I’ve experienced my fair share of malevolence toward people I’ve met, and sometimes for good reason. However, I suspect that forgiveness plays an important role in letting go of this ill will, and by the end of the day I try to wish the very best for everyone.

I find that one of the most effective ways in alleviating my ill will is to try and find the good in everyone. While this can sometimes be a difficult task, I’ve also found it to be incredibly rewarding – not just as a way of building compassion or forgiveness – but also as an educational tool, and as a way to facilitate positive change in others.

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