Introduction to CBT

cbt

If you’re looking for a way to stay calm in a tense situation or a way to be focussed when all you want to do is relax – then CBT is something you should definitely consider. CBT stands for ‘Cognitive Behavioral Therapy’. Essentially, it is a set of tools used as a therapeutic tool when treating anxiety disorders. This also happens to be the preferred method of therapy among most health institutions today.

The best bit? As well as being highly effective and proven in countless studies, CBT is also very simple to teach and use. Here we will take a look at what CBT entails, why it’s so powerful and why it’s very much worth learning.

How CBT Works

CBT is essentially the natural evolution from behaviorism. Behaviorism is a school of psychology that views all of our behaviors and beliefs as trained. We repeat behaviors that create an outcome we are looking for. Behaviors that have been rewarded become reinforced and we perform them more often. Behaviors that have been punished or ignored become less common.

cbt
Diagram of cognitive-behavioral therapy

CBT takes this principle and adds an additional cognitive element – showing that we can actually reinforce a behaviour through the way we think. If we have anxious thoughts about an action for instance, then we can find ourselves actually enforcing that association to the point of even developing a phobia. We don’t actually have to experience anything bad – our belief and predictions alone are enough to create the association!

The same can also work in reverse. For example, first, logically break down your fears. Then, explain to yourself why you shouldn’t be afraid of them. Eventually, you can completely remove those phobias.

CBT Example

So how might this work?

A good example is a social phobia, which can be created through the maladaptive belief that you’re going to embarrass yourself, that you’re going to faint or that perhaps you’re in some kind of danger. It is your job then to remove this association through CBT using techniques such as ‘thought challenge’. Thought challenging involves assessing just how realistic a fear is in a logical way and often you’ll be able to disprove your own fears to yourself.

You can then formulate these new thoughts as positive affirmations and actually talk yourself up before big events. Eventually, this can be enough to complete remove the phobia or anxiety – and it’s something that anyone can practice alone at home!

cbt


More Coping tools

Self Esteem and Teens

self esteem and teens

Despite the brooding and the mood swings a teenagers’ self esteem is more fragile than you think.  There are a great many factors that can undermine a teenager’s ability to build their self confidence. For example, factors ranging from academic issues, poor social interaction and dealing with developing one’s own unique identity while trying to avoid the physical awkwardness that puberty brings.  The constant internal struggles they face on daily basis are for us, hopefully, a distant memory because we’ve forgotten what it was like to be their age.

Peers and Self Esteem

Their social circle has a great deal of influence in their lives with the approval and feedback from peers often validating how they feel about themselves, factors which they allow to determine their self esteem and self worth.  It’s incredible how much impact this can really have in the life of your teenager.  This is especially challenging because adolescents peers are not always known for their tact and empathy. Thus, this is why it’s of the utmost importance for your teenagers self esteem to be nurtured and reinforced from within the home.  This will strengthen them to deal with the pitfalls of life out there in the big wide world.  This can come from giving praise and attention from family members, in particular, parents.

It Starts at Home

ego
Family Self Esteem

Positive and nurturing reinforcement in the home is the first step to repairing your teenagers self woth. Never underestimate the power of love. Just because your teenager knows that you love them doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t show it. However, such an approach acts as an effective hedge against the factors that erode your teenager’s self esteem.  While it is impossible to change the climate teenagers must face, your teenager’s self esteem will improve with various positive strategies designed to counteract the factors dragging them down.

Model the Change You Wish to See

Another effective tool in the building of your teenagers self esteem is to model good self esteem.  By setting an example of healthy self esteem and respect for yourself will instill the same values in your teenager.  Children learn by example, they tend to imitate what their parents do. This includes both the positive and the negative. However, being a good role model can often be the most powerful lesson of all because you teach by doing.  The next time you get upset, be mindful of your words and your actions. Additionally, be sure to keep an optimistic outlook on life. This outlook helps to create resilience. Your work, will influence how they will manage trials in their adult life.  Also, don’t forget that your children are always watching what you do.

Self Care Planner
Self Esteem Planner

Teamwork and Self Esteem

Allow your teenager to be a contributing member of your family.  Give jobs or chores to perform. Whether it’s the dishes or taking out the garbage, a job helps to cement their role within the family unit. Achieving a sense of belonging and importance is a vital building block in the building of their self esteem.

Conclusion

These are just a few tips that can help build up and strengthen your teenagers self esteem but if you’d like more information, sign up for or newsletter. Also, make an appointment with a coach or therapist.


Soothing Tools

A Personal Measure of Success

measure your success

One of the questions that people often have when they start becoming serious about striving for success if how they can measure if they are successful enough or if they are doing enough to achieve their goals. This question comes because of the propensity that people have to compare themselves to others. But you never seem to measure up when you do that, particularly with those who have already achieved success. So, what do you measure against?

Measure of Success is Different for Everyone

Each person is different and each success story is different. It is impossible to compare your journey to anyone else’s, so you have to do something else entirely. You have to compare yourself to yourself. The best way to accomplish this is by comparing your current self to your past self. The thing that many people do is live as their past selves instead of forgetting about that person and living in the present.

Mistakes are Tools for Measurement of Success

Your past self may have made mistakes, but your current self, going forward from this moment on, has not made any mistakes. You have a fresh, clean slate, and luckily, you have the benefit of all of the experience of your past self to rely upon. But even more important than living in the moment is tracking your progress. No matter what goal you are pursuing, or what end you are looking for, tracking your progress will allow you to see how different you are today from where you have been.

If you are trying to lose weight, tracking each pound lost will give you motivation to continue even through the hardest times. If you feel like giving up because the income stream that you have been working on isn’t nearly as large as you thought it would be, checking out where you were a year ago can put the present in perspective.

cbt

The bottom line is that when you want to measure your success, don’t measure it against other people. Other people may have had different opportunities, different skills and different circumstances that affected their progress. Instead, compare yourself to your past self.

For Example:

  • Improvement = You are on the right track
  • Mega Improved = Huge success
  • If you are better off now and are well on your way to reaching your goals, then you are successful.

How to Speak With Confidence When You’re Really Nervous

aware

When dealing with anxiety and stress, one question you could ask yourself is ‘why does it matter’?

Why does it really matter if people can tell that you’re anxious? Does it really matter if you’re understandably nervous during a big presentation or event?

The answer is probably not but the reason it impacts us is that it undermines our social standing. When you sound anxious or nervous, it suggests that you don’t have confidence in what you’re saying. In turn, this makes other people less likely to trust you and it makes them less likely to think of you as a good leader, as a good employee, or as someone they’d like to date. If someone is nervous around you, it suggests that they perceive you as their superior. So you don’t necessarily need to be able to completely remove nerves – you just need to sound as though you don’t have any! Here are some ways to do that…

Slow Down for Confidence

When you speak more slowly, you instantly sound more eloquent, more confident and more intelligent. We tend to speed up the rate of our speech when we’re nervous, whereas taking our time shows that we’re confident that we’re able to hold other people’s attention. What’s more, is that slowing down will instantly reduce the amount of stuttering and utterances such as ‘um’ and ‘err’. Slowing down also makes your voice sound deeper and in general, this is a far more effective way to create a commanding presence.

confidence

Gesticulate

One of the key ways to improve your perceived charisma is to gesticulate more. When you speak with your body, it makes you more animated and it causes you to take up more space. This on its own is enough to make you more interesting to listen to and to observe and it’s enough to make you a more effective orator. What’s more though, is that gesticulations also show that your body language is congruent with the content of what you’re saying. In short, you appear to really believe what you’re saying strongly and this makes you more engaging and it makes you appear more confident.

Hold Eye Contact to Show Confidence

Using eye contact is a great way to hold attention and demonstrate confidence. Of course you mustn’t over do this but if you start your discussion while holding eye contact for a short time, you’ll be able to get your audience’s attention and keep it there.


More Coping Tools