By Madasin Jennings, Account Specialist
Like most people during some point in their life, I struggle to cope with my stress and anxiety. I have spent countless hours scouring the internet for tools that can help me understand and change my anxious thoughts and behaviors into more positive ones. During this search, I happened to stumble upon a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) based book written by therapists, The Anti-Anxiety Notebook. If you struggle with stress and anxiety and haven’t worked through this book yet, I highly recommend it.
In the introduction, the authors make a very good point about how a lot of research and tools have been developed and published about what causes stress and anxiety and how we can manage it, but these tools were never developed and marketed in a way that are easily accessible by the public. While these authors have already created a notebook tool utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, my curiosity had been peaked so I hit up my old friend, Google, to look up the scientific evidence surrounding CBT.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has several core principles but the one I find most interesting is that it can be used to teach people to identify, evaluate, and respond to their stress and anxiety, to change their thinking, mood, and behavior. I am especially drawn to this because this method allows an individual to develop a self-regard that is extended to include a regard for others. By understanding that your thoughts and feelings are not determined by a situation, but by your perception of a situation, you can begin to identify and analyze your thought patterns. This will lead you to change the way you think about a situation, and in time, change your behavior toward the stimulus.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy is by no means an overnight fix and may not work for everyone. However, if applied correctly, it can help many people suffering from a range of problems, including but not limited to depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug use problems, marital issues, eating disorders, and even some mental illnesses. The application for CBT seems endless, mainly because these techniques are so universal but can easily be molded to fit the specific needs of an individual’s diagnosis.
I am now looking forward to my personal journey with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, as I work through The Anti-Anxiety Notebook… and who knows, maybe another CBT blog post is in our future!