Ever feel trapped in a cycle of negativity and find it hard to get back on track? During our 3-day conference, our speakers, Dr. Gary McCalla and Bailey Farren provide attendees with methods to help address these very issues using an introduction to flow state and also Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
The concept behind these programs shows the relationship between our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. When negative thoughts permeate our minds, they can create a cycle that is difficult to remove ourselves from.
Managing thoughts can be tremendously helpful with:
· Addiction and substance abuse
· Anger issues
· Panic attacks
· Post-traumatic stress
The goal is to begin noticing how negative thoughts and programming can be entirely unconscious and create a habit of negative thoughts which in turn create a pattern or cycle that is detrimental. Once we are able to identify the thoughts they can be evaluated to determine if they are unnecessarily negative or helpful to our overall well-being. The next step is to replace negative thoughts with positive, more realistic ones that allow a person to have healthier behavior patterns. Although the brain initially will resist a new message, choosing some positive thoughts to focus on, or simply changing the story we’re telling ourselves can be immensely beneficial.
Steps you can take to increase your chances of success with changing your thoughts and feelings cycle:
· Write down your thoughts and see if you can change some of the messaging to something more positive.
· Practice catching thoughts that are negative and see if they can be reframed. Remember that negative thoughts can be habitual, so be patient with yourself.
· Don’t hesitate to share your efforts with a trusted friend or family member or connect with a therapist who encourages this work to have a good support system.
Dr. Jasmine Shaikh, MD provides an example where CBT could be beneficial:
Cognitive therapy may benefit someone who has lost hope in trying new challenges. For example, let’s say someone feels like they are going to fail anything they try because they failed in the past. This incorrect assumption may hold them back from making progress in life, which only frustrates and depresses them more.
A cognitive therapist can help this person identify what’s wrong with their thinking and help them shift their thinking pattern. Using mindfulness and skills training techniques, they can help their patient live in the present instead of brooding over past experiences:
· Mindfulness focuses on disengaging the person from their constant negative thoughts and paying attention to the present
· Skills training technique helps the person develop skills like problem-solving. To do this, the therapist may give customized assignments to the person and encourage them to finish them.