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Making a half empty glass, half full

 article about cognitive therapy
2010-05-19 07:29:59
A lack of confidence can breed a vicious cycle. The more you ruminate over the topic, the more depressed and often insecure you can become about it.

Counsellors and psychiatrists can be paid to help alleviate and prevent further decline as can myriad books. However, most of us don't have the time to indulge in such expenses and time draining activities no matter how beneficial it may be.

Thankfully, TheCheers.org have compiled the basis of cognitive therapy for you and some basic tactics to keep distorted thought processing at bay, leading you to a, hopefully, happier, more fulfilled time.

Cognitive Therapy
Personal values and beliefs determine the way we interpret situations which then subsequently determines how we perceive ourselves and our self esteem levels. Helpful thoughts allow for flexibility in your experiences and thus enable you to maintain your self-respect. However, many people adopt thoughts that have rather adverse reactions on their self esteem. Five of the most common beliefs adopted are:

1) I must prove that I'm worthwhile through my achievements
2) I must do things perfectly or not at all
3) I must have everyone's approval and make everyone happy all the time
4) I need to be loved by another to be worthwhile
5) The world must be fair and just

"
Cognitive therapy is based on the premise that all humans are worthwhile simply because they exist.
Cognitive therapy aims to reshape these negative thought processes. In order to reshape thoughts, we must first recognise our worth is not based entirely on what we do and often we do not receive what we want and often deserve. Mistakes should be used as lessons not perceived failures by exaggerating or magnifying the incident. Decide what is important in your life and set ultimate, realistic goals that are flexible. Remind yourself to be patient and keep your ultimate goals in mind. Try to recognise your automatic negative thoughts and challenge them as distortions and reshape them into logical thoughts based on concrete fact and reassert your self-worth. Cognitive therapy is based on the premise that all humans are worthwhile simply because they exist. Try to block futile attempts at proving your worth through achievements and instead embrace the present.

Olfactory securities
Olfactory securities are basically scent therapy or even simpler smells that can calm you down. Naturopaths have been using herbal blends to treat various physical conditions such as headaches, muscular pains, indigestion, acne. Scents, however, can also be used to calm, de-stress and relax us, allowing us to rethink our position from a more rational perspective. Naturopaths can often diagnose specific blends for individuals. However, lavender and lavender blends are often very effective as is rosemary. Lavender oil is inexpensive and often readily available in $2 shops or markets as is incense, candles, body lotions and soaps. If you're not growing your own lavender or rosemary bush and crushing some in between your fingers is also economical in the long run.

Distraction tactics
Emotional reasoning distorts our actual situations. When we feel "down" through automatic emotional reasoning, we automatically assume we are "down". We do not perceive a realistic interpretation of the event and often strip ourselves of our esteem. Distraction tactics are useful as they provide time to allow for emotions to pass so we can ride out the wave of emotion and reach a more reasonable outlook on our situation and actions and responses. Distractions tactics are easy to do and are also cheap.

Try:
# Colouring in colouring books
# Putting on some of your favourite music
# Take up a hobby such as an instrument, art, photography etc
# Go and talk to people (even if you don't want to, not about the subject, its beneficial)
# Take a walk in fresh air or do some exercise as the body releases endorphins that not only relax and de-stress the body but make it happy
# Wash your face with cool water
# Counting to 10 slowly breathing in then out on each count

Touch therapy
There is nothing like a hug from Mum or significant other or a massage from a masseuse with magic hands. Physical contact can often speak exceedingly louder than words. However, often we do not have other people around when we 'need' this contact and reassurance and even more often we don't want another person's physical reassurance simply because it is often mistaken or distorted into perceived pity. Investing in some massage oil or moisturising lotion is an easy way to not only treat the body to a DIY massage, but also allow for an appreciation of our body and distract us from any negative thinking.

While it is impossible to universally match strategies to every individual, these mentioned have been tried and tested positively, with studies showing that after 12 weeks, 40 people on Tofranil and 40 using cognitive therapy, those using cognitive therapy had effects as efficient as Tofranil, often displaying more long lasting effects. Self esteem is as it literally says. Self= Individual, Esteem= perception, appreciation. Self esteem a healthier approach and appreciation of one's body, mind and meaningful existence. We shape our lives not those around us and consequently, we should shape ourselves and our own minds, not our peers and societal pressures.




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