You may have heard of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and how it has improved many lives. You’re considering trying it yourself but would like to understand more about it.
CBT is primarily used in conjunction with therapy, but you can learn how to do it independently. This type of therapy focuses on one key aspect: how to transform your thoughts. Most of our anxiety stems from how we react to the people and circumstances around us. With CBT, you can change your thoughts and gain control over your life.
Therapists use CBT to treat various conditions of their patients. A few conditions are addictions, anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. If you go to therapy, your therapist will work closely with you to identify your problems. Once you understand your thought process, you can find solutions using CBT. Then, slowly yet surely, you’ll learn how you see the world in a better light.
To learn about the many benefits of cognitive-behavioral therapy, keep reading. We outline five benefits, in particular, in this article.
1. Provides Hope
Part of defeating thought patterns is that you begin to lose hope. With CBT, you start to have hope again. Changing your thoughts, in turn, helps you realize that things are not as bad as they seem. There are things you can do to manage your addiction or mental illness.
For example, if you’re a recovering alcoholic, you can attend AA meetings. You can also go to a treatment center to recover alongside other people who can support you.
2. Results in Positive Thinking
Positive thinking is challenging, especially when you’ve trained your brain to think one way. Luckily the more you challenge your thoughts; the easier positive thinking will become.
Replacing your thoughts with realistic, positive ones paves the way to recovery. For example, you may be upset with a friend because you feel you did something wrong. They may not have been as engaging during your last get-together, and you’re worried.
Using CBT, you can learn how to change your thoughts during a scenario like this. Reframe your thinking instead of dwelling on what you think you did wrong. It could be your friend was having a bad day, or something is going on in their life that you’re not privy to. So, tell yourself that you’re not to blame even if your thoughts tell you otherwise.
3. Improves Your Self-Esteem
When experiencing a mental illness or addiction, your self-esteem gets worn down. You’re hard on yourself for not being stronger than your struggles. And yet, you should be forgiving yourself and moving forward.
With CBT, you target the issues you are facing. Focusing on solutions instead of the problems gets you to a place of healing and acceptance.
4. Results in Improved Communication
You may be at a loss for words at home and in the workplace due to your mental illness. Plus, it may be challenging for you to complete simple tasks.
As you learn to cope with an illness or addiction, CBT allows you to become a better communicator. As you talk things out with your therapist and apply CBT, you’ll become better at communication. You can become more open with others without becoming defensive or upset.
5. Teaches You How to Relax
Addiction or mental illness makes it challenging to relax and stop feeling anxious. You may find your thoughts go a million miles per hour, and you can’t settle your mind down.
With CBT, you learn to respond to a situation positively instead of negatively. Since you’re able to work through the issues, you’re naturally able to relax. You can relax because it becomes easier to ignore your triggers. The result is you grab hold of that inner peace within you.
CBT is an effective form of therapy that can help you regain your life. Using CBT, your thoughts improve, and you find better ways to cope with an illness. Furthermore, you have a new set of skills you can use moving forward.
You may wish to combine CBT with other forms of therapy. For example, going to AAA and learning CBT may help you remain abstinent. Or, if you have a mental illness, you may want to attend group therapy while learning CBT.
Once you reach the point of recovery, continue to stay on the right path. You can do this by surrounding yourself with positive and uplifting people. You’ll live a fulfilling life with your new thought patterns and excellent support system.