As a young mother, I experienced a life of hardships, especially with toxic relationships. Co-dependency was apparent in all my relationships. It was an addiction to a push and pull, love and hate, toxic relationship. What I did not realize that it was actually affecting my children in a negative way. Five years ago, I decided it was time to rebuild myself again. Through the most depressive state when I “lost myself”, I went through many counseling programs. Rebuilding was definitely the hardest thing and doing it as a mother, man that was even more tough! I had no self-love, self-worth, or self-respect. I almost gave up on trying. Until I came across Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It honestly saved my life. Read on to see what 3 pros about Cognitive Behavior Therapy helped save my life.
Google’s definition of CBT, states that this therapy is about changing how the mind thinks and behaves. It takes “negative patterns of thoughts about self and the world, challenges it in order to alter unwanted behavior patterns or treat mood disorders such as depression.”
In other words, it helps change the way you think and therefore changes the behavior towards everything in a more positive aspect. Through CBT, I learnt three valuable things that helps in dealing with negative thoughts and situations.
3 Pros to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
1.) Identifying Triggers
Through CBT, I learnt about a lot of my triggers. In triggers I mean, what things did people say and do that would make me feel sad, or angry. For example, the way people talked to me, made me feel insecure. I instantly felt attacked which triggered my anger to explode. I grew angry for no reason at all. But I just yelled, and I found so many unnecessary reasons to yell ALL DAY. Just being triggered by their tone of voice was enough to put me in a bad mood all day.
What CBT does is identify those triggers and help you understand where they stem from. From there, you can understand why behaving in such a negative way was a form of communicating. It is clear that triggers play a lot with emotions. Identifying them effectively to avoids negative consequences. Not sure you can do this face to face? Click here to learn more about online therapy choices.
2.) Understanding the Thought Processes
Thoughts play a huge role in every decision you make in life. What you don’t realize is that these thoughts can affect how you behave as well. Understanding why I was so attracted to toxic behavior was due to my thought processes. Which was apparent even through my childhood. It was my values and the basis of my reality.
So, the second step I had to learn was to alter these thoughts into a more positive aspect. What I knew about love, joy, pain, suffering, anger, hate had to be changed. “How could I change these negative thoughts into a positive light?” and “What made me happy?”- were the biggest questions to reflect on. This was a self reflection technique.
Understanding your thought processes can help in dealing with negative solutions better. Although, it may not be an instant reaction. Overtime with practice the reflection technique will become part of nature. Everything negative you think about, you will eventually have the ability to understand, empathize, and move forward positively.
3.) Lastly, Changing Behavior
Once I figured out my triggers, and I had the will to change the way I thought. My behavior began to alter. I executed all my new beliefs and tested them until they became a part of me. Of course, everything was a trial and error. Thoughts affected my behavior towards people and situations. When I was angry, I use to lash out and just be mad at the fact. Now when I’m angry, I sit down reflect and gear my energy towards more positive things to do that would benefit me. I picked up fitness as my go to for my anger problems. Working out my stresses through daily cardio and the resulted in me being fit. My mental health was restored, and I gained more self-esteem, respect, and worth.
Being able to change your behavior into a good one is like breaking a bad habit. It takes a certain amount of time and energy to get out of this fixed mindset to break free for more open positive concepts. Changing one bad behavior overtime can lead to a lifetime of positive results.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy was the best therapy I had ever taken. Of course, it was not something that worked overnight. But in the past 5 years I have been able to practice the techniques that were taught to me. I identify triggers more quickly and find alternatives to dealing with a bad situation more effectively. Best of all, I value myself more than ever and my children see that. It’s rewarding rebuilding yourself into a more positive light, for me my kids gave me the strength to move forward with the decision. I couldn’t bare the idea that one day they may possibly be living the same fate I did. The reinventing of myself did not just model becoming mentally stable and healthy, but it also model resilience – the ability to fall and get right back up!
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