How to Practice CBT at Home
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is a form of therapy that can be easily integrated into your life and help with a wide range of conditions. At Dr. Messina & Associates, we have a team of psychiatrists and therapists that practice CBT for anything from OCD and anxiety to eating disorders and depression. CBT concentrates on understanding the cognitive functions and thought patterns of an individual as well as the behaviors that occur as a result of these processes. CBT aims to improve negative thoughts and behaviors through an abundance of different techniques, such as mindfulness, relaxation methods, and reframing. Some wonderful things about CBT are that it can cater to the unique needs of various clients so that the benefits are not missed by anyone, and it can be practiced outside of therapy sessions, too. If you are curious on some methods of how to practice CBT at home, we have you covered.
Fully Focus on Your Thoughts
CBT requires an intense focus on the thoughts that come to mind throughout the day. A fantastic way to practice CBT at home is to make a conscious effort in watching these thoughts and catch any that are not conducive to the behaviors you would like to alter. Journaling or keeping some form of thought record is definitely a productive way to keep track of one’s thoughts throughout the day. Being aware and writing down anything that comes to mind during the day forces one to always be present and with their attention on their thought patterns. This practice can help train the mind, and over time it will become a lot easier to consistently stay present with the thoughts and evaluate them. You will be able to more logically understand the various thought patterns after doing this for some time, which has the ability to help exponentially in the process of healing and overall advancement in your life.
Schedule Your Day with Manageable Tasks
An awesome way to incorporate CBT into your daily life is to plan your day out with small, manageable tasks that will not overwhelm you. Going into your day with such intentions will make you more likely to successfully accomplish everything you set out to do, and you can slowly build the quantity of tasks up over time. What you plan out for your day does not even have to be inherently “productive,” but instead can be a few enjoyable things that you can look forward to and will take pleasure in getting done. Making arrangements for your day is a huge first step that may be initially overwhelming but taking the day little by little will feel much more doable and will allow you to work your way up into being more comfortable with gradually accomplishing more responsibilities. Working this CBT technique into your life can help you create better daily habits and reduce the negative thought patterns that you are making the effort to modify.
One of the many facets of CBT includes different relaxation techniques, such as breathwork and meditation. Incorporating these techniques into your day-to-day life is an excellent way to work in CBT outside of your therapist’s office, and you will likely really enjoy these methods and look forward to doing them as much as possible. Relaxation techniques are more effective than you might even think, and they can really diminish the overall anxiety and everyday stressors that may make an appearance. Concentrating on deep breathing exercises when anxiety may arise is indeed extremely powerful. Deep breathing has physiological effects on the mind and body that can diminish anxious sensations and stress a significant amount. Muscle relaxation exercises have also proven to have wonderful effects on anxiety. Progressive muscle relaxation is the process of mindfully contracting and then releasing the various muscle groups while focusing on breathwork to induce a deeper sense of peace and relaxation. These CBT techniques can thankfully easily be utilized practically anytime, anywhere.
Reframe Your Thought Patterns
Reframing is a crucial part of CBT, and it can absolutely be worked on at home during your own time. The whole purpose of CBT is to modify and replace the negative thought patterns and behaviors that may be occurring with positive ones, and reframing is the process of doing so. With reframing, one’s emotions, life experiences, and views of the world are deeply observed and challenged. Learning how to reframe and restructure the mind patterns can take place with your therapist in sessions and then applied in everyday life situations so that it can have the highest effectiveness possible. Identifying the situations you may find yourself in, analyzing your response to them, and observing the thoughts you have as a result are the first steps when it comes to reframing the mind. Reframing has the potential to be highly effective when utilized and regularly practiced and is a major key in cognitive behavioral therapy. Altering the thoughts and mental responses from a negative perspective into a more positive light has the opportunity to make the world of a difference in anyone’s life.
Cognitive behavioral therapy has shown time and time again the effectiveness and advantages that it can bring to the individuals that incorporate it into their lives. While CBT is used to help a wide variety of mental health conditions, really anyone can benefit from the many different techniques that exist within this form of therapy. Some forms of therapy are best when they are only used while in session with your personal therapist, but thankfully CBT has plenty of facets that make it up and integrate easily into the lives of many. When CBT is taken seriously and applied to the daily routine of your life, the positive outcomes increase significantly and will change your life in an absolutely beautiful way.
If you are looking to take the step towards a healthier mentality, we are ready to walk that journey with you. We have a team of psychiatrists, therapists and psychologists that specialize in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and medication management. Our team of compassionate and skilled professionals is available for in person appointments for patients in the DFW area. We also offer online appointments for patients in the Austin, DFW, Houston and San Antonio areas.