“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” -Viktor E. Frankl
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) teaches us that our thoughts create our feelings and our behaviors. Think about that for a minute. We really cannot feel an emotion (sad, mad, happy, annoyed, scared, etc.) without first thinking something. Many people accept that they are responsible for their behavior, but very few people accept that they are also responsible for their feelings. They think their feelings are some wild, out-of-control thing that cannot be controlled and because they are feeling an emotion, well, then, it must be so. How wonderful and encouraging it is to learn that you can have power over your thoughts and feelings!
When you have thoughts that are negative, self-defeating or anxious, begin to notice those thoughts. Then take a moment and tell yourself to stop and recognize that you can replace these irrational thoughts with more rational thoughts and with thoughts of self-control and positivity. It is completely within your control!
This will no doubt be a challenge in the beginning. However, the more you practice replacing those negative thoughts with rational, positive or inspiring thoughts, the easier it will become and eventually it will become a habit. Not only will these more positive thoughts reduce depression and anxiety, they will begin to reflect in your interactions with others.
Focusing on guarding against that negative stream of thought in your mind will allow positive, loving thoughts to flourish. Positive thinking and self-control over your thoughts has the power to change your life and will result in personal growth and bring greater harmony to your life.
Meet Marion, GroundWork Counseling’s CBT Counselor, specializing in working with women, and parents.
To Speak with Marion, or other GroundWork Counseling’s counselors, call us at 407.378.3000