November 21, 2017
Mindfulness is a type of meditation that encourages us to step back from what’s going on in our minds and to learn to detach ourselves from it. We’re not trying to silence our thoughts but rather we’re trying to just change the way that we respond to them. Know that your negative emotions are not who you are – they are temporary and they will pass.
You can take mindfulness even further than this when you combine it with CBT. CBT stands for ‘cognitive behavioral therapy’ and one of the biggest parts of this therapeutic approach is something called ‘cognitive restructuring’. Simply, cognitive restructuring means changing the way that you think in order to be healthier, more adapted and even more focused and productive. This creates a two step process: we use CBT in order to identify our thoughts and become familiar with them and then we use cognitive restructuring in order to then change them. But how does one go about this?
There are actually a few methods.
The first step is something called thought challenging. The idea here is to look at the thoughts and beliefs you have and then to challenge those to find out if you should really believe them or not.
The next stage is ‘hypothesis testing’. This is similar to thought challenging except we’re stepping things up a notch. How? By actually testing the theory and seeing if it’s founded in reality. The worst case scenario really isn’t that bad!
There are other tools you can use in CBT too. These include the likes of re-association and other strategies borrowed from behaviorism. Ultimately though, these two methods are the cornerstones of what makes this method work.
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