For this exercise, you’ll need to think of a situation that makes you anxious. It should be something you might be able to work up the courage to face within the next week or two. It could be something like calling your doctor’s office for an appointment, going on a first date, or attending a party where you know very few people.
One of the most powerful things you can do to help yourself feel better is to exercise. Even just a short walk around the block can change your mood. If you’re feeling down and you go for a twenty minute walk, chances are that on your walk back, you’ll be feeling happier.
Exercise causes chemicals in your brain called “endorphins” to be released, which make you feel better. The more endorphins get released, the better you feel. That’s why people often refer to exercise as a “natural high.”
When depressed people exercise, they often say that they feel so much better afterwards, even though it was hard to get started. The reason? Because they have more endorphins after exercising.
The good news is that the effects of exercise last a long time—even if you only start exercising 30 minutes a day, 3 days per week–you will see changes in how you feel right away.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that is used to treat mental health issues. It focuses on helping a person change the way they think and act. “Cognitive” refers to thought patterns, and “behavioral” refers to how one behaves or acts in certain situations.
In order to improve your thoughts and behaviors, you must first identify negative thoughts and attitudes that influence your behavior. You can do this by first identifying the situations in which you experience negative feelings or engage in negative behavior. Then, write down the thought or belief that preceded the situation (e.g., I am not good enough). After writing this down, you can begin to challenge these thoughts by evaluating if they are based on facts or false assumptions made about yourself with little evidence for their validity. Once you have identified these false assumptions about yourself, you can then create new statements that are more realistic in nature (e.g., I am good enough).
To practice this exercise, start by keeping track of situations where you feel uncomfortable or anxious. Then record what happened before those feelings arose in order to find any patterns that emerge between your thoughts and emotions (e.g., I felt nervous when I was around my friend because I thought she didn’t like me).
For this exercise, you will be asked to think about a time you felt angry. You will be asked to describe the situation in detail, then to present your interpretations of the situation, and finally to review your interpretations and discuss alternatives.
Your thoughts create your reality. But sometimes, you can get stuck in a pattern of negative or destructive thinking that affects your well-being. That’s why it’s important to challenge and change your thought patterns.
One way to do this is with cognitive restructuring. This process helps you identify and modify the thinking behind automatic thoughts, which are our fast, intense, and almost unavoidable reactions to situations.