Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has become an increasingly popular term over the years. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is used to help people who may be suffering from psychological disorders. CBT does this by helping people change the way they think and focusing on more positive and uplifting thoughts as to not fall back into toxic mindsets and behaviors. In this article, we will briefly explain how CBT works and how it can help people with varying psychological disorders.
The premise behind Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is that people have a connection between their thoughts and the way they feel. The way you think about an event, a conversation, or anything else directly relates to how you feel about it. That being said, someone who is suffering from anxiety or depression generally has negative thoughts about themselves and things around them. These thoughts can pile on top of each other giving way to more and more negative thoughts about everything else. The same piling-on process is why it can be extrem,emly difficult for someone who is experiencing depression or severe anxiety to get out of the headspace that they are in. This internal dialogue that people have with themselves can be altered to focus on more neutral and positive things to counteract the negative neural networks.
To understand CBT one must understand neural networks. Neural networks are literally networks of brain cells that surround a certain understanding of something. We all have a neural network for cats, or for fried chicken, or coffee. Whichever thing you are thinking about in that moment is the neural network that you are in. An interesting fact about neural networks is that they can be strengthened or weakened depending on how much time and effort is put into them. The strengthening and weakening of neural networks is the foundation of cognitive behavioral therapy.
Through CBT people can engage in positive behaviors that will help them decrease the strength of negative neural networks and increase the strength of positive ones. This process can be tricky and lengthy because a lot of the process has to be followed up by the person receiving treatment. Meditation is a great way to help strengthen positive neural networks by calming your brain and focusing on something neutral like the breath. Positive reinforcement like keeping a journal, writing down things you’re grateful for everyday will help increase positive thinking and eventually positive emotions.