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You should try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

Many of us have been doing it for years. Or we’ve kind of been doing it.

Maybe we’ve been inspired by CBT, but not really enforcing the changes we dream up for our would-be-better selves.

But now CBT is really OUT THERE. As it should be!  Because CBT is AMAZING.

And it’s free.  And it’s not really that hard.

But it’s also not really that easy since you have to move around that big old roadblock formerly known as yourself.

Because seriously, CBT is really effective if you do it well and if you do it daily.

Did you hear the part about doing it ‘well‘ and doing it ‘daily?’

Yeah. That’s the thing.

Since our heads are so good at being poorly behaved on the daily, we have to be even better at implementing CBT practices daily.

CBT is great for managing OCD, Depression, Anxiety, addictions, and all sorts of unwanted, unhealthy and generally unhelpful thoughts and behaviors.

CNN said so in a great piece on social anxiety.

Listen to Selena Gomez.

And the really nice thing about CBT is that you don’t need to learn it all at once. You can just learn a trick or two and your behavior can start changing immediately.

For real.

CBT is really just all about changing from the things you think and do that are NOT helpful (or completely destructive) to new thinking and new behavior that is very helpful and more constructive!

It’s not rocket science.

Today I had a few CBT wins myself.

  • I did a good job of changing the music when a few songs came on that make me mopey or too sentimental. My brain definitely doesn’t need to be encouraged to go to the dark side.  So it’s better for me to automatically change the music to more upbeat tracks when the choices start to go moody.  And today I did a good job of that. I was fast on the skip button. I skipped without a big dialogue in my head. That’s clean CBT for me.  Clean is when I just automatically implement the better behavior without having a dialogue about it in my head.
  • I also did a good job of hearing what was going on in the news and politics without making my day about the news.  That’s always a tough balance, particularly when there are civil rights issues playing out in real time.  But I did a good sweep of the issues I care about today without spending the day getting irate. While there are days that I definitely do get irate, doing so today just wasn’t on the agenda. Thank you, CBT.
  • And keys! I handled my keys well today by always putting them back in a zippered compartment of either my purse or my computer bag,  Checking the location of keys is a big obsession for me, so now I use the shorthand word Zip to remind myself that keys always go in the zipped compartments of purses, computer bags, backpacks, etc. It saves me a lot of looking around and completely minimizes my consideration of other possible locations. I just don’t need to think about where my keys are now. I can check them twice instead of twenty times whenever I’m transitioning between locations or tasks.  Because with OCD, my brain would really love to check all the other places where the keys might have been placed, just in case who knows what may have happened. It’s a compulsion of mine.  If you don’t have OCD, just skip this example.  If you do have OCD, welcome to the party. : )
  • And when I started to talk negative about myself today, I was able to stop it pretty fast. I keep a journal throughout the day to note the highlights and low lights too. And today I can see I warned myself to ‘Watch out for mean brain.’  So I knew my brain was talking negative about me. And I was prepared to not listen. I was prepared to reject negative self-talk. Because I can’t be my Number One Fan and Strongest Advocate if I’m listening to the mean part of my brain that says nasty unsupportive things about me
  • And overall I did a really good job today of challenging irrational thoughts without also conducting an in-depth investigation of how those thoughts came to be. Because I have to be careful about going too far in the opposite direction and feeding my brain’s appetite for obsessive drilling down into the how, when, why of every detail.

Now, if any of that made any sense to you, then you are as crazy as me, I am sorry to say.

And if you want to know more, there are some great links below to resources that will start you on the CBT path.

If you’re still having trouble getting the hang of it, try watching Yes, Man with Jim Carrey,  Try to get the point that to change, you have to actually make a fundamental change in your behavior.

After watching the movie, pick something you want to change or need to change and focus on that for a week.

For Jim Carrey, it was actively saying yes to whatever came along.

I know for me, lately, I have to focus consciously on listening to or watching funny things or else I get too caught up in debates about serious issues. So I might give myself homework to watch three funny things in a day or something like that.

Give yourself homework. But make sure it’s homework you can do successfully.

And be sure to document how it’s going so you can see your progress. Maybe you can get a friend or family to help with some support or accountability.

Good luck and maybe even have a little fun!

I have to go watch something funny now so I can get a treat.

Yeah. I earn my treats.

Don’t say how stupid that sounds. I already know,

But it works.

For me.


xoxoxo, dee (and bella)


CBT on Wikipedia

Beck Institute CBT

The Feeling Good Podcast CBT

My CBT Podcast

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Reality Therapy/Choice Theory

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

SMART Recovery 

Celebrities who have discussed their anxiety disorders


This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Well I guess I am as crazy as you are, because ALL of it made sense! I have dipped into CBT a little, too, and these are great examples. You’re right that it’s not hard to understand, and that little bits/techniques really do help. I don’t have OCD, but I do tend to ruminate. And for what it’s worth, I totally support knowing where one’s keys are at all times.

    1. Yay! Another equally crazy kindred spirit! But I guess we kind of knew that already, right? 🙂

      OMG The keys trick has really made a big difference. I used to think I could remember locations but there were too many locations in too many jacket pockets and backpack compartments. Zip has made it simple every time.

      I think CBT is really good for rumination. I think of it as ‘Get There Faster’ – something I’ll write about soon. I try to skip the investigation into all possible scenarios that could play out if I walk the dog to this street corner rather than that street corner, I try hard to just walk to one street corner or the other and skip the rumination. I try to ‘Get There Faster.’ I battled with that much more before TMS. Now, with TMS, I can actually say ‘let’s skip the investigation into all possible scenarios’ and just pick a street corner to walk to. And now walk to the street corner.

      1. Oh my gosh, all the little decisions and choices, yes! “Do I dare to eat a peach?” I will try out your phrase: “let’s skip the investigation into all possible scenarios”. Distraction is my go-to when I’m ruminating about upcoming important/difficult conversations. I look for something to read that I can get absorbed in. Or the old advice to write it down but not do anything with it.
        Writing down what I want to say also can help to get it out of my head, as if literally transferring it from my brain onto paper or into a text file.

        1. Yes! Writing it down helps immensely!

          I’m really trying to write about “Get There Faster.” It’s my latest trick for reminding myself that I don’t need to go through the whole maze if I can stop it.

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