Change Your Thoughts and Feelings with Cognitive Therapy

I was thinking...

In recent posts, I’ve been talking about the negative beliefs that hold us back from the unconditional well-being within us.  In this post I’ll share a simple way to let go of negative beliefs and feelings that many people find very effective called cognitive therapy. 

Recognize Your Thinking

The first step is to acknowledge that the negative feelings that you are having don’t really come from an external source.  They come from the thoughts that you are thinking.  They come from the habitual patterns of thought that we call beliefs.  You may not even recognize the thought that comes to mind that triggers a negative feeling, but it’s there. 

So, when you’re experiencing a limiting thought and/or feeling a negative emotion, the first step to releasing it is to tell yourself:

This is just a thought I am having.  It is not real.  There are other thoughts I could think in this moment, there are other ways to think about this situation that will make me feel better

Now, this is the essence, the essential step, of the psychological approach called cognitive therapy.  You recognize that your experience of life, of the mind-focused experience of life, which is the dominant human experience for most of us at the moment, will change as you change your thoughts.

At this point, you can simply substitute a different thought, a different way of looking at the situation, and your inner experience, your feelings, will change.  Reach for a more optimistic, positive way of looking at any situation and you will feel better.  That is cognitive therapy in a nutshell.

An Example to Illustrate the Process

So, let’s say you’re dealing with the feeling that you have to be perfect and you’re feeling anxiety that if you make a mistake, something terrible will happen.  It this example, you would acknowledge that your thoughts are creating the anxiety and then look for another way to think about that situation that feels better.  You might tell yourself something like this:

It’s unrealistic for me to think that I or anyone could be perfect all the time and never make mistakes.  Making mistakes is part of the process of learning and mastering something new.  I give myself permission to have fun with this and let go of the pressure to be perfect all the time.  With practice, I will get better and better.  And that’s what I want.

The Power of Your Thoughts

It all begins with recognizing the power of your thoughts to create your internal experience of life.  Once you do that, you will start to feel better immediately.  However, if you’re just giving this idea lip service, you will know it.  You will be telling yourself that it’s just your thoughts that are causing you to feel this way, but you won’t really believe it.  You’ll still feel horrible.  That means there is still a negative underlying belief that you’re holding on to that’s causing your negative emotions.  That’s when you want to use EFT.

In my next post, I’ll talk about how to use EFT to let go of these negative beliefs and reconnect with the source of unconditional well-being with you.

Live your dream.  Your Inspiring Life

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