You may be unsure why you feel bad, down and anxious or just unable to do the things that you feel like you should. You may be feeling stuck or scared and not sure why, or have trouble getting out of bed in the morning for “no reason.” You might lie in bed at night, wishing for the spinning thoughts in your head to stop so you can fall asleep. You may be distracted at work or in your relationship, unaware that your negative thoughts are to blame.
You may feel persistent worry or anxiety and believe that it’s just the way you are. You may feel sad or depressed, angry or fearful, irritable or ashamed. These feelings are sneaking under the surface and running your life without your permission!
Maybe you do not know how important your thoughts are or how instrumental they can be in shaping the way you feel and behave. Thinking about the way you’re thinking can be hard and confusing, but the truth is that, until you do, your unconscious thoughts can run your life. The thoughts you think, your inner dialogue, determines what you do and how you feel. Perhaps you notice a lot of angry or emotionally disconnected people around you, and you sometimes wonder if you’re the crazy one because you can tell this doesn’t feel right. Maybe you’re not sure why or what to do about it.
Negative Thinking Is Common and Contagious
Many people struggle with unconscious automatic thoughts, and they can be very hard to recognize, especially if this kind of thinking is all around you, among your family, friends or coworkers. If it’s just the way it’s always been and everyone around you is the same, it can be difficult to know that there’s a different way.
Not being aware of what you’re thinking about and/or believing thoughts that aren’t true or helpful can cause a great deal of pain and unhappiness. Many times, unconscious thoughts or beliefs are guiding our actions and we don’t even know it! They can also sometimes make you do things that don’t actually line up with your values.
Limiting thoughts are strong and can be disguised to feel very real. Here are some common examples:
- “You don’t know what you’re doing.”
- “You’ve never done that before, why would it work now?”
- “You can’t do that!”
- “You need to keep everything to yourself.”
- “You should be angry and punish this person”
These thoughts can become all-consuming and prevent you from pursuing your goals and becoming the person you want to be. If you’re reading these words, however, part of you knows that it can and should be different for you. You don’t need to be a victim to old thoughts. You can make a change. I’m here to help.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Can Show You That You Don’t Have to Believe Everything You Think
Yes, it’s true. Many of your thoughts aren’t necessarily based on actual facts.
Oftentimes, past programming gets in your head and can feel like the truth and “just the way it is.” You may not even realize that you have options, you are in charge and it can be different. You have a choice over what you think about, and the ability to shift into a more peaceful productive place. You don’t have to stay stuck in a loop of worry, fear or sadness.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a time-proven, research-based method that can help you to identify some of these old scripts running in your head and shift them to something more helpful and usually, more true. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been shown, over and over again, to help people change their unproductive thoughts and behaviors and help them live more enjoyable lives.
In our sessions together you will learn how to become more aware of which thoughts are causing you worry, fear or sadness, and how to let them go. You can develop methods to focus on the present and skills to shift your thoughts that will last the rest of your life.
Brain science research continues to show us that our brains are “plastic” or changeable, and the thing that can change them is our conscious attention. What we think about grows. What do you want to be growing in your brain? Fear, worry, sadness or anger? Or would it be nicer to grow a more peaceful, loving, happy, content brain? You are in charge!
With help and support, you can learn some simple ways to shift your thoughts. You have the power to grow new parts of your brain and let go of the old negative parts that aren’t working anymore.
You may have doubts about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and this whole “changing thoughts” idea…
If these thoughts are in my head, shouldn’t I pay attention to them?
Your thoughts have always been there, and it can feel strange to think about changing the way you’ve always done things. I would just invite you to ask yourself, “Is it possible that some of my thoughts and beliefs are outdated, untrue and getting in the way?” Past conditioning can instill fear based untrue beliefs about yourself and the world. Together, we can discover where they came from and how you can let them go for good.
My thoughts are a part of who I am, right?
Not necessarily. What we focus on grows, so if you have spent years focusing on how fearful you are of spoons for example….the spoon fearing pathways in your brain are oversized from all of that activity, but does that mean a spoon fearer is “who you are?” Kind of a silly example, but you see my point: old beliefs may have guided your past behavior, but if it’s not working for you anymore it no longer has to be part of “who you are.”
This sounds ok, but is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy hard?
Shifting long-held thoughts and beliefs isn’t difficult, but it does take effort and practice on your part. It’s taken your brain many years to develop its current structure, and it will take some time to retrain it. The great news is that brains are changeable over your whole lifetime and you have control over the way you want to change yours!
I invite you to contact me at (206) 799-0936 or send me an appointment request so that you can learn more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and we can begin the process of creating your best life!