Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy that helps people recognize the connection between their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, including the influence they have on our lives and how we interact with the world.
Mindfulness for Stress and Anxiety
Overcome Anxiety with CBT and Mindfulness Practices
CBT can also help people who suffer from anxiety, especially when coupled with mindfulness principles. Today we’re going to explore how this approach can help you adjust your thoughts to have a direct, positive influence on your emotions and behavior.
What is MCBT?
While CBT-based forms of therapy have been practiced for some time, the idea of combining this therapy with dedicated mindfulness is a relatively new concept. We call this method MCBT, and with it you can “learn how to use cognitive methods and mindfulness meditation to interrupt the automatic processes” that often trigger feelings like depression, anxiety, and stress.
In a counseling setting your therapist might help you learn how to recognize what triggers your stress. Then, they’ll help you learn how to help you understand that you are not your thoughts, emotions, and moods. Many people feel “liberated” from their negative thought patterns once they successfully learn how to do this.
How mindfulness contributes to CBT
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a tool that you and your therapist can use to help you cope with your thoughts and emotions. Mindfulness is a skill that you can cultivate and practice in your life, every single day, and you can get started immediately.
Where your anxiety and stress are concerned, the goal of mindfulness is, “developing the skill of non-judgmental awareness and acceptance of present-moment experience, including all of the unwanted thoughts, feelings, sensations, and urges that are at the heart of these conditions.”
Notice that you aren’t accepting these negative feelings into your life with enthusiasm and open arms. You’re simply allowing yourself to recognize that anxiety is part of life, and you’re getting closer and closer to truly understanding why these uncomfortable internal feelings impact your life.
Getting started with mindfulness
Mindfulness is a great addition to the efficacy of CBT. While CBT teaches you to replace negative thought content with more positive thought content, mindfulness helps you accept the mere presence of your unwanted thoughts. Once you accept that these feelings exist, you can then see how these deep-rooted internal perspectives impact your everyday behavior.
Getting started is easy, too. All you have to do is observe what’s happening inside of yourself and in the world around you. Once you’ve become comfortable with the awareness that these observations bring, you might even want to try mindfulness meditation.
If you are interested in CBT or would like to learn more, contact Foundations Counseling today!