Counseling Tip: Changing How You Feel Can Be One Thought Away
Does your mind ever run in a circle, and leave you feeling like a hamster running on a wheel? Or, maybe you’re suddenly feeling kind of down, and you don’t really even understand why? Our thoughts are very powerful drivers of our feelings.
In our counseling sessions, part of the work we do together as looking directly at your current thoughts. Many times how we feel has nothing to do with the past, and we don’t necessarily need to even look at it.
Sometimes, we can address how you’re feeling in 8-12 sessions….other times, it can take a bit longer. It really is an individual path.
Many times, we get it backwards and think our feelings drive our thoughts, but it’s really our thoughts driving our feelings. We can get caught in an endless loop, or taken down a path that leads to feeling just awful.
Using cognitive behavioral therapy, we take a look at your thoughts, where they’re coming from, what the first triggering flight was, and then challenging that thought.
For most of us, we don’t really think about what we’re thinking about!
During counseling, we can help you find out exactly where these negative thought patterns are coming from and teach you how to challenge them in an effective, easy way.
One of the things that you can do, is to first be very aware of what you’re thinking. This does take some practice and work, it’s a skill, and just like riding a bicycle you can learn how to do it.
Once you are aware of your thoughts, write them down. They don’t need to be in full sentences or even grammatically correct. That’s not the point. We aren’t grading you here! ;)
Step back, look at the thought, and ask yourself how true it is? Don’t go by how you feel, look for evidence in the thought. Look for the facts. If you need help with this, you can refer back to the WiseMind post.
Most of the time, you will find that you do have facts to dispute the thought. The next step would be to write down another thought that disputes the original thought and is 100% true.
Write down that new thought next to the old thought.
We’d be happy to work with you on this further. Please reach out to us to schedule a counseling session or email us for more information.
Sending our best,
Kevin & Beth