Understanding CBT

picjumbo.com_IMG_6106For those who don’t know, CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

My counselor advised me to begin practicing CBT during a time when I was experiencing several severe panic attacks throughout the day. The process looks simple on paper, but can be challenging in that it forces us to face our self-defeating thoughts/habits head on and change them. The goal is to “re-frame” these negative thoughts, thus altering the way we think when faced with a tough or unpleasant situation.

The basic CBT process involves:

  1. Identifying the specific thought or situation that triggered your anxiety.
  2. Describing the emotions you feel, rating their intensity BEFORE and AFTER the process of re-framing (on a scale of 1-10).
  3. Listing your automatic negative thoughts.
  4. Providing evidence in favor and evidence against these thoughts. You’ll find many times that the reasons against such thoughts outweigh the reasons in favor.
  5. Asking yourself, why is this thought wrong or distorted?
  6. “Re-framing” the previous negative thought into a positive, reasonable statement that you believe. Rate it.

And that’s all there is to it! Here’s a link to the worksheet I use to guide me through the process. I hope this helps you all!

Until next time,
Tanasia K. ❤

Have you been kind to yourself today?

Well, have you? If not, here a few positive, reaffirming thoughts to tell yourself throughout the day. Negative self-talk can be detrimental to our mood and mental health. So be kind to yourself today and trade out those self-defeating thoughts for a few of these:

  • “I am worthy and a good person.”
  • “Look at how much I have accomplished, and I’m still progressing.”
  • “I know I will be okay no matter what happens.”
  • “I’m not responsible to make other people okay.”
  • “Don’t sweat the small stuff – it’s all small stuff.”
  • “My past doesn’t control my future.”
  • “I choose to be happy.”

These are just a few of my favorites. What are some reaffirming thoughts you tell yourself when feeling down? Feel free to comment below!

Sending love and happiness,
Tanasia K. ❤

Mindfulness & Why You Should Practice It

picjumbo.com_HNCK9713When I started therapy over 6 months ago, my counselor introduced me to the concept of mindfulness. What is mindfulness you ask?

He described it as taking the time to stop those racing thoughts and simply live in the moment. Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings at that point in time, without judgement. Take in anything and everything that surrounds you.

Take notice of  your 5 senses; What do you see? Can you hear anything? Smell anything delicious? What about taste or touch sensations?

Simply taking a minute to quiet your mind and appreciate the idea of being present can have profound effects on your mental well-being. Mindfulness meditation is good for:

  • Increasing positive emotions, reducing negative ones
  • Strengthening our immune systems
  • Concentrating
  • Coping with the stress of daily life
  • Improving brain chemistry

So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, go to your safe place for a little mindfulness meditation (:

I hope this helps!

XOXO,
Tanasia K. ❤

Source:
http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/mindfulness/definition

Remedy your anxiety one sip at a time

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I don’t know about you guys, but I LOVE drinking tea! (Sorry coffee lovers). There’s nothing better than curling up on the couch with my snuggie and a piping hot cup of tea at the end of an anxiety-filled day. So when I found out that certain teas can help fight the symptoms of anxiety, of course I was stoked.

Below is a list of my favorite teas to sip on when I’m feeling a little anxious.

  1. Chamomile Tea: Known to calm the stomach and reduce mild anxiety. My favorite brand of chamomile is by Celestial Seasonings. Just add a little honey and enjoy!
  2. Green Tea: The flavor is definitely one to get used to, but I always add a bit of sugar or honey to sweeten it up. This tea is best known for its high antioxidant content but also contains theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation. Some green teas contain caffeine however, so make sure to pick up the decaf kind if you want to wind down.
  3. Passionflower Tea: Contains chrysin, which is known for its anti-anxiety properties. I like to enjoy this tea iced, rather than hot. My favorite brand is by Tazo.
  4. Sleepytime Tea: A calming blend of tea that contains chamomile, spearmint, lemon grass, tilia flowers, blackberry leaves, orange blossoms, hawthorn and rosebuds. Oh, and it’s caffeine free!
  5. Peppermint Tea: Anxiety keeping you up at night? The menthol in peppermint tea can help relax muscles and relieve tension, making it easier to fall asleep.

What kinds of tea help reduce your anxiety? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Tanasia K. ❤

Sources:
http://www.naturalnews.com/043048_herbal_tea_anxiety_relaxation.html
http://www.celestialseasonings.com/products/herbal/sleepytime-classic
http://www.doctoroz.com/article/best-teas-stress-and-anxiety
http://archives.deccanchronicle.com/121204/lifestyle-health-workplace/article/how-peppermint-tea-can-help-anxiety