In recent decades, more research than ever before has emerged on how our thoughts affect actions and outcomes. The way thoughts do that is by directly influencing our day-to-day actions. Thoughts, beliefs, and actions act as an engine of reality, fueled by the words we say to ourselves. If you think you are socially inept, your thinking quickly becomes a belief. You will behave ineptly in social situations, at work, at parties, and with friends. Your actions will confirm your original belief that you are socially inept, and now you have “proof.” Because brain science understands how this works, we know why cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is such an effective technique for treating numerous conditions, from anxiety to PTSD to addiction.
If you believe yourself unable to stop abusing drugs and alcohol and berate yourself daily for your failure to become sober, you will continue your unhealthy habits, then say, “See?” But what if that could change? CBT in Colorado at Mile High Recovery Center helps clients transform their behaviors by helping them change their thinking. Want to learn more? Reach out today by completing our online form or calling us at 855.796.2102.
Can a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Program Help You?
The efficacy of CBT is based on its ability to help people completely realign their thinking and, thus, their emotions, behaviors, actions—their very reality. Some of the methods that will help those receiving cognitive-behavioral therapy in Colorado at Mile High Recovery are listed below:
- Step by step muscle relaxation – A practice shared with mindfulness practitioners, this technique involves progressively relaxing one muscle group at a time until the whole body is relaxed. Doing this in a guided meditation format, using a pre-recorded audio of someone walking you through each stage of the relaxation, can help soothe a mind overburdened with anxiety, stress, or nervous unfocused energy.
- Focused breathing – Another technique borrowed from the ancient yogis, mindful breathing, is powerful at calming the autonomic nervous system, lowering heart rate, and quieting the mind. It’s not all about deep breathing. In fact, regular deep breaths are not as effective as steady breaths followed by even longer exhales. When your mind is in a state of rest, you will notice any intrusive thoughts. When they are negative or self-denigrating, you can consciously shift them.
- Keeping a journal – One way to track your dysfunctional thoughts and harmful beliefs is by writing them down. In a CBT journal, you make a note of when a thought arises, what triggered it (if anything), how you reacted, how it made your body feel, and anything pertinent to your experience. You’ll notice patterns emerge, and as you go, you can work to change and adapt your thinking. Over time, you will see the journal entries reflect healthier patterns.
- Behavioral activation – Sometimes, changing behavior or even taking any action at all can seem impossible. This technique is about consciously activating behavior you choose to exhibit rather than the automatic behaviors that don’t serve you or actively harm you. If you no longer want to stay in bed too long every day and end up being late for work, follow a step-by-step action plan. When your alarm goes off, and you think, “I’m too tired; I can’t get up,” tell yourself, “Just sit up and push the blanket off.” After you do that, say, “Put your feet on the floor.” You activate micro-behaviors one at a time. Eventually, you are brushing your teeth, putting on a sock, then another, and pretty soon, you are on the bus headed for work, arriving on time. If your mind only has to hold on to one small step at a time, it seems manageable. The whole morning routine is overwhelming until you have practiced behavioral activation for a few days, and suddenly the actions come more fluidly and feel less exhausting or daunting.
You will learn and practice other more directive, multi-step techniques in CBT with your therapist. The above are some you can try now, even if you haven’t reached out to Mile High Recovery yet.
Learn More About Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in Denver at Mile High Recovery Center
Mile High Recovery’s professional staff of therapists and counselors uses CBT to address their clients’ addiction and mental health challenges. The beauty of CBT is that it meets you right where you are. Because you and your therapist are dealing with your thoughts, beliefs, and actions, it is 100% personalized to your precise needs.
You will learn techniques like those listed above and many more that you can do during treatment and after discharge. CBT is a goal-oriented, time-limited therapy that can profoundly motivate positive change as you walk the path of recovery. Let Mile High help. Reach out today by calling 855.796.2102 or using our online form.