Top ways to improve mental health

Mental health comprises such factors as your self-awareness, the way you cope with feelings, how you deal with relationships, and your attitude to difficulties.

No person can boast of not experiencing emotional or mental health problems, but fortunately, some techniques can improve your well-being, and one of them is CBT and cognitive behavioral therapy.

What is cognitive behavioral therapy?

CBT is a talk therapy that can last from a couple of weeks to several months. It focuses on the problems a person is facing at a particular moment, and the main idea behind it is that negative thinking inevitably leads to experiencing disadvantageous feelings and performing negative actions.

When working with a therapist, one can learn how to channel unfavorable thoughts into more positive ones. At a CBT session, you will be dealing with current emotions and will get strategies that you can start using right away.

CBT techniques

There are nine most common CBT techniques that therapists practice with their patients.

Let us look at them so that you know what to expect from the therapy in case you decide to schedule a session with a CBT specialist.

  1. Role-playing

This technique allows you to play-act various scenarios before facing an expected difficulty. With role-playing, you can improve communication skills and problem-solving skills, become more assertive, and become familiar with certain situations.

  1. Behavioral experiments

These are especially helpful in fighting anxiety disorders. Before you get down to a task that evokes the feeling of scare and anxiety, you make predictions about what might happen. Afterward, you compare the predictions to what actually took place.

  1. Reducing stress and practicing relaxation

It is obvious that stress can become the cause of mental health problems, so it can be a good idea to minimize it. During a CBT session, your therapist will teach you to do breathing exercises, relax muscles and visualize.

  1. Scheduling an activity

You may deliberately postpone doing some tasks, but if you get them on your calendar, you are likely to bring yourself together and get rid of feeling frustrated.

  1. Reframing and restructuring

If you always expect the worst or overthink minor details, you may benefit from learning how to reframe negative thoughts into more positive ones with the help of guiding questions. This technique also works well if you have the habit of overgeneralizing things.

  1. Exposure

This therapy is used when we need to work with our phobias and fears. You will be gradually exposed to what triggers your fear, but at the same time, a therapist will be helping you to cope with the situation at the moment.

  1. Recording thoughts

You are asked to keep a journal of your negative emotions, which you experienced between the sessions, and how you managed to apply positive thinking to change your attitude to the situation.

  1. Guided discovery

Guided discovery allows you to put things into perspective and to look at the situation from different angles. Your therapist will challenge you with questions that might cast a shadow on your beliefs and assumptions.

  1. Step-by-step approximation

This is about breaking down a big task into smaller steps you need to take to give you enough confidence to start doing it.

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