Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT is a therapeutic approach that emphasizes the important role of our thoughts in how we feel and what we do. Primarily developed by merging Cognitive Therapy and Behavior Therapy, CBT is highly effective in treatment of many problems including mood disorders, anxiety, personality, eating, substance abuse, psychotic disorders, insomnia etc. CBT is used for individual therapy as well as group sessions and the techniques can be adapted for self help applications.

Common techniques include
1. Keeping a log of significant events and associated feelings, thoughts and behaviors.
2. Questioning and testing unrealistic and unhelpful cognitions, assumptions, evaluations and beliefs.
3. Testing new ways of behaving and reacting.
4. Practicing relaxation techniques like Meditation, Mindfulness and Breathing Exercises

CBT teaches people to analyze how negative thoughts may be contributing to their anxieties. The basis of CBT is the idea that our thoughts are the cause of our feelings and behaviors, not external factors, like people, situations, and events. The benefit of this fact is that even if the situations do not change we can learn to change the way we think and react.

Mindfulness of Breathing

The main focus in Mindful Meditation is breathing and concentrating on your breath as it enters and exits your body. The objective is a non judging calm awareness that allows the thoughts and feelings to come and go.

For those of you who’d like to experience it first hand, try the below for a few days. You’ll start observing the positive effects within a week.

1. Sit with your legs crossed and a straight spine.
2. Breathe in and out at a comfortable pace without holding the breath.
3. Concentrate on your breathing. Try to feel the air as you inhale and exhale.
4. Let the thoughts, emotions and external disturbances occur. Give them the space to come and go without getting involved.
5. When the mind wanders, make note of it and try to gently get your concentration back to your breathing.
6. Start with a 10 minute daily session and work your way up.

It is natural for your mind to drift away and get caught up in thoughts. There’s plenty in the world to think about and our minds are highly prone to distraction. Slowly get your attention back to your breathing whenever you realize your mind is getting distracted. Mindfulness teaches mind to be aware of itself and and gives us control over our thoughts.

As the saying goes “I think therefore I am”. Our thoughts shape us and our world.

Be Mindful, Be Aware.

Mindfulness with Thich Nhat Hanh

Some words from Thich Nhat Hanh

  • Smile, breathe and go slowly.
  • Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
  • To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.
  • Life is available only in the present moment.
  • Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.
  • When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.

Be Mindful, Be Aware

Mindfulness (Awareness)

It essentially consists of self control techniques and routines like watching your breath.

Conditions like anxiety, OCD, drug addiction and depressions are being successfully treated using Mindfulness techniques with a very low relapse rate. What works the most in its favor however is the simple implementation and low cost factor. It is as much a cure as it is a prevention. Hard to think of anybody who might not benefit from Mindfulness.