CBT | 5 Things I’ve Learnt 

It’s my birthday week!

And what better way to spend it than saying goodbye to CBT and working on the next challenge of my 22 year old life.

I have my last CBT session on Friday, and I always have so much to say to the poor guy, he’s probably going to have a party when I leave.

But, at the end of an era, it’s always nice to have a reflection on how far we’ve come and what we’ve learnt along the way.

1. Right Right Right 

My favourite thing I’ve learnt through Congnitive Behavioural Therapy is to feel less guilty about my feelings.

Throughout the process, I showed fear in other people judging me and reacting wrong to things. But I was quick to pick up the idea that we all have a right to feel; and a right to choose how we react to situations. And with this, we also have to accept that others have this same right.

I think this has resonated with me a lot, and allowed me to be more comfortable from day to day. I feel okay choosing to take myself out of situations that make me feel odd, without the fear of missing out or being judged. I can allow myself to react to things in the way I want, and reinforce that it’s my right to do so. I have learnt to -partially – accept that the way other people react isn’t under my control and cannot be predicted. And therefore we should focus on the ways we handle situations and let others handle theirs.

2. Walk yourself to sanity

I’m not a healthy person. My idea of healthy is three bowls of cereal in the day and some fruit juice.

But, with the sunny weather we’ve been having, I’ve found that I have a much clearer mind at work if I walk there.

The journey is an hour long, and as I already wake up early, it takes no additional energy to get up!

The walk helps me get things done that I might not be bothered to do when I’m home. I write most of my blogs on the way to work, and I think it helps keep me in the present day.

It also links back to the worry tree; I can work through things that need doing on my phone whilst on the way, so I don’t have a day of worrying ahead.

So whether it’s to and from work, on your lunch break, or in the evening after tea, take a productivity walk and see the effects it has on you.

3. Toxic people = Toxic thoughts 

The most heartbreaking thing I had to learn was about the root causes of my anxieties (the strict life rules) and along the way I exposed the toxic people in my life and those who created my support system. It’s a little unnerving to find out those you care about have a negative impact on you, but such is life. And with this new information, I can work to a healthier, better future.

4. Not everything is my fault or responsibility 

I have a very maternal feeling towards my friends. If they’re sad, I’m sad and need to make it better – often making if worse but with the best of intentions. I find it hard to believe someone when they say they’re fine, and ultimately take it upon myself to blame me for why. People lie all the time, so it’s really tricky trying to figure out the truths and how to help. Sometimes people say they’re fine when they’re not, or become arsey with you for any unexpected reason. Which leads me to extreme discomfort levels.

But I’ve learnt to take people face on. To accept what they tell me and not to blame myself or feel responsible.

5. Therapy isn’t easy 

I’ll be honest, sometimes it feels so stupid to go sit in a room and allow someone to listen to all your problems then give you a worksheet that has a ‘quick fix solution’. Because not every situation in our lives are going to be that easy. We are going to worry about things not in our control, and we are sometimes going to struggle to enforce the techniques we have learnt. And unless you’re in a positive and motivated mindset, the methods can seem a little silly and strenuous.

But what I would say is keep going. Chances are, you’re there because  someone thinks it’ll help you. It’s not for everyone but stay open minded and see what it’s like.

I had a horrible pre-established idea of CBT. When I was 16 a doctor told me that the answer to all my problems was just ‘to think happy thoughts’ because happy thoughts mean happy actions and a happy mindset. From that, I’m sure you can imagine, I was not happy about the idea at all!

But give it a try. If you’re scared, use this blog as a guide for the time being. I’ll be hopefully creating an EBook available for everyone as the system isn’t necessarily accessible for everyone.

Let me know how you’ve found this mini blog series and how you cope with your issues!

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