Introducing CBT to my life

Introducing CBT to my life, mental health, mental health blogger, blogger, CBT, blog post, photography
Introducing CBT to my life

Through my search of self-help techniques that I hope can help me through life and help me in overcoming a few of my mental problems I came across ‘The Anxiety Journal’ that very briefly introduced me to CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and was instantly intrigued by it. (You can read my review of ‘The Anxiety journal’ HERE)

Despite my insistence on doing things on my own from now own, even I am aware I can’t do everything alone and there are times where I do/will need the help of others.

So firstly let’s explain briefly what CBT is

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy also known as CBT for short is a talking therapy that can help many people to manage and cope with their mental/physical problems through thought and behaviour. It is commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but has been known to be useful for other mental and physical health problems.

Due to this being a highly sought out remedy to those who suffer from anxiety and depression, I felt like this was something I needed to introduce to my life and give ago. Everything else I have attempted so far has only led to failure or has led to part failure but I’m not ready to give up, so why not try out CBT? It could be the very thing I’ve needed in my life all along.

Now that we know what CBT is, how does CBT work? Or more accurately, how is CBT meant to help you?

So, CBT is based on the concept that YOUR thoughts, YOUR feelings, YOUR physical sensations as well as actions are interconnected, and through that, negative thoughts and feelings can find a way to trap you in a vicious cycle.

CBT is aimed to help people to cope and deal with their overwhelming problems in a more light and positive way by breaking them down into much smaller parts. CBT helps open your eyes to show you how to change these negative patterns/cycles to help improve the way you feel.

Unlike other talking treatments, CBT deals with your current situation/problems, rather than focusing on all the issues of the past and looks for practical ways that can help improve your state of mind on a day to day basis. (I understand the need for opening up and letting the past out but I also understand that being able to move on from the past you have to stop giving into, stop talking about, thinking about and letting it into the present. For some people only opening that door again will they ever be able to close and lock it forever, but for others like me, I’ve already found the lock long ago and know unlocking and reopening doors will cause more damage than good to my mental state and wellbeing).

CBT isn’t just for those who suffer and want to overcome their anxiety and depression. CBT has been shown to be an effective way of treating a whole range of different mental health conditions as well as in addition to depression or anxiety disorders, CBT has and can help people with the following:

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Eating disorders – such as bulimia and anorexia
  • OCD (Obsessive Compulsive disorder)
  • Panic disorder
  • Phobias
  • PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sleep problems – such as insomnia
  • Problems related to alcohol misuse

CBT has also been used to treat people with long-term health conditions, such as:

  • IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome)
  • CFS (Chronic fatigue syndrome)
  • Fibromyalgia

CBT cannot cure the physical symptoms of these conditions, CBT can help people cope better with their symptoms. Which sometimes it’s all you can hope for, is a little help in coping if you can’t rid yourself of whatever condition you have.

I hope this short explanation of CBT has helped explain what it is and maybe it’s even got you thinking, wondering if this is something that can help you…

As I stated at the top of this post, I have been trying to find as many self-help techniques that I possibly can but even I am aware that help is going to be needed somewhere down the line. you can’t do everything on your own, sometimes a little help is needed if you have any hope or chance of helping yourself.

Accepting help doesn’t make you weak. You’re stronger than most if you are able to seek or accept the help offered to you, most go through life trying to do it on their own in the hopes that no one sees their struggles and to me…that’s weak. It’s easy to hide and pretend, you need some steel hard balls come out of hiding, to accept what’s going on but to not accept that that’s how you are going to live out the rest of your life.

Not hiding your problems and instead choosing to fight them with everything you’ve got…now that’s brave.

I’ll be continuing this conversation on in a different post when I do an update on CBT and how it’s affected/helped me. I’ll be going into more detail about what ABT is, what it does and how exactly it’s meant to help as well as what to expect when attending CBT sessions with your therapist.

The Anxiety Journal

I have lived and suffered from anxiety for what feels to me, to be my whole life, though realistically I’d say I’ve suffered for a good portion of my life from anxiety

I only really noticed my problem when I was around 13-14 years old and found it incredibly difficult to bring myself to school most days. I would be hit with such a strong and intense sense of dread that I would often skip school just to avoid feel that, though with ditching school came a whole new way of different emotions and anxiety. I found it easier to walk the streets alone on my own than I did to attend school.

Back then I didn’t even know what anxiety was, I hadn’t even heard of it to be perfectly honest with you, it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with Anxiety that I even found out what it was. Before that I just felt as though I wasn’t normal, that there was something incredibly wrong with me to be feeling the way I felt. As well as anxiety I was tackling other things at the time too, but I’ll get into them in a later post.

Due to my lack of knowledge and ways to help myself for a long while I suffered in silence, not opening up to a single soul the real thoughts and feeling bursting inside of me. But more than that I have allowed it to over-rule and take over my life to the point where my anxiety dictated every move I made, every decision presented to me, every (platonic) relationship I have ever tried to up hold. The only person my problems haven’t managed to to lose is my boyfriend and really, really close family. Everyone else I tend to lose contact with or fall out of touch with.

In my bid to change my life for the better and healthier, this year I have become almost obsessed with searching/finding self-help techniques, tips and tricks that I can apply to my day to day life. After discovering what anxiety was I had started to do a little research on the topic where I can across a few techniques that can help but not many as that wasn’t my goal for research back then.

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Corinne Sweet – The Anxiety Journal Book review – by: littletinkablee

Now that I have been actively searching new and different ways to help me cope and hopefully one day overcome my overwhelming anxiety. In my search for these self-help ‘remedies’ I came across Corinne Sweet’s book called ‘The Anxiety Journal’ that I instantly purchased from Amazon for as little as £6.62 in July 2019.

The Anxiety Journal – My review

I have happily given Corinne Sweet’s Anxiety Journal a 4/5 star review.

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Corinne Sweet – The Anxiety Journal

I couldn’t really fault this journal, even if I had wanted to (Which I don’t).

I love the cover design and calming blue colour that it’s decorated in. More than the front cover of this journal I also fell in love with all of the simple yet beautiful, effective illustrations that are accompanied by a few insightful and motivational quotes (and if there’s one thing I love, it’s quotes!) so I was pleasantly surprised and happy when coming across some of these quotes.

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The Anxiety Journal by Corinne Sweet – review by Littletinkablee

‘You’re anxiety and fears are not you and… They do not have to rule your life.’

JON KABAT-ZINN

Other than the beautiful illustrations and insightful quotes this journal also holds very helpful, hands on exercises/information.

The Anxiety Journal opens up to an introduction page that very easily and quickly explains what to expect from reading this journal and the ways this journal can help you understand more about anxiety and how it affects the human mind AND body.

The Anxiety Journal also holds a lot of information regarding Anxiety, things that could possibly trigger anxiety and goes further into more details as you progress through the book, even going as far as to explaining how anxiety is linked to panic and panic attacks and possible activities you can do when in moments of an anxiety or panic attack. There are even lined pages where you can jot down your own thoughts and answer some of the questions that the journal asks.

Corinne Sweet, the Anxiety Journal, Anxiety, Anxiety sufferer, mental health, book review, self help, self-help book, self-help, book viewer, blogger, book blogger, lifestyle blogger, Blogtober, October
Corinne Sweet ‘ The Anxiety Journal’ – Book review by Littletinkablee
Corinne Sweet, the Anxiety Journal, Anxiety, Anxiety sufferer, mental health, book review, self help, self-help book, self-help, book viewer, blogger, book blogger, lifestyle blogger, Blogtober, October
Corinne Sweet ‘The Anxiety Journal’ – Bookreview by Littletinkablee

As well as providing useful information and helpful activity exercises, The Anxiety Journal also offers a list of possible symptoms you may experience when experiencing a moment of anxiety and points out the possible triggers that may have kick started your anxiety off.

Corinne explains to use why it is important to accepting what is and the importance of learning to accept what’s to be.

‘It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.’

by: Seneca

Corrine also ventures into the topic of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) which I’ll discuss more on in a future post but I found what she had to say and the information provided to be extremely interesting and set me on a research frenzy.

This was the first book I have picked up, written by Corinne Sweet and I intend on buying and reading her book ‘The mindfulness Journal’ that I’ve heard so many good things about since coming across this author.

The Anxiety Journal has helped me gain a better sense of myself, of the emotions that courses through my body when my anxiety attacks and has helped me find little tips and tricks to help me be more in the present moment and not stuck in the past or hell bent on worry about the future.

This book is incredibly educational, helpful and just full of so many different resources that you can apply to your own daily lives that I find myself going back and forth in the book even to this day. It’s not just a one time read but something that you can open and read through time and time again and see things from a different prospective. I find it incredibly useful to be able to look back and see the little differences in myself since purchasing The Anxiety Journal and applying some of these useful techniques to my day to day life.

Over all, If you suffer from anxiety of any level, no matter how high or low it is then I would 100% recommend this book to you.
If you suffer from panic attacks or have PTSD then I believe that -although this won’t solve all your problems – it can help you through a few difficult moments in your life as anxiety, panic and PTSD are all liked together in some way.

I hope you have enjoyed my long over-due review of Corinne Sweet book ‘The Anxiety Journal’ and if you would like to purchase your very own, then simply CLICK HERE.

Coping with Anxiety Outside

Anxiety is something that has taken over and ruled my life from a very young age, I’ve tried many methods to rid myself of it or lesson the effects and hold that it has on me. There was a time I wasn’t able to leave my house, frozen by anxiety with even the thought of going near a door that lead to the outside world, loosing friends, feeding my depression and making my health both mental and physically terrible.

I’m so happy to say that’s no longer my life. I still suffer from sever anxiety and depression but I am now able to leave the house from time to time for shopping, going out somewhere with my boyfriend and friends, I’m now able to do what I used to love doing most when I was a child (beside climbing and writing), taking walks through nature and exploring old area’s. I know have some control back over my life.

Some techniques have worked where other have failed, none of them have be able to rid me of this however a few techniques have helped me through the worst of my anxiety.

I thought I’d ask the wonderful people on twitter what tricks/ techniques they use to help deal or cope with their anxiety while outside and here were they responses:

Exposure therapy. Smelling lavender oil. I have pills if it gets really bad but my goal is to never have to take them again. – @girl_importance

Oftentimes I’m anxious about failure and disappointment. I tell myself it’s okay if I fail, or if I mess up. Life is too short to be distracted from happiness by success/failure. I have to keep reminding myself to be present with myself, or else I’m quick to forget. – @AGPetersen2

Diaphragmatic breathing. –@MorbidParamour

I use Rescue Remedy. I wrote a post about it. – @Imdatgirlx (CLICK HERE to be directed to her post on Rescue Remedy)

I now feel better, but I suffered PTSD and… the only way I found was to write…It did help. – @KaceyKells

When I start overthinking everything on the earth in my life I take a nap. Not the best advice for serious anxiety but it’s like a little reset button. – @AllieVegas

Make sure I always have some backup little things to ground me. Peppermint, soft-mints, eg, which helps calm guts going into hyper-drive when I’m getting anxious. And I feel an attack coming on, have some safe place songs on my phone & quick free flow writing on my phone notepad. So a lot of stupid little things like that really. So if you have anything you make a routine out of when recovering from an anxiety attack, make a portable equivalent. Also recinnebd Fearne Cotton’s Calm book. There’s techniques in there that have been life changing for me! @Chromosoner

I always found that asking myself this question help to disrupt the anxious thoughts and get you back to being present when you can enjoy the day you’re having. ‘What, at this moment, is lack?’ Think about it deeply and look around at what you’re doing. Bonus tip; Write ‘NOW’ in biro on your finger or hand. Then every time you see it throughout the day, you’ll be reminded to ask the question. –
@_mikearnold

I have started using breathing to help control my anxiety. 4 Seconds in, 7 seconds hold and 8 seconds out. I repeat that until I begin to feel better. It works sometimes, other times it’s a struggle. – @Nyxiesnook

Deep breathing to keep calm – @PagePlacePlate

Trace The image of a square in your head. Breath in for 4 second as you are imagining drawing the top line of the square, hold your breath for 4 seconds as you trace the vertical line down, release breath for 4 as you trace the bottom horizontal line, then hold for 4 seconds. – @Katyroseblogs

I find relaxation helps but mainly practised indoors and regularly to start with. Mindfulness also helps, in my experience. – @Steheadspace

Yoga, Music, Aromatherapy, muscle relaxation. – @Just_Jess_18

My way of coping with my anxiety disorder was to stop fighting my intrusive thoughts and just allow them to run their course. They lost a lot of power over me once I started doing that. – @UnwantedLife_Me

Breaking everything up into time chunks helps me a bunch. – @Valkyriesblog

I would count as many things that I could see that were a specific colour, so how many things can I see, something blue etc. – @RebeccaJGibson

Deep breathing. Affirmations. Visual boards (on my phone/online) – @adwaita_one

Stopping and looking into the distance for something like a tree and then gazing at it with soft eyes and notice what you can see to left and right of the tree without moving your eyes to focus on them. It’s a great technique and distracts you. – @Vampybear

Click their user names to be directed straight to their twitter accounts!

(Click here to be directed to the YouTube video) I really like this GIF to help. – @PagePlacePlate

For me I haven’t been able to find anything that really works for me. I still struggle to leave the house, I’m always with a friend, family member or I usually have my boyfriend by my side talking me through any anxiety attacks that I may get when being outside. He has helped in teaching me to control my breathing at times for the short period of times I am outside on my own for whatever reason so I don’t go into a panic attack.

I also use the Alphabet to control my anxiety during those rare moments I am out alone, repeatedly going through the alphabet in my head until I reach my destination. And I count my step when walking or try thinking about the book I’m currently reading, I try and do anything I can think of that can help take my mind off being outside.

I hope that these tips from other’s who suffer anxiety can maybe help you from time to time. Remember that everyone anxiety levels are different, sometimes it worse for others where it isn’t for some. And not every tip or trick is going to help you, everyone is different and what works for some people may not work for others. That doesn’t mean you are worse off, or can’t be helped. It just means you need to keep trying out different technique that can help you.

If there is anything you’d like to add or have something that wasn’t mention on here please leave it in the comments below, I’d love to hear what helps you! I will also be doing a follow up post on this, adding in any new comments/techniques that you leave in the comment section.

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