I’m currently listening to a course on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that I got out of the library. I’m not taking any quizzes or writing any papers, I’m just listening to the recorded course that’s being delivered by Professor Jason Satter.
So I’m not a therapist or anything, I’m just interested in how my mind works.
But if you’ve read any of this blog you know that.
This course is chock full of interesting stuff but here’s one thing that I want to share today.
A central idea of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is the notion that thoughts, feelings and behaviors influence each other. This is called the CBT Triangle or the Cognitive Triangle.
If you think about it for a minute its easy to see how this works. Thoughts influence feelings and vice-versa. Feelings and thoughts obviously influence behavior. What’s not instantly obvious is that behavior influences thoughts and feelings.
But numerous clinical studies and anecdotal evidence shows that the way we behave changes the way we feel and the way we think. Even on a very basic level. Smiling, for example, makes you feel better. Power posing can actually make you feel more positive.
Feelings and thoughts can be strangely intractable. If you want to change your internal life, it may be easier to change your behavior.
And it’s easier to change your behavior with a coach or a sponsor or a partner. Most of us will almost instinctively resist if someone tells us to change how we’re thinking or feeling and, if you don’t want to change what’s in your head, you’re not going to.
On the other hand, you can change what you do at the direction of a coach without wanting to. That change in behavior will influence how you feel and how you think.
For example, if you want to be in better shape you can wait until you feel like exercising and, if you’re like most people, you never will and you’ll never exercise. If you engage a friend or a trainer to tell you to exercise, you will do it and pretty soon, if you’re like most people, you’ll start to like it enough to keep doing it.
More on this soon. Sorry I’ve been away for a couple weeks! Things are going very well and I’m back to daily (week-daily) blogging.