Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thinking Your Way to Happiness

Cognitive Triangle via Ellen's OCD Blog
Cognitive Triangle via Ellen's OCD Blog
During my weekly drive from Columbia to Springfield for the last few weeks I have been listening to one of the Great Courses by Professor Jason Satterfield on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. While the practices described in the course were originally developed as a treatment for depression and other mental illnesses, they can be useful for anyone interested in improvement and change.

Most people would like to feel happy and avoid unpleasant emotions like fear and doubt. But it is almost impossible to control emotions directly. Instead, our feelings and emotions result from our thoughts and actions. Cognitive Behavior Therapy teaches that the best way to change our feelings is to change the way we think about situations.

In his course, Satterfield outlines a number of tools and techniques that can directly affect our thought processes therefore indirectly influencing how we feel. He teaches that it isn't important whether our thoughts are true or false or good or bad. What matters is whether or not they are helpful in moving us toward the change we want to make and the way we want to feel.

How do you want to feel today?

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