CBT stands for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Among its very effective tools, the fundamental principle of CBT proposes that our thoughts affect our emotions, which affect our behaviors. On a good day, it looks something like this: I think to myself “this isn’t that hard,” so I feel “confident,” “interested” and/or “able,” which motivates me to pursue or give it a try. However if it’s one of those days when the negative self-talk is at its loudest, then the relationship between our thoughts, emotions and behaviors can be very unhealthy. Imagine a day where you think to yourself “I won’t get the job, there are so many people better than me.” These thoughts lead to feeling anxious, scared, and/or doubtful. You are now more likely to delay or avoid an action or a decision. This relationship helps to understand that behind unhealthy behaviors or intense emotions lay unhealthy, illogical, or rigid thought patterns. If we start to identify and challenge our thinking, we will find new ways to manage our emotions and change our behaviors.
The key here is to understand and recognize the power of thoughts, and more specifically the power of words that makes up our self-talk. We can chose words that can help us think in a way that is healthier, more flexible and more rational. What are these words? They are called Positive Affirmations. Telling yourself at the end of a long day “I have done the best I can” or beginning a day with a thought such as “I am thankful for what I have” can bring sense of strength and/or contentment. These feelings can bring out the best in all of us. So pay attention to your inner talk! Check in with the words you use. Are you being kind to yourself and your biggest supporter or are you being your own worst enemy?