Happiness can be found in our everyday lives with a little practice with where to look. You can use cognitive behavioral therapy for happiness today to alter the way your see your happiness.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Happiness
Gratitude exercises are one of the very best ways to increase your happiness. Take time to be thankful for all the things you have in life and to reflect on what’s going well for you for a change.
If you think this sounds a little ‘hippyish’ then that’s understandable. But this way of thinking is a very effective method that can genuinely transform your life and it’s based on science.
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It’s also very close to the most popular form of psychotherapeutic intervention currently used: CBT. Here we will look at what CBT means and why it’s so effective at improving your mood.
What is CBT?
CBT stands for cognitive behavioral therapy. It is the process of assessing the contents of your own thoughts and how they might be affecting your mental health. Once you start assessing, you may then start consciously going through the process of changing those thoughts.
For instance, if you notice that you are constantly thinking things like ‘I have no money’ or ‘I’m a failure’, it’s not going to be very good for your mood. A therapist would then suggest you identify such thoughts using mindfulness (listening to your ruminations).
Start challenging those negative beliefs and start replacing them with more positive affirmations.
At the same time, CBT can also mean redirecting your attention and focusing on different things.
CBT and Neuroscience
Our brains work by releasing neurochemicals that are appropriate for the experiences we are having. If you’re in an exciting environment with people you love, lots of neurons will fire that you associate with attention, happiness and love – causing the naturally occurring happiness hormones called serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin to rush into your brain.
If you’re in an environment that’s cold, wet, dull and stressful then there will be none of those happiness hormones and instead much more naturally occurring negative hormones called cortisol and norepinephrine making you feel stressed and aggravated.
But it’s not being in those environments that is making you feel that way. Instead it’s being aware of those environments – it’s the firing of the relevant neurons.
Find the thing that is worth being happy about like the cute pigeon crossing the road, or the fact that your favorite program is on tonight. Then you will release more of the happiness hormones, release fewer of the stress hormones, and harness your own cognitive behavioral therapy for happiness.
31 Days to Your Happiness Challenge
Share how you have changed a negative thought to positive thought recently in the comments below.
It’s all about perception and CBT can help you to change that for the better.