DISCOVER YOUR ZEN
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – For Controlling Your Own Thoughts
Now you should be starting to get a better understanding of how your brain works, how all those distractions are negatively affecting it and how you can use meditation and ‘flow’ in order to start taking back control.
But you can go further with this and start engaging in whatever brain state you want at any given time. In order to do this, we’re going to be looking at something called ‘CBT’ or “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.”
So exactly what is this?
What is CBT?
CBT is a psychotherapeutic technique. That is to say that it is a technique used by psychologists when they’re trying to treat patients with anxiety disorders or with mental illnesses. It is a framework that has become very popular and is now the preferred method of treatment on the UK’s NHS and in many other health institutions.
The reason for this is twofold:
- CBT is much more effective than older methods like ‘psychotherapy’ and has been demonstrated to work in a number of studies
- CBT is quick, non-invasive and cost effect It can even be used ‘remotely’ simply by sending the patient homework to try and attempt on their own.
To understand what CBT is, it can be helpful to understand what cognitive psychology and behavioral psychology are individually.
Behavioral psychology is an old-school form of psychology that was big in the 50s. The central tenet here was that all our behavior and thought processes were learned through repetition, association and observation.
The most famous example of behaviorism in action is the study ‘Pavlov’s dogs.’ Here, Pavlov demonstrated that he could get a dog to salivate when it heard a bell, simply by ringing the bell every time it got fed. Eventually, this ‘classical conditioning’ taught the dog to associate the bell strongly with the experience of getting fed.
Behaviorism attempted to explain every single aspect of our psychology this way. For instance, we learn to walk by learning to associate certain sensations with falling and others with success. And we learn our personality through reward and punishment from others.
Phobias and other psychological problems were the result of unhelpful associations forming and these could be treating by creating new associations.
Over time though, behaviorism began to lose favor as it appeared to over-simplify matters. In a strict behaviorist view of psychology, there is no room for our thought processes or our internal experience. What happens when someone plans out an action? What happens when we imagine something happening?
What about intention?
Cognitive psychology added this element and looked at the brain more like a computer with a ‘program’ running. The program is our thought process and we use this to decide what to do and how we’re going to do it.
CBT elegantly combines both these approaches into one unified theory. We still learn through association but this can just as easily occur in our own heads. In other words, if you’re convinced that you’re going to fall off of a height, then you’ll keep rehearsing it happening in your mind and you’ll keep thinking to yourself that you’re going to fall. This alone is enough to create the association and to make us afraid of heights.
So to treat a phobia, CBT will focus on reconditioning and creating new associations, but it does this both physically and through changes to your internal monologue.
TODAY’S ACTION STEPS:
1) You should be exercising according to your planned routine. (You can use the workout plan I provided, if it works for you.) If you’re not ready to go FULL OUT with the workout plan yet…that’s OK. If you’ve been trying out my suggestion of creating a habit, then you may want to add on another step if you haven’t done so yet. Read through the Week 4 – Day 2 module if you’re not sure how to create this “habit chain.”
So…every time you wake up, or finish washing your dishes after dinner, or whatever that regular activity is that you choose as the one to trigger your workouts…put on your workout shoes. (That’s the first link in the chain.)
Then do the next step you’ve been practicing. If your chosen workout is taking a walk after dinner each night, maybe you are heading to the front door and grabbing a jacket. If you want to do a home workout from the exercise plan I’m giving you, then maybe you’re putting on some workout clothes – a top and a bottom. (That’s the second link in the chain.)
NOW, do the next step. (That’s the third link in the chain.) If you plan to go for a walk, just step outside your front door and stand on your porch…and celebrate! If you’ll be doing a home workout, then grab your mobile phone (to access the Fitness App) and stand in your home exercise area…then celebrate! Whatever that next step is just do that. Every day. Every time you put on your workout shoes…AFTER every time you do that trigger activity (washing dishes, waking up in the morning, etc). Remember to celebrate every time you get to the end of this “habit chain.”
If you need a little more time to reinforce those first 2 links in the “habit chain” (e.g. putting on your workout shoes, then putting on some workout clothes), that’s fine. Just keep doing that and don’t worry about adding on right now.
2) If you already completed the Week 2 Workout Plan, then you are doing the Week 3 plan this week. Log in to the Fitness App on your COMPUTER – https://doctorvenus.com/app-login/ – to access the Week 3 Workout Plan.
3) If you already received the Week 1 (and 2) meal plan, then the Week 3 (and 4) meal plan has been uploaded to your Fitness App. You should be going through the Week 4 Meal Plan (which is the same as Week 3) now.
4) Do a sitting meditation for 5 minutes. Spend the 5 minutes sitting in a quiet space. Just relax with your eyes closed. No goal. No stress. The plan is to do this every day.
5) If you have any questions about anything…let me know in the Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/discoveryourzen/
Previous ACTION STEPS:
(Not a complete list, but some important highlights.)
1) Log in to the Fitness App on your COMPUTER – https://doctorvenus.com/app-login/ – and go to the FORMS tab. If you haven’t completed the Client Agreement form and the PAR-Q form from Day 1’s ACTION STEPS, do that today and sign them. Be sure to click SAVE when you’re done. (You can not receive the meal plan and workout plan when they are released until we have those completed forms on file.)
2) If you haven’t done so yet, send an email to team@DoctorVenus.com and state whether you want a vegetarian or non-vegetarian meal plan. It will be sent to your Fitness App by the next day.
3) If you haven’t done so yet, send an email to team@DoctorVenus.com and let me know whether you want an exercise plan for weight loss (focused on burning calories) or for building/maintaining your mass. So you just need to indicate whether you want a BURN or BUILD program. It will be sent to your Fitness App by the next day.
4) Download the Set Your Goals Checklist and complete it. CLICK HERE to download.
5) Download the Program Planner that you can start using, if you wish. CLICK HERE to download.
6) Download the Kitchen Clean Out handout and use it to guide the clean out of your kitchen BEFORE you start your meal plan. CLICK HERE to download.