Note: Today is the International Day Of Happiness!
CBT An Anxiety
I’m not sure what to call this exercise – it takes up all of chapter 5 in The Feeling Good Handbook. Perhaps I’ll just call it the Triple-Column Technique. It’s one of the core techniques to the book, and I won’t describe the entire thing here, because a) it’s long, and b) I don’t know if that would be a copyright violation. There’s a PDF that summarizes it on a counseling page.
In brief, I’m looking today for an upsetting event (and with three children, I can guarantee I’ll find one). Once I identify one and have a few minutes to sit down, I’ll figure out what emotions I felt, the negative thoughts I associated with the event, and the distortions in those thoughts. For example, when one of my children hits another, I’ve sometimes heard myself think “he’s such a bully,” which is a rather obvious example of “labeling,” one of the common cognitive distortions. I can then look for more realistic and positive thoughts.
This technique can feel a little awkward to apply at first, but when I’m not deep in depression, I’ve found it very helpful. If I am deep in depression, it’s a terrible idea for me; it’s just another name for rumination.