Changing Your Feelings

I’ve done a lot of work with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). There is no easy way through this type of therapy; it is just plain hard work! I’m not saying other types of therapy aren’t hard work, they are; I just want to acknowledge to myself and to you how much mental effort it takes to comprehend and put into practice this type of therapy. In actual fact, acknowledging my own hard work is something new to me; I don’t know about you, but I find it very difficult to accept my own accomplishments so stating that here is BIG for me, personally. Deep breath…

Yesterday’s blog (Accepting your Feelings) resulted from some of the effort I’ve put into understanding DBT. No easy feat. I’ve gone through it three times so far and I’m sure there is still more I can learn. In this post, I want to talk more about the main message from CBT, that is, that our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are all connected. How does this work? What comes first? Well, the truth is that any one of the three can affect the other two. For example, when I get depressed, there are certain thoughts and behaviours that coincide with that depression. I would usually isolate, avoid eye contact, walk slowly, hunch over and stay in bed. I would also be thinking about how my life sucks, how I can’t do anything right, that I’m a failure and that I’d be better off dead! I have suicidal thoughts, yes–often. Deep breath…. This is where the principle of CBT comes into play. The reasoning is that if our feelings can affect our thoughts and behaviours that if we change one of these two, it will also change our feelings. Believe it or not, it works!

Although changing our thoughts and behaviours is a difficult task at times, it is encouraging to know that what we think and do can alter our feelings. What this means for us is that we don’t have to be controlled by our emotions, but that we can control them! It’s such a freeing thought, isn’t it? The really cool thing is that if we maintain healthy thoughts and behaviours that we can generally maintain a healthy mood! That’s where I’m at right now. It doesn’t mean I won’t fall back into depression again. It just means that, for now, I can focus on wiser behaviours and thoughts. It’s called Wise Mind in DBT. This is actually the reason I started this blog. I have always written things down, often in poetic form but also with fiction and keeping up a journal. I am also very interested in advocating for mental illness and the possibility of helping others who struggle with this debilitating disease. So, here I am and this is the result of acting (writing a blog) upon a healthy thought (wanting to help others) and how it has changed my feelings as I am now more satisfied with my life.

6 thoughts on “Changing Your Feelings

  1. I admire you for doing the hard work. I’ve always wondered why some of us have a hard time accepting accomplishments and the good we do in the world.

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  2. Jaidin I was on that super drug you found helpful!
    I did excellent on it
    Hated to stop it????
    I too had to get ready for the dive as well. I
    Same time my psychiatrist left but I was given a female psychiatrist who tried other meds
    She was not very well for me
    I ended up trying alone four years when major issues. Landed me on downward spiral then I was referred back to psychiatrist I had initially seen
    I’m so fortunate to have him
    Things go up and down but control is within reach at moment 😊
    Thanks for your wise words and for being so brave to share them❤️

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    1. So glad control is within reach just now. The moments are all we really have so cherish them and try not to be afraid of the fall; although I know that is difficult to do

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