The concepts from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be especially helpful when trying to lose weight. In this week’s ReadersINC blog post, Anthony Healy, a personal trainer at Vivacia, outlines ideas on motivation for weight loss. Each of these ideas is an example of techniques learned during Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Here are Anthony’s top tips on how to motivate yourself to lose weight:
1. Decide why you want to lose weight
Is it to look good in a bikini, to feel better about yourself or another reason?
2. Set goals
‘Lose weight’ is too vague. You need a clear and achievable goal, such as ‘lose 10lb in 10 weeks’. Write down how you’re going to achieve this, such as ‘run three times a week’ or ‘go to the gym every Monday, Wednesday and Friday’ and STICK TO IT.
2. Create visual goals
Visual cues are a great motivator. If you want to look good on the beach in a size 10 bikini then buy that bikini (or dress for special occasion/favorite pair of jeans) and hang it outside your wardrobe.
3. Write a morning mantra
Write and then read a motivational mantra every day. Make the goal seem like something that has already having been achieved,
E.g. “I have successfully lost 10lbs, and I am about to board the plane for Spain at Heathrow airport. I can’t wait to get to the beach in my yellow bikini….”
By doing so you get the good feelings associated with the goal ahead of time.
4. Kick the bad habits
Long-term transformations take time.
To get quick results and keep the weight off you need to kick bad habits.
In the beginning you need to go cold turkey. For many people the enemy is booze, processed food and/or sugar in all its forms – most obviously, chocolate and sweets.
Giving these up for at least 6-12 weeks “breaks the back” of the usual suspects, forms some good eating habits, and brings about those quick results – which will keep you motivated and “hungry” for more success.
5. Think positive
With sufficient motivation anything is achievable, and those obstacles can now be overcome.
CBT for Anger is one of the most effective ways to treat uncontrolled anger problems. Anger can be managed using a method from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) called Cognitive Reframing.
In the following article published on PsychCentral.com, Dr. Hartwell-Walker outlines 7 common assumptions that can be reframed to reduce anger.
7 Mistaken Assumptions Angry People Make By Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.
“I guess I have an anger problem. I lose my temper pretty quick. But it’s not like my wife doesn’t do things to make me mad.”
Richard has reluctantly come to treatment because his wife took out a restraining order after their last fight. He admits he lost control. He acknowledges that maybe he said things he shouldn’t have. But he also thinks she shouldn’t have done or said what she did. “I can’t help getting mad when she jerks my chain. I can’t let her get away with that!” he says.
What Richard doesn’t yet understand is this: Temper isn’t something you lose. It’s something you decide to throw away.
Raging, shouting, name-calling, throwing things and threatening harm is all a big bluff. It’s the human equivalent of animal behavior. From the puffer fish that puffs itself up to twice its size to look more intimidating to the lion on the veldt who shakes his mane and roars, creatures who feel threatened posture and threaten in order to protect themselves and their turf. The display often is enough to get the predator or interloper to back off. If not, the fight — or flight — is on.
People who rage are the same. Feeling a threat, they posture. They throw away all mature controls and rant and rage like an out-of-control 2-year-old. It’s impressive. It’s scary. It gets folks around them to walk around on eggshells. Others often let them “win” just to get away.
But are they happy? Usually not. When I talk to the Richards of the world, they usually just want things to go right. They want respect. They want their kids and their partners to give them the authority they think they deserve. Sadly, their tactics backfire. Not knowing what might set him off, kids, partners, coworkers and friends distance and leave him more and more alone.
Helping someone like Richard with “anger management” requires more than helping him learn how to express his angry feelings appropriately. Giving him practical skills alone assumes more control than he can probably hold on to. To be able to integrate those skills into his self-image, he needs to reconsider some of his basic assumptions about life and his place in it.
7 Mistaken Assumptions Angry People Often Make
They can’t help it. Angry people have lots of excuses. Women will blame their PMS. Both sexes will blame their stress, their exhaustion, or their worries. Never mind that other people who have PMS or who are stressed, tired, or worried don’t pop off at the world. Angry people don’t yet understand that they are actually giving themselves permission to rant. In that sense, they are very much in control.
The only way to express anger is to explode. People who rage believe that anger is like the buildup of steam in an overheated steam engine. They think they need to blow off the steam in order to be OK. In fact, raging tends only to produce more of the same.
Frustration is intolerable. Angry people can’t sit with frustration, anxiety or fear. To them, such feelings are a signal that they are being challenged. When life doesn’t go their way, when someone doesn’t see things as they do, when their best-laid plans get interrupted or they make a mistake, they simply can’t tolerate it. To them, it’s better to blow than to be left with those feelings. They don’t get it that frustration is a normal part of everyone’s life and that it is often the source of creativity and inspiration.
It’s more important to win than to be right. Chronically angry people often have the idea that their status is at stake when there is conflict. When questioned, they take it overly personally. If they are losing an argument, they experience a loss of self-esteem. At that moment, they need to assert their authority, even if they are wrong. When it is certain that they are wrong, they will find a way to prove that the other person is more wrong. For mature people, self-esteem is grounded in being able to put ego aside in order to find the best solution.
“Respect” means that people do things their way. When another driver tailgates, when a partner refuses to go along with a plan, when a kid doesn’t jump when told to do something, they feel disrespected. To them, disrespect is intolerable. Making a lot of noise and threatening is their way of reasserting their right to “respect” by others. Sadly, when the basis of “respect” is fear, it takes a toll on love and caring.
The way to make things right is to fight. Some angry people have learned at the feet of a master. Having grown up with parents who fight, it is their “normal.” They haven’t a clue how to negotiate differences or manage conflict except by escalating. Then they become very much like the parent they loathed and feared when they were kids.
Other people should understand that they didn’t mean what they did or said when they were angry. Angry people feel that anger entitles them to let loose. It’s up to other people not to take seriously hurtful things they say or do. After all, they say, they were just angry. They don’t get it that other people are legitimately hurt, embarrassed, humiliated, or afraid.
Helping my patient Richard means helping him identify which of these assumptions are driving his temper tantrums. Some or all may apply. He may even have a few that are more uniquely his own. Teaching him rules for anger management, although important, isn’t enough to have long-term impact. Changing his assumptions will enable him to use such skills with conviction and confidence.
The Cognitive Model (CBT): An introductory Explanation:
Two different people can react very differently to identical situations. The basic premise of CBT is based on explaining WHY this happens, and HOW you can control your reactions. Here is an example:
Situation #1: Boss and new employee number 1 talking in a conference room. Boss says to the employee, “You are a nice person. I like you.”
Automatic Thought of Employee #1: “He likes me. That is great, I must be making a positive impression”
Emotion of Employee #1: Happiness
Behavior of Employee #1: Smiles and leans forward.
Physical Response of Employee #1: Relaxation
Situation #2: Boss and new employee #2 are talking in a conference room. Boss says to employee #2, “You are a nice person. I like you.”
Emotion of Employee #2: Anxiety
Behavior of Employee #2: Frowns and looks down.
Physical Response of Employee #2: Increased heart rate.
The Automatic Thought of each employee creates very different reactions to identical situations. During Cognitive Therapy, clients learn to identify, challenge, and change these automatic thoughts.
For more information on CBT, contact Holly@UptownDallasCounseling.com
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is based on the theory that our Thoughts, Emotions, and Behaviors all impact each other.
During therapy, the client learns how to identify distorted thinking patterns. The client then learns the connection between distorted thinking and her emotions and behaviors. By making changes to distorted thinking, the client experiences changes in feelings.
A CBT therapist teaches clients techniques to make theses changes. Cognitive restructuring is a key technique of CBT therapy. Dr. Aaron Beck, the founder of Cognitive Therapy, talks about cognitive restructuring techniques.
In this video, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge pledges her support for children’s mental health by endorsing The Place to Be, a charitable organization for children in the UK. The Pace to Be is “the leading UK provider of school-based mental health support, unlocking children’s potential in the classroom – and beyond.”
The Place to be has declared February 16-22 the first Children’s Mental Health Week in the UK. Thanks to all who are bringing this important message to the public.
Related articles across the web
Looking for CBT for Weight Loss in the Dallas area? Uptown Dallas Counseling can help.
From The Beck Diet Solution workbook: Feeling deprived is a state of mind. You can limit yourself to one cookie and think, “This is so unfair, I wish I could eat more, this really stinks,” OR you could limit yourself to one cookie and think, “It’s not all-or-nothing. I can still have one cookie and lose weight. Good for me for stopping here, this will really help me reach my goals.”
If you are looking for help in using CBT for Weight Loss in Dallas, Uptown Dallas Counseling can help.
Uptown Dallas Counseling shares a favorite post from 2014:
Comedian and actress Ruby Wax gave a TED talk where she spoke about her struggles with depression. She used lots of comedy mixed with some serious science and statistics about depression.
According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives, but two-thirds will never seek help from a professional. Even when you isolate the U.S. population, the numbers are the same.
If you are suffering from depression or other type of mental illness, seek help from a professional. You are not alone. You do not have to go through this alone.
TED talk by Ruby Wax on Mental Illness
Related articles across the web
- You feel hopeless or helpless. According to Serani, your thoughts might sound something like this: “Why is everything so hard for me? “Often, helplessness is a negative circle. If you feel helpless, you get more depressed. When you get more depressed, you feel helpless.”
- You feel guilty, worthless or ashamed. Unfortunately, depression is sometimes misperceived as a character flaw (instead of a real, debilitating illness), said Serani, also author of the books Living with Depression and Depression and Your Child. “So many children and adults blame themselves for not being able to snap out of depressed episode.” They think: “I’m so stupid,” or “I can’t do anything right.”
- You experience extreme irritability, anger or impatience, Serani said. “These symptoms are often misunderstood and viewed as ‘burnout’ or ‘stress.’” However, when agitated individuals are further questioned, they “reveal more classical symptoms of depression like negative thinking, helplessness, sadness and hopelessness.”
- You don’t want to be around others. You might start taking time off from work, Coleman said. “Coworkers might ask if you’re feeling OK, or comment to you that you don’t seem like yourself.”
- You have a harder time concentrating on tasks, even ones you enjoy, Coleman said. “It’s common for people with depression to read, write and even think more slowly.”
- You’re tired, have less energy or don’t feel like getting out of bed, he said. “A lot of the time, the signs of depression show up in our bodies.”
- You have headaches or body aches, Serani said.
- Your sleeping patterns have changed. You might have trouble sleeping and wake up much earlier than you normally do, Coleman said. Or you start oversleeping. “The key is to look out for a major change in the way you sleep”
- Your eating has changed. Some people with depression find food to be less appetizing and start to eat less, whereas others eat more than usual, Coleman said. Again, the factor to zero in on is change.
If you have any of the above symptoms, you may be clinically depressed. Ask yourself if it is time to look for a professional to help alleviate these symptoms.
** If you’re having thoughts of suicide, please get help immediately. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255.
Related articles across the web
When you are not getting adequate sleep, you suffer more than just the physical effects of being tired. You can become irritable, impatient, anxious, and depressed. Lack of sleep undermines creativity and efficiency. Fatigue can hinder your cognitive skills of memorization, concentration, and motivation. Getting an adequate level of sleep means you are not only sleeping the number of hours your body needs, but also your sleep is high quality sleep.
Negative Effects of Not Getting Enough Sleep
- Lower stress threshold. Normal, everyday tasks can feel overwhelming.
- Impaired memory. Your brain’s ability to form memories declines.
- Trouble concentrating. You lose your ability to focus on a task, but also often overestimate your performace.
- Decreased optimism and sociability. Sleep-deprived individuals consistently score higher on Hopelessness Scales and report the desire to isolate from others.
- Impaired creativity and innovation. New research suggests that sleep deprivation may have a particular effect on these two areas of cognition.
- Increased resting blood pressure. Even a half night of sleep loss can cause increases in blood pressure.
- Increased food consumption and appetite. Participants in scientific research showed an increase in their desire to consume food.
- Increased risk of heart attack. Sleep study participants had increased levels of inflammation associated with cardiac disease.
- Weakened immune system. Sleep depravation causes white blood cell counts to rise.
- Decreased ability to metabolize sugar.
Ten Behaviors to help you get more, higher quality sleep:
- Establish a nightly sleep routine that includes a set bedtime. One of the easiest behavior changes you can make to improve sleep is going to bed and waking up the same time every day. (Including weekends.)
- Create a bedtime ritual that will send signals to your body and your brain that you are getting ready for sleep. This ritual may include changing into pajamas, washing your face, brushing your teeth, etc.
- Do not take naps. Even if you are tired from a previous night of little sleep, challenge yourself to stay awake until bedtime.
- Do not drink caffeine or alcohol, or smoke cigarettes close to bedtime.
- Exercising in the morning or early afternoon can help sleep patterns. Vigorous exercise close to bedtime may delay your ability to fall asleep.
- Do not go to bed with a full stomach or an empty stomach.
- To associate your bed with sleep, do not engage in activities other than sex and sleep in your bed.
- Create a quiet, dark, and comfortable sleeping space.
- If you are unable to fall asleep for 30-45 minutes after going to bed, get up. Do something relaxing like drinking herbal tea or reading something calming. After 30 minutes, try to go to bed again.
- Reduce any stressful thoughts by making a TO DO list on paper. Once you write these thoughts down, your level of stress will almost always decrease significantly. Practice relaxation techniques before bed. Deep breathing, meditation, and some forms of yoga can be helpful.
Once you commit to changing behaviors to improve your quantity and quality of sleep, keep track of your moods. A simple piece of paper where you write your mood level (0 to 10, with 0 extreme sadness and 10 extreme happiness) can provide valuable information and motivation. If you still need more motivation, keep a copy of the list of the negative effects of not sleeping well with you.
We all have different limitations on our time and resources that may prevent us from fully committing to getting more and better sleep. If you can’t commit to making all the changes listed above, try a few. Even small improvements in sleep can have a significant impact on our levels of mental and physical functioning.
Holly Scott, MBA, MS, LPC sees clients at Uptown Dallas Counseling. Holly is trained in the specialty of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and holds the position of Diplomate in the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Holly works with clients to help them overcome challenges in their daily lives that may be preventing them from achieving happiness. She helps clients with stress management, depression, parenting, marriage counseling, and other mental health concerns. If you are looking for a counselor or therapist, explore this website to see if Holly may be able to help you.
To make an appointment for therapy or counseling with Holly at her Uptown Dallas Counseling, you have the option of using the Online Patient Portal to register and schedule.