Developed in the 1960's and widely practiced today, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a scientifically proven method of treating a variety of psychological issues --- from schizophrenia to anxiety and depression to substance abuse. Taking a holistic approach to mental health, this technique involves analyzing one's relationship to negative thoughts and behaviors, disrupting the negative feedback loop, and creating a new and healthy alignment of thoughts, behaviors, and actions.
While CBT does involve meeting with a licensed therapist on a regular basis, there are a few tips that anyone can follow to assist in improving their mental health.
Each week I will give you one action that can get you started on the right track.
Week 5 : Practice Mindful Meditation and Relaxation Breathing
Meditate regularly. Mindful meditation helps you disengage from obsessive and harmful thoughts by learning to connect to the present moment. It allows you to silently reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and senses all in the present moment without judgment. Don't actively try to not think about anything. Thoughts will inevitable arise in your mind, simply let them fade away and stay in the present moment.
If you're brand new to meditation and not sure where to start --- do some breathing exercises. Relaxation breathing helps decrease physiological signs of anxiety (sweating, shallow and rapid breathing, increased heart rate) and has other proven health benefits.
Each of the above techniques are effective in helping to create a more psychologically grounded lifestyle. When implemented together along with regular professional help, they can truly transform your life.
Konstantin Lukin, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in Ridgewood, Hoboken, NYC and and newly opened Jersey City. He has extensive clinical and research experience spanning individuals of all ages, in both inpatient and outpatient settings. He specializes in men’s issues, couple’s counseling, and relationship problems. His therapeutic approach focuses on providing support and practical feedback to help patients effectively address personal challenges. He integrates complementary modalities and techniques to offer a personalized approach tailored to each patient. He has been trained in cognitive-behavioral, dialectical behavior, schema-focused, and emotionally focused therapy, and has also been involved with research projects throughout his career, including two National Institute of Mental Health-funded studies. He is a member of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, New Jersey Psychological Association, Northeast Counties Association of Psychologists, New York State Psychological Association, The International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy, The New York Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy, the International OCD Foundation, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACSB) and a regular contributor to Psychology Today.