Change in behavior could change your life

“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”  – C.S. Lewis

Some of you might be familiar with the initials CBT. For those who are not, it stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy –  a common form of mental health counseling, which has been used to treat anxiety and depression for years.

From the Mayo Clinic’s website: “Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking, so you can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way.”

And while many of you may dismiss CBT based on your current mental health status, they go on to say, “But not everyone who benefits from cognitive behavioral therapy has a mental health condition. It can be an effective tool to help anyone learn how to better manage stressful life situations.”

And who doesn’t need that in the chaos of everyday life?

I’m happy to say that I myself have benefited from such counseling. While there always seem to be stigmas attached to anyone seeking mental health counseling, I’m neither ashamed nor embarrassed of my tenure.

I found myself at a point in life where “inaccurate or negative thinking” was common in my everyday existence. It took a toll on my relationships and almost completely crippled my self-esteem. But after many years of suppressing what I knew was an issue, I finally realized I needed to make a positive change in order to positively change my life.

And thankfully it has. While it has meant saying goodbye to parts of my life which were simply unhealthy, I realized that a change in behavior can truly change your life.

I don’t believe in making New Year’s resolutions, but I do believe that the start of a new calendar year is a reminder that time is not infinite…that it moves faster and faster the older we grow.

Maybe this is the year you take a moment to look around you and finally “see” what you’ve seen for years but have chosen to do nothing about. Maybe this is the year when you realize that people will not be with us forever – that our behaviors undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on the hearts of others (good and bad).

And while cognitive behavioral therapy may not be a solution for everyone, I suspect a great deal of us would benefit from tools which would enable us to “view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way.”

Happy New Year!