CBT For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition) - dummies
Cheat Sheet

CBT For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

From Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Dummies, 2nd Edition

By Rhena Branch, Rob Willson

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help you to see and think about yourself and situations in your life from different and more productive perspectives. This commonly involves fighting through fear and prescriptive negative thoughts, establishing and building towards viable goals, and keeping yourself in check along the way.

Defeating Depression

You can prevent depression from taking control of your life by trying out some positive practices. Try these simple techniques, and take the first steps towards making depression a thing of the past:

  • Take a compassionate and self-accepting mindset to reduce any shame you may feel.

  • Reduce rumination by focusing your attention on the external here and now.

  • Recognise your negative thoughts as symptoms of depression, not facts.

  • Gradually reintroduce reinforcement back into your life by scheduling your activities.

Fast-Tracking Your Way from Fear to Freedom

Facing and overcoming your fears can leave you experiencing not only relief but a surprising amount of freedom too. With the following steps you can begin to categorise your fears in order to cut them down:

  1. Make a hierarchy of the situations you fear. Start with your least dreaded situation and progress to your most dreaded situation.

  2. Make a list of your safety behaviours – things you do that you think keep you safe.

  3. Work your way up the hierarchy, dropping your safety behaviours and remaining in the situation.

  4. Stay in the situation until your anxiety decreases by at least half without you doing anything to control it.

  5. Repeat your exposure to your fearful situation over and over again until your fear lessens.

  6. Record your results.

Maintaining Optimum Health with CBT

Making some easy lifestyle changes can help you to keep your health at its best. Here’s a short list of simple tips and suggestions that can help you reach and keep up optimum health. Take a look and give them a try.

  • Eat well and eat regularly. Avoid fast foods and junk foods. Feed your body with wholesome stuff. Make an effort to cook, or learn to cook.

  • Take lots of exercise. Find sports that you enjoy and join a gym or sports group. Do enough to work up a sweat: Exercise releases a lot of feel-good chemicals called endorphins into your system.

  • Establish a good sleep pattern. Develop a bedtime routine that gets your body into sleep mode. Try to get up at around the same time each day so that your bedtime also becomes pretty consistent.

  • Strike a work/life balance. Be sure to make time in your schedule for leisure activities.

  • Pursue interests. Get yourself absorbed in activities that you enjoy and find rewarding.

  • Look after your living environment. Make your home a place you like to spend time in – maybe do some essential DIY or redecorate.

  • Relish your relationships. Spend time with people and socialise on a regular basis. Pay attention to the significant others in your life. If your social circle is limited, make an effort to join clubs and meet new people.

  • Hold a self-accepting attitude. Give yourself permission to be humanly imperfect and expect the same from others. Turn down your perfectionist tendencies or unrelenting standards.

  • Aim high. Set yourself goals to overcome any emotional disturbance or for personal development. Many people find that they’re happiest when they’re working toward a desired outcome.

  • Have a laugh. Humour really can be the best medicine. Try not to take an overly serious view of yourself and life: Find the funny side in everyday situations.