The idea behind Cognitive-Behavioral therapy is simple. Your thoughts control your emotions and if you allow them, your emotions will control your thoughts. You decide within yourself if you feel good, happy, anxious or depressed. This was one of many similar theories developed over the years. The author of Cognitive-Behavioral therapy was Albert Ellis.
Ellis described CBT in five steps, A is for activating event. It’s the situation or event that began the problem. B is belief, or what you think about the activating event. C is the emotional consequence that your thoughts lead you to. D is dispute. Go back and dispute the problem. E is the new emotion.
I have simplified this into three A for the Action that upsets you, B for the message/Belief you are giving your Brain or what is happening Between your ears, and C is the Consequence. If you don’t like the consequence, then change your Belief. Here is an example:
A=10 and your belief that this is unbearable is a 99 then 10+99=109. This is a high level of upset.
Now here is another example: A is still = 10 but you decide that it’s not that unbearable. It’s only a 50 so we have 10+50=60. See how much better that is, but I think you can do even better.
10+1=11. You see, the action that upset you never changes – and you really can’t control what others do or say, so this is a constant. However, you are in control of the B, and can change it with your thoughts. The final number, the consequence or C, changes and your upset decreases.
It really is that simple and it really does work. A+B=C. You can’t change A but if you change B then you will have a different outcome and C will change.
You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.