Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Keep a positive log, increase your positive thinking learn to cope

When it comes to therapy and professional counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, is my cuppa tea.

I suffer from Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and have done for many many years. CBT methods and techniques have been very helpful for me personally. One of my favourite (and super easy) techniques for handling anxiety or panic attacks is the daily practice of keeping a positive (data) log. A positive log is essentially a place for you to reflect and take a few minutes to be mindful and notice the positives. You can use a journal, notepad, an MS Word document, your phone, tablet, or anything else you can write on (I’d recommend using something you can continue to write on so you can refer back to it later). This is basically a way to take just a few minutes each day to force yourself to focus on something positive. It doesn’t matter how small it is. Even if you’ve had a difficult day, try to acknowledge that and search your brain for something positive anyway.

Making this a daily habit is extremely useful and if you do have a day where you feel exceptionally low or have a panic attack, you can simply flick through your log and read what you’ve written.

Sounds very simplistic, but it’s extremely effective. Starting a positive log is simple:

1. Write the date

2. Reflect on your day and think about something positive that was said to you, that happened to you, that you enjoyed. It can be anything and nothing is too insignificant

3. Make a habit of doing this daily and keep your positive log close by (near your bed, in your handbag/briefcase/backpack, etc.)

4. Do your best to write in it daily; setting a calendar reminder on your phone works wonders and it only takes a minute or two to do this

5. Enjoy the headspace and positives thought you write each day 🙂

**Note, you can add photos to your log as well (adding photos of people/places/things that make you happy can work wonders!)

Example log:

  • Day 1: Mary told me I did a fantastic job on my presentation yesterday

  • Day 2: The book I have been waiting to read finally arrived!

  • Day 3: Treated myself to my favourite snack and a latte this afternoon

  • Day 4: Managed to hold myself together when talking to Tim, which is usually very stressful for me

  • Day 5: Nadia told me she misses me

  • Day 6: Got out half an hour early and caught an earlier (less crowded!) train today

  • Day 7: Ran 5K!

  • Day 8: Had a nice long bath after dinner

  • Day 9: Let J stay up 10 minutes late so we could read a few more stories and have some extra cuddles

  • Day 10: Finished working on my project

toddler looking at believe in yourself graffiti

Photo by Katrina on Unsplash

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