Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Benefits & DIY Techniques for Anxiety
7 minute read
If you go to your doctor and complain about stress or anxiety, you might not get the help you’re looking for. Many doctors are quick to dole out powerful prescription drugs in cases of cognitive issues, like stress, anxiety, or depression.
These drugs can often be effective, but they can have powerful unwanted side effects, or they can be prohibitively expensive.
If you’re dealing with a cognitive health issue, what other options do you have? Fortunately, there is a method known as “cognitive behavioral therapy” that can help relieve your symptoms more naturally.
The Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
In 2012, the Journal of Cognitive Therapy and Research conducted a review of hundreds of scientific studies. They found 269 such studies supporting the use of cognitive behavioral therapy for a variety of problems.
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Here are some of the benefits associated with cognitive behavioral therapy:
Cognitive behavioral therapy forces you to confront the thoughts or experiences that make you anxious. For this reason, it is an effective natural technique that allows you to break through your feelings of anxiety.
Social anxiety, panic attacks, even some cases of post-traumatic stress disorder have been helped by cognitive behavioral therapy.
Improved Self Esteem
Because cognitive behavioral therapy allows you to identify your negative thoughts, often it is an effective way to boost self-esteem. When you learn to replace your negative thoughts with positive ones, it can affect your entire outlook on life.
Helps Regulate Appetite
People can be prone to binge-eating or other eating disorders because they are stressed or have a negative opinion about their own body.
Cognitive behavioral therapy helps reduce the thoughts that may stress you out, and with more self-confidence, it can help you feel better about your body. In turn, you can keep those appetite swings in check.
Lower Symptoms of Depression
Feelings of depression are often fueled by a vicious cycle of negative thoughts. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most widely regarded techniques for reducing these depressive thoughts because it addresses their underlying psychological origins.
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Reduce Addictive Behaviors
Sometimes people may fall into cycles of addictive behavior, and even something as simple as sugar cravings because they are consumed with negative thoughts or have a negative perception of themselves.
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The benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy can help keep these negative thoughts at bay, which can help keep your brain chemicals in check and keep you from exhibiting addictive behavior.
How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?
The idea behind cognitive behavioral therapy is to focus on thoughts or stimuli that trigger an action or response, whether it’s craving junk food or onset of anxious feelings. In cognitive behavioral therapy, the technique involves focusing on these thoughts and actively trying to replace the associated action with something more positive.
For example, if a particular activity causes you to want junk food, like how some people can’t watch a movie without popcorn, cognitive behavioral therapy would encourage you to refocus that urge on something else.
You might replace the popcorn with a healthier snack like mixed nuts, for example. And with time, your cognitive reactions will change. When you pop in a movie, eventually you won’t even think about popcorn, you’ll think instead about whatever healthy snack you’ve chosen to replace it with.
The practice is similar when it comes to thoughts of depression or anxiety. If a certain event or person regularly triggers these thoughts and feelings in your mind, try instead to actively think of a different response when that person or event takes place again.
Maybe your boss gives you anxiety at work when he approaches you, so cognitive behavioral therapy would have you think of something else, like a funny memory, whenever your boss is about to trigger that reaction in you.
It can be tougher than it sounds, but with practice, anyone can master cognitive behavioral therapy.
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There are other natural ways to reduce stress and help regulate cognitive function. For example, many cultures have used herbal remedies for centuries to help relieve stress. Perhaps one of the most widely known and most effective techniques involves turmeric.
What Is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a root from the ginger family. When extracted, it looks like a yellow or orange powder, and it contains powerful compounds that give it a wide range of health benefits. The most powerful and commonly used compound is called curcumin.
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Some benefits of curcumin and turmeric include:
Relieves Stress and Anxiety
In studies, turmeric has been shown to help with stress and anxiety. The types of stress with which turmeric can help are multiple, including occupational stress, behavioral and physical stress, and general fatigue. It’s been shown to help improve the overall quality of life.
Protect Your Brain
Free radicals are tiny disease-causing particles that exist in everything from the air we breathe to the water we drink. They can affect various parts of the body, including the brain.
You can’t avoid them altogether, but antioxidants and other flavonoids like the nutrients found in turmeric can help protect your brain against these dangerous particles.
The curcumin inside turmeric has been linked to an increase in dopamine and serotonin, two essential brain chemicals that can help mitigate depression. Many people have turned to turmeric instead of prescription drugs for this purpose because turmeric is a more natural option that doesn’t have as many side effects.
The Bottom Line
So, if you’re struggling with stress or anxiety, and you’re looking for a natural alternative to expensive prescriptions, cognitive behavioral therapy and a turmeric supplement loaded with curcumin might be just the answer you’re looking for.
In conjunction, these make for a convenient and natural way to get the powerful health benefits of both.