Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or CBT: Chapter 1

Yesterday I went for my first CBT session and wow, how much you can fit into 30 minutes is incredible, I’m having to deal with the symptoms of stress and anxiety and I wanted to share this information with people, hoping that it won’t go against me in any way. I felt so much better after this session and have been given homework to keep with me and fill in everyday, so I have a folder with all this info in that I need to keep with me.  Much better than going over the same things week in week out and trying to understand others, well for me anyway.

So with my reading list, house-hunting and this I will be very busy right up until Christmas.

I was advised to look at this site or this for podcasts on relaxation and stress here, but I typed this in, hee hee I don’t think I’m ready for religion, just yet, no offence

I also have looked on the charity MIND’S website and found some interesting articles of stress at work here and this blog post which I thought interesting here  How to tackle tiredness here  as we all are feeling that at the moment.

Another place to visit is the Mental Health Foundation here

A good piece on relationships on the NHS site, a piece I extracted here:

Build relationships for wellbeing

Taking time to strengthen and broaden relationships is good for your wellbeing, and good for the wellbeing of the other people involved.

‘Building relationships for wellbeing means:

  • strengthening your relationships with people who are close to you, such as family and friends
  • broadening your relationships in your community and the wider world

There are many ways to build stronger and closer relationships:

  • Make time each day to spend with your family. This might include “family time” that is fixed each day, or time that you find around other commitments.
  • Arrange a day out with friends you haven’t seen for a while.
  • Switch off the TV tonight and play a game with the children, or just talk.
  • Speak to someone new today.
  • Have lunch with a colleague.
  • Visit a friend or family member who needs support or company.
  • Volunteer at a local school, hospital or community group. This is also a way of giving your time.

And on stress:

Recognising your stress triggers

If you’re not sure what’s causing your stress, keep a diary and make a note of stressful episodes for two-to-four weeks. Then review it to spot the triggers.

Things you might want to write down include:

  • the date, time and place of a stressful episode
  • what you were doing
  • who you were with
  • how you felt emotionally
  • what you were thinking
  • what you started doing
  • how you felt physically
  • a stress rating (0-10 where 10 is the most stressed you could ever feel)

You can use the diary to:

  • work out what triggers your stress
  • work out how you operate under pressure
  • develop better coping mechanisms

Doctors sometimes recommend keeping a stress diary to help them diagnose stress.

and anxiety

A little bit of anxiety can be helpful; for example, feeling anxious before an exam might make you more alert and improve your performance. But too much anxiety could make you tired and unable to concentrate.

Anxiety can have both psychological and physical symptoms. Psychological symptoms can include:

  • feeling worried or uneasy a lot of the time
  • having difficulty sleeping, which makes you feel tired
  • not being able to concentrate
  • being irritable
  • being extra alert
  • feeling on edge or not being able to relax
  • needing frequent reassurance from other people
  • feeling tearful

When you’re feeling anxious or stressed, your body releases stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. These cause the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as an increased heart rate and increased sweating.

Physical symptoms can include:

  • a pounding heartbeat
  • breathing faster
  • palpitations (an irregular heartbeat)
  • feeling sick
  • chest pains
  • headaches
  • sweating
  • loss of appetite
  • feeling faint
  • needing the toilet more frequently
  • “butterflies” in your tummy

Anxiety can also be a symptom of another condition, such as panic disorder (when you have panic attacks) or post-traumatic stress disorder, which is caused by frightening or distressing events.

and I mentioned it before but go to this page to listen to podcasts. very interesting:

Reading in bed is a no-no *faints*

Above is all the sheets I was given, sorry about the dodgy camera work. I won’t show you what I have to fill in as that’s private but I highly recommend reading some of this even if you don’t suffer from stress or anxiety as there are some really helpful tips. I have problems with holding tension in my shoulders and it shows how you ‘hold yourself’ during the day. It could be why I was heavy footed when running. It’s all about the breathing. Did you know when we are stressed we can hold our breath without realising it? This scared me. Also my lack of remembering stuff is due to not being able to concentrate and that’s another side effect of stress. I have to do small simple tasks and if I can’t focus on one thing I need to move on and do another and then come back to it. Funny thing is I’ve been doing that, I just need to improve by noting things down. Also if you can’t get into a book, rather than trawl through it, again take it in bite size bits and take breaks. The funniest thing was I was telling a friend this about how to write her dissertation, that it was best to take breaks instead of powering through. I really should listen to myself more often.

In effect, if that’s the right phrase, I have been doing things right I’ve just done it the long way, or listened to the wrong people and let negative things get me down. Now I have the start of a course to get me to reprogramme my way of thinking and I am so excited. 2013 is turning out to be a good year.

Oh one question, are pollypockets mean’t to stick out of the folder????? surely it’s mean’t to protect them, it’s really bugging me. 😦

Thank you for reading



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