CBT Techniques to Manage Stress
Using cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), we can explore thinking patterns and behaviors to find the roots of problems and resolve issues that continue to cause you stress.
Stressors are like fountains of problems that escalate to create stress. Stressors build up from debts owed, illness, relationships, work, raising children, and living life in general. Stressors can escalate when there are mental and emotional problems, problems within our relationships or when we find ourselves in debt that we cannot afford to repay, etc. Attending school can cause stress too from peer pressure and striving to achieve. Part of the cause of stress rests in cognitive processes. Our cognitive mind centers on how we perceive things and process them and it often results in misunderstandings.
Stress Management using Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) "deals with how we gain information of the world". It deals with how we present information and how we transform it into knowledge. "Cognitive therapy also deals with how we store information" and the "total range of psychological processes - from sensation to perception, pattern recognition, attention, learning, memory, concept formation, thinking, imaging, remembering, language, emotions and developmental processes" - Cognitive Behavior therapy is used to help both the counselor and patient "cut across all the diverse fields of behavior." (Cognitive Psychology; Robert L. Solso; 1979; p. 1)
CBT is designed to help you focus your attention on exploring your mind deeply in order to find answers to solve your problems. Cognitively, we use our minds to connect with recognizing and understanding things that we observe, sense, smell, taste, etc. Cognitive psychology is the science of how one connects to or understands what is going on. In modern cognitive psychology, theories and techniques come from "eight principal areas of research". These principles include "perception" (how one perceives), "attention, memory, imagery, language functions, developmental psychology, thinking, and problem solving". CBT also considers "artificial intelligence" (AI), each of which will be covered throughout this guide, either unnoticeably or noticeably. One may use CBT techniques to conquer all sorts of mental and emotional disorders, or simply use cognitive techniques to solve life problems. Using CBT, we can help you develop stress management solutions to conquer life problems that wear you down.
What causes stress?
Normal stress levels caused from daily living, school, etc., all can be dealt with, for the most part. Yet, when stress builds up, you may find it difficult to cope with. Particularly, if you have an emotional or mental disorder, stress can become overwhelming at times.
Stress may be caused by ongoing nervous tension, anxiety, or may relate to trauma. If someone has Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), stress will often consume the person. Yet, you don't need to have a disorder to find stress overwhelming. You may be prone to stress, yet fail to have the ability to manage stress once it develops.
Regardless of what causes your stress, you must learn how to cope. For that reason, we have prepared eight steps to help you manage stress. Some of the techniques we will use are guided relaxation, meditation, goal realization and other techniques. Mostly, to overcome stress that wears you down, you have to learn how to let go of the stress and that is what we will help you with.
Most people look beyond themselves, trying to convince themselves that stress comes from outside sources. Most stress, however, comes from within, simply because as adults we are responsible for making decisions, and the decisions we make factor into how much stress we experience. Other people can cause us stress as well, of course, but only if we allow them to do so. For example, if someone is criticizing us, tantalizing us, abusing us, or causing pain to us, it will cause stress if we do not deal with it appropriately.
Stress also comes from lack of understanding of basic concepts and principals. When you do not take time to verify information learned, you become exposed and vulnerable to stress. Lack of knowing what to do about certain situations can cause stress as well. For example, if a couple get into an argument, neither person knows what the other wants, thus, stress develops. It falls back on misconceptions and lack of understanding.
Another stressor that develops throughout our lifetime is the notion that we are all to be "normal". The so-called normal people that live life supposedly constantly happy are often struggling with issues too. Avoiding harmful and sinful habits and behaviors, such as adultery, drunkenness, drugs, greed, selfishness, gluttony, etc, is all part of avoiding stress.
The Secret of Letting Go
Guy Finley, a famous author, movie star, and musician said it best when he wrote in his book The Secret of Letting Go ( (Finley, 1997) pg. Xiii. He said, "The assumption that the norm - or average man or woman - is at a healthy level of emotional development is the underlying mistake of at least this century in the fields of psychology, psychiatry and sociology." Good points that Guy made, yet many people in society feel the same way. The truth is, however, that most people are struggling to live their lives, just like you. They are stressed, just like you. Most people have not achieved the degree of self-development and self-awareness that they could reach. This alone causes stress, while people strive to find their identity and contentment; most people are constantly soul searching to find answers. Yet answers do not come for some, especially those who rebel when the subliminal mind attempts to expose hidden messages that link to new discoveries and truth.
Guy Finley made another remarkable point in his book, The Secret of Letting Go. "We must want to elevate our individual standards of inner health far above the so-called 'normal'." Pg. Xiv. When we are able to elevate above the normal thinking, only then do we find true happiness. In the meantime, we must find solutions to manage our stress levels in order to avoid health problems, such as heart disease. We must also find a way to manage our stress levels in an effort to avoid making bad decisions. Therefore, part of minimizing stress is learning how to make good decisions that count. Yet where does one start? You took the first step by signing up to become a member at our website. The next step is for you to work through the worksheets provided, adhere to the advice, practice, do the activities provided and pay close attention to what you learn about you.
In this preface, we defined stressors, stress, and briefly how they occur. We have offered resources from leading authors to help you see that everyone suffers stress, yet some people find a way to take control of their lives.