As a cognitive behavioral therapist (Positive Psychology is rooted in CBT) I have been taught that thoughts create feelings, which create behavior. Thoughts, feelings, behavior. Thoughts, feelings, behavior. Scientifically proven. For instance, if I have the thought, “ I’m fat”, I feel depressed and eat ice cream. So I need to change the thought. However, it needs to be a believable thought. I could not think, “ I look like Barbie!” I could think, “ I am strong (I do believe that one) and that makes me feel confident and I will go to CrossFit. I have believed in CBT for many years and have applied it endlessly in my work.
I’ve decided it is just not that easy. We have 50,000 thoughts a day. How can we manage that? Yes, we don’t have to believe them all, but we can get bogged down sorting them out finding which ones to believe and which ones to not believe. Or, trying to create new believable thoughts can be time consuming and exhausting.
Over the years CBT has proved helpful for many of my clients. However, there are some who just can’t seem to change their thoughts no matter how hard they try. I have exhausted clients and myself trying to come up with believable thoughts. I started thinking about this and started wondering what if it is not about thoughts or feelings? What if we just need to do it? Just show up? I wake up at 5 AM to go to CrossFit and I think , “Stay in bed.” And then I think “You know, you really need to go to CrossFit.” And then I think “You are so comfy, stay in bed.” This goes on for a while and then if I end up staying in bed feel I bad about myself all day long that I didn’t get up and go to CrossFit. If I manage to get up and go to CrossFit I feel great. But that interaction is exhausting day after day. I’ve noticed if I don’t think, if I just get up and go, everything falls into place.
Make the decision. If you need to change your life, change your life! If you want to increase your movement, increase your movement! If you want to drink more water, drink more water! If you’re eating sugar but don’t want to eat sugar, make the decision to not eat sugar! If you want to improve your sleep, improve your sleep! I know you’re thinking it’s not that easy. That’s because your thoughts and feelings are getting in the way!
If you need help making the decision, I can help. Please contact me!