CBT in Strange Times

These are strange times. Anxiety is all about the unknown and the ‘what’ifs’, the things we can’t control. We feel under threat, in danger and our system is on high alert !

One of CBT’s skills I teach is thought challenging; looking at the thought in a more rational way and then reframing. Ok, what do we do when there is a potential risk to ourselves and others ?

I am reminded of the fabulous serenity prayer, always used in 12-step meetings, acknowledging what we can change, what we can’t and the wisdom to know the difference.

Some of this I can control, follow Government advice, wash hands, limit contact and the unknown is really the unknown and not in my gift or control. I could spend hours and days worrying, panic buying, getting stressed . But why? Can’t change it, only my reaction to what’s presented.

Mental Health Awareness Week

This week marks Mental Health Awareness week with a focus on Body Image. I’m sure there’s very few of us who haven’t struggled with this to a greater or lesser extent, myself included.

Having been a bit bigger than my peers in my 20s, without the pressure of social media I struggled to get fashionable clothes (most High St shops did the odd 14 if you were lucky !), and definitely felt my self-esteem was wrapped up in my body and how I perceived I looked to others.

Therefore, I really feel for young people today with images of ‘perfection’ just a click away, and for my age group now a new dialogue of ageing gracefully, au natural or trying to hang onto that youthful look.

My belief is while eating disorders, body dysmorphia are serious conditions, it all starts with acceptance of self, and liking ourselves. Images are enhanced and manipulated, and the idea of ‘perfection’ unrealistic. Our body may have curves and wobbly bits, and that critical voice may kick in when you look in the mirror, but that image does not define who YOU are.

CBT can help to challenge this negativity and enable you to be body positive ; Life’s too short.