I’ve known about CBT for awhile now because, well, I’ve done self-therapy for quite awhile. As simple as it sounds, and as unrealistic as it’s always sounded to me, I’ve used it twice now with success! I think a big part of that is using an app on my phone from Excel at Life called Cognitive Diary CBT Self-Help. It takes me through the steps and lists potential perspective distortions like catastrophizing, and then offers statements to adjust my way of thinking concluding with space for me to commit to strategies. Helpful as well are the examples and articles to help use the technique more effectively.
Both times I’ve used it to quell mounting emotions that could have easily lead to bingeing or giving up on my goals. For example, I was feeling frustrated and really craved a lot of chocolate a couple days ago. The result of my CBT work in the app is in the screenshot here:
Just today, amazingly, I was THISCLOSE to finishing off two cartons of my boyfriend’s ice cream and escaping into some awful reality TV show when I decided to at least use the app first. I knew I didn’t want to feel how I expected to feel after emotional overeating. Recognizing my frustrations were based on assumptions and taking things personally, plus exaggerating what I see as current negative qualities, really helped to calm the fire. Instead of ice cream, I did a new 30-minute Yogalosophy video by Mandy Ingber, hugged my boyfriend, and had a healthy chicken stir-fry over quinoa. It’s possible I will still eat ice cream later tonight, but it won’t be in the heat of the moment, I’ll likely savour a single portion, and I refuse to feel guilty for an action I decided consciously.