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What is Metacognitive Therapy? An Introduction

Back in the late 20th century, medics promoted the monoamine theory of depression in that imbalances in neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine were responsible for mental illness.

The theory was that if you were to increase or rebalance these biochemicals, you would fix the problem and the patient would get better. During this time, drugs like Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor and Paxil were hailed as a panacea for those who had the blues or any nervous disorder.

Along with psychiatry providing treatment using drugs like the above came a huge growth in talk therapy, whereby the patient would talk to a psychologist or a therapist about their problems in order to perhaps gain better perspectives.

But despite using antidepressants and therapy, there are many who stay stuck or who get worse rather than better. There is, however, a new body of evidence that is gaining a lot of momentum, which strongly suggests that anxiety and depression are caused and maintained by unhelpful thinking styles and an unhelpful way of relating to thoughts and feelings, which is also under the control of the individual.

Once we learn to relate to our thoughts and feelings in a more resourceful way, melancholy sadness, depression and anxiety can be reduced or eliminated entirely. Yes, pharmaceuticals and psychotherapy can help, but they are rarely fully or even partially effective at alleviating symptoms. They are often just band-aids over a gaping wound.

We need a new solution, one which really works and keeps working and which can be self-directed without long term engagement with therapists needed.

Those with mental illness tend to ruminate and worry a lot. If you do this, your ruminations and worries are likely maintaining and often worsening your already poor mental health. You might agree, at least to a certain extent, with this assertion.

Trying to figure a way out of your illness and your life’s problems can backfire and worsen the very problem it’s trying to solve. Rumination causes and maintains and worsens depression. Sadness and despair. Worrying causes, maintains and worsens anxiety, OCD and impulsiveness.

“But thinking happens by itself” you say. “I have no control over it,” you say. The first statement is true, but fortunately, the second statement is completely false.

Even for those who suffer for years, if you can focus on making a cup of tea for yourself or brushing your teeth or tying your shoelaces, you can successfully practice metacognitive therapy. This is the therapy that would help you to get well and stay well. Metacognitive therapy, or MCT for short, is extremely effective at reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, and it’s also very easy to use, albeit potentially hard to get your head around at first, and it may be hard to believe how simple and effective it can be also.

This article is a brief introduction to metacognitive therapy, but it’s not a complete guide in itself on how to practice it. I am not a qualified therapist, and therefore I’m not in a position to give you a guide on how to practice metacognitive therapy. My account here is to record and convey the amazing recovery I’ve experienced from learning and using MCT and also to give you a decent overview of the therapy.

Metacognitive therapy and how it can help You.
I’ve personally become peaceful, happy and content, and I want to show you how that is also possible for you. Here I’m going to summarize the theory and practice of metacognitive therapy. But this section is only a short introduction to the therapy. It will help to inform you and give you a basis for the therapy, but as I said before, this is by no means a complete user guide on the subject.

You will need to read the books I mentioned in the recommended reading, given here, or engage with a qualified metacognitive therapist, given here, in order to learn how to use MCT.

I’m sure that many of you have heard of or even used cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT, where users learn to spot distorted thoughts and beliefs and challenge, reduce or replace them with more realistic and useful thoughts.

In the CBT model, a thought like “I’m worthless” would be evaluated and countered with evidence proving your worth using a conceptual process. But, in MCT, the response to this is “what’s the point of even evaluating my worth”, and simply to let the thought go using attention training or detached mindfulness. As Dr Adrian Wells, creator of Metacognitive Therapy, suggests, “Do everything you can to do nothing”.

So, in MCT, we identify the thought like above as a negative trigger thought, and we don’t bother wasting energy by doing anything with this trigger thought.

The process of ruminating over, for example, the thought that you are worthless and then fixating and then ruminating on it with additional thoughts like “nobody likes me, it’s no wonder I’m alone, my life is terrible!” is called the cognitive attentional syndrome, or CAS for short.

MCT provides a few different strategies for dealing with trigger thoughts like this. The main strategies are postponement of worry and ruminating, attention training or switching (to other thoughts, or to sensory stimuli such as your surrounding auditory environment/sound) and detached mindfulness.

I have found that detached mindfulness is the optimal state for the user who is practicing metacognitive therapy. It’s achieved through the resolution of thought brought about by the modification of metacognitive beliefs related to your thinking. The main metacognitive beliefs relating to worry and rumination fall into positive – such as that “worry and rumination are necessary and helpful”, “worry helps me to find solutions” – or negative beliefs about rumination – such as “worry and rumination are uncontrollable” or that “worry and rumination are harmful.” In metacognitive therapy, these are the only beliefs and thoughts that we work on on a conceptual basis. Once these beliefs are changed, which is quite easy, the process of achieving detached mindfulness is much easier, because you have changed your mindset relating to worry and rumination.

You can go from the belief that some or all of the above beliefs are true to the actual fact and reality, which is that the above beliefs are false and erroneous.

This helps to remove the cognitive attentional syndrome (the CAS), simply because it is very hard to continue doing something that you know is harmful, once you realise it as so. I have found in my own experience that it is very hard to continue to worry or ruminate once I realize its uselessness, even if it’s something that I’ve been doing out of habit every day ad nauseum, for literally decades, which was exactly the case for me.

Mindful Detachment, Detachment and Transcendence
Mindful Detachment is a state that is easy to achieve once you have examined and changed and corrected one or all of the metacognitive beliefs relating to worry and rumination. It’s a state where ruminations on worries may still occur in the lower, automatic level of the mind, but they don’t affect you emotionally because you simply allow them to be, you don’t follow them, and you aren’t identified nor attached to them.

You can observe the thoughts come and go, but you aren’t identified with them, nor do you follow them with more ruminations or worries. For me, it’s almost like a transcendental state, which is generally accompanied by a better mood than if you were to become engaged with the thoughts. You may also, when practicing mindful detachment, notice that you have more resilience, energy and stamina than before. This is because engaging in the low level processing and negativity of rumination and worry is very energy depleting. I have personally been able to gain such detachment from worry and rumination that even the trigger thoughts rarely come anymore. If they do, I let them go and they vaporize and disappear with little nor any emotional disturbance.

Years of recursive endless thought about my illness, mental observation, whether verbal thoughts or imagery of my past or future deterioration, mishaps or demise has led me to the firm conviction that trying to solve any mental illness this way is counterproductive. Actually, it’s more than that. It actually is the illness. I speculate that the illness is nothing more than that for many. I call this the personal reflexive (PR) CAS. Yes, there may be external events which form the main focus of the CAS cognitions, but it’s the ones that are worries and ruminations on one’s own illness and its imagined grim implications for the future, which fuel anxiety, worries (future) and depression (ruminations, past.)

Letting go of rumination and worry.
Attention training and mindful detachment is the most effective way to deal with CAS. But there are other ways that are also very effective. Here we will talk about simply the technique of recognizing a trigger thought and letting it go. So we already mentioned that trigger thoughts once engaged with and followed usually lead to the looping process of fixation on negative thoughts which result in deteriorating mood. So anyone can learn to recognize these trigger thoughts and to let them go before your mind starts the fixation process, which constitutes the CAS.

Your cognitive attention in this way strengthens the ability to switch and focus awareness on other thoughts or sensory perceptions, such as sounds, and can greatly diminish the fuel that powers the CAS and therefore a poor mood.

Deliberate attention training using specialized audio tracks or even the ambient noise where you are sitting or standing is particularly effective for this purpose. In fact, daily short attention training sessions using audio that are custom built for this purpose or even using the surrounding sound where you are sitting, lying or standing, has been proven to significantly enhance the user’s ability to switch and maintain attention away from trigger thoughts and from the CAS, and to recover from depression and to stay well. This is especially true for people who suffer from severe depression. I will send you links to free online attention training tracks if you register for the free bonuses at this link.

Examples of trigger thoughts that I used to have are “I feel terrible. I’m still depressed. Why am I so anxious? I’m falling into a hole again. I always fail. It’s getting worse. Why am I such a failure?”

Learning to spot similar trigger thoughts that you may have is very helpful. You can learn to switch your attention to the ambient sounds around you when you notice a trigger thought. Or to simply let the trigger thought go even if you fail to spot a trigger and you go into CAS (cognitive attentional syndrome). You can diffuse it by switching attention at any point in the process. There’s no perfection here, only practice. Many of those with mental illness worry and ruminate all day for many hours of the day. The extent that you eliminate this is the extent to which your mood and recovery will progress.

Again, it’s progress, not perfection that we’re aiming for here. Don’t compare yourself to others, only to your past self, notice progress where you can.

Worrying that this won’t work for you.
Let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room. Many could worry or ruminate their way out of metacognitive therapy not working for them. That’s a very common occurrence. “Oh, it’ll work for them, but it won’t work for me. Nothing ever works for me. This won’t work for me. Nothing does. I’ll fuck this up. I always do.” You may be thinking like this. You may need to read this article, and leave metacognitive therapy alone for a while. Many don’t get it the first time around. This happens to a lot of people and is not uncommon at all. After all, fear, doubt and a feeling of pessimism is often a core feature of the darkness that constitutes any mental illness. I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve lived in that particular prison for years myself. So what I suggest if this is an issue for you is to use metacognitive therapy on that as well. Let it go. Postpone it. Detached from it.

Postponement of worry and rumination.
Many MCT therapists will instruct their clients to postpone their worrying and rumination until a set period later in the day. For example, between six and eight in the evening. Of course, many users will say that the things that they are worrying about are important issues for them, for example, problems that they want to solve.

Acknowledging that this may be true, I will say that negative cognitive processing on the problem is only going to make you feel bad, and it’s also very unlikely to yield any solution.

Simply leaving the problem alone without ruminating on it will almost always leave space for the solution to arise in the mind and usually a much better solution than worrying would have produced. People will also say that if they don’t worry about a problem, they may forget about it and it will be neglected.

Metacognitive therapy will advise that if it’s important, trust your memory to remember and deal with it at an appropriate time later on. So detached mindfulness, attention switching and postponement make up the three main strategies for dealing with worry and rumination that constitute the CAS and the personal, reflexive CAS.

I would also add to this attention training, using audio and using ambient surrounding sounds is a very effective way, to take your focus away and remove the CAS.

Mood Monitoring
Many would agree that when you feel depressed and or anxious, you live in a state of constant hypervigilance monitoring for threats. Worry and rumination create a sense of danger, and those afflicted live in a mode of almost constant threat monitoring. This monitoring consists of a scanning of the mind, the body and the environment for anything that could represent danger in the here and now or in the future. And as part of the cognitive attentional syndrome, this scanning can result in a feeling of dread for what may potentially happen and an unwanted sensitivity to events, then when the problem arises, even a trivial one, the person already primed for danger may often have an amplified emotional reaction to it, which would otherwise not occur.

If the threat monitoring sense did not exist, it would, under normal circumstances, have been dealt with without any drama or emotional pain. Under this state of heightened threat monitoring, non-trivial problems which represent greater meaning can result in prolonged experiences of worsened depression or anxiety.

Mood monitoring, mood monitoring behaviour is a form of threat monitoring and is something unhelpful that many with depression constantly engage in. The problem occurs in that unpleasant moods which are bound to occur on occasion are a natural occurrence and a part of being human. If left alone, they will self regulate and therefore will pass given time all by themselves.

Over vigilance in monitoring feelings, emotions and moods is unnecessary and counterproductive in that it can produce cognitive reactions, spiraling into negative thought patterns of the CAS and personal reflexive (PR) CAS.

If detached mindfulness is used in relation to moods rather than close monitoring behavior, they’re allowed to ebb and flow without affecting thought patterns, actions and therefore behavior. Detached mindfulness does not mean that we ignore or are unaware of our mood, rather that we are not identified with it. And therefore, we do not derive our identity or our sense of self from it. This spiral into cognitive attentional syndrome worries and ruminations may cause what began as a slight mood dip to develop into something worse in both intensity and duration. So you can see how mood monitoring is in and of itself, both an aspect of the CAS and also that which causes CAS worry and rumination.

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Magnesium for Depression, Anxiety and General Health

Our body relies on magnesium (Mg) for multiple functions. It is a cofactor for more than 325 enzyme systems helping in various biochemical reactions – including blood pressure regulation, glucose control, protein synthesis, and mood stabilization. [Source: IMMH]

Over the years, many studies and researches have also linked magnesium to depression, anxiety, and ADHD. So, if you suffer from depression or other mental health disorders it might be due to magnesium deficiency.  [1]

Note: Magnesium deficiency may not be the only cause of your depression, but it plays a significant role in mood and stress management. 

Studies show that low brain Magnesium reduces serotonin (key mood-stabilizing and happiness hormone) levels. [Source: NCBI

Therefore, it is essential to maintain adequate magnesium levels to prevent mood irregularities like feeling low, anxious, or depressed. 

Magnesium Deficiency 

Despite its importance, many people suffer from subclinical magnesium deficiency (aka Hypomagnesemia). This common occurrence in clinical medicine often goes undetected because magnesium levels are rarely evaluated. [6]

Recent data indicates that 10%-30% of the population in developed countries has a subclinical magnesium deficiency. Moreover, a review of around 30 plus articles concluded that magnesium deficiency was a possible global public health concern for adults.

Since most people are unaware of magnesium deficiency, it is highly recommended to take magnesium supplements to maintain adequate Mg levels, thus, ensuring a healthy mind and body. [2]

Impact of Low Magnesium Levels on The Brain

In terms of magnesium deficiency and brain health connection, low magnesium levels have been linked to: [5]

  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Higher levels of stress
  • Insomnia or sleep disturbances
  • Headaches or muscle pain/tightness

Magnesium deficiency in the brain contributes to the symptoms mentioned above due to:

  • Overstimulation of Excitatory Neurotransmitters

Regulation of Excitatory neurotransmitters is directly involved in mental health and mood disorders. Excess excitatory transmitters can cause overexcitation of brain cells, leading to poor cognitive performance and unhealthy neurological conditions. [Source: IJPSR

Magnesium regulates these neurotransmitters but its deficiency enhances the activity of the stimulating transmitters and weakens calming receptors especially gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. Thus, resulting in a more restless and anxious state. 

  • Increased Production of Stress Hormones 

Low Magnesium results in a higher release of stress hormones such as cortisol which increases the risk of major depressive disorder. [Source: NCBI]

How Magnesium Deficiency Worsens Depression 

As stated earlier, magnesium plays a huge role in brain chemistry and impacts mood regulation through many enzymes, pathways, hormones, and neurotransmitters. So, those with magnesium deficiency may experience a multitude of physical and emotional symptoms. [4] Some can not only complicate and worsen depression but also cause it; these include: 

  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Lower back pain 
  • Migraines and general headaches
  • Chest pain (particularly during an anxiety attack)
  • Muscle aches 
  • Joint pain
  • Digestive issues or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Issues with sleep
  • Low energy and motivation 
  • Poor concentration

The Evidence 

From A Meta-Analysis Study:

An article in The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine found a deep correlation between low magnesium levels and depression by testing the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data set from 2004 to 2010. It indicated a 95% risk ratio (RR) of low magnesium intake and presence of depression. [3]

From: Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment by George A Eby et al. Med Hypotheses. 2006

Case histories are presented showing rapid recovery (less than 7 days) from major depression using 125-300 mg of magnesium (as glycinate and taurinate) with each meal and at bedtime

Another analysis of over 8,800 people found that people with low magnesium intake have a 22% higher risk of suffering from depression

From a Clinical Trial: 

The Journal of PLoS One published a randomized clinical trial in 2017 revealing that magnesium chloride intake significantly improved depressive symptoms. The study also concluded that the participants taking antidepressants experienced improved benefits with magnesium, proving it useful in conjunction with antidepressants.

Benefits of Taking Magnesium For Depression 

The beneficial effects of magnesium supplements on mood and depression are so well-known that it has attracted nicknames like the original chill pill,’ ‘nature’s valium,’ and the ‘mind mineral.’ 

Dr. Mark Hyman, a physician, wellness blogger, and New York Times best-selling author, defines magnesium as the most powerful relaxing mineral.’ 

Bassem El-Khodor, Ph.D., has conducted various studies linking magnesium to chronic health disorders. He states that magnesium is ‘the forgotten nutrient, and its supplementation can significantly reduce depression and its symptoms compared to placebo. [7]

Studies show that restoring normal levels of magnesium (magnesium repletion) creates positive changes in both mental and physical health; these include:

  • Better mood and cognition
  • Healthy eating behavior
  • Healthy stress responses
  • Lower risk of depression 
  • Improved quality of sleep
  • Better efficacy of other modalities (such as depression medication)

What Can You Do to Improve Your Magnesium Levels?

If you are experiencing mood irregularities or already suffering from depression, add enough magnesium to your diet and eat magnesium-rich foods or supplement with magnesium glycinate

Foods high in magnesium include:

  • Avocado
  • Leafy greens
  • Dark chocolate
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

It would also be best if you got your magnesium levels checked. If you have low magnesium, you can take magnesium supplements. According to NHS UK, a healthy daily magnesium dose for men (19 to 64 years) is 300 mg a day and 270mg a day for women (19 to 64 years). 

Remember: Always consult your psychologist, nutritionist, naturopath, or GP before making any changes to your regimen or diet. Also, avoid taking any supplements without your doctor’s recommendation if you are already under treatment for depression or any mental health disorder. 


  1. Institute of Pharmacology Polish Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier Urban & Partner (2013). Magnesium in depression. Retrieved from
  2. Published by Emily K. Tarleton, Benjamin Littenberg, Charles D. MacLean, Amanda G. Kennedy, and Christopher Daley (2017). Role of magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression: A randomized clinical trial. Retrieved from
  3. Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment by George A Eby et al. Med Hypotheses. 2006
  4. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine March. Published by Emily K. Tarleton and Benjamin Littenberg (2015). Magnesium Intake and Depression in Adults. Retried from
  5. Published by Marie-Laure Derom, Carmen Sayón-Orea, José María Martínez-Ortega & Miguel A. Martínez-González (2013). Magnesium and Depression: A Systematic Review. Retrieved From
  6. Department of Applied Pharmacy, Medical University of Lublin. Published by Anna Serefko, Aleksandra Szopa, Ewa Poleszak (2016). Magnesium in Depression. Retried From
  7. Published by George A. Eby, Karen L. Eby, and Harald Murk (2011). Magnesium in the Central Nervous System. Retrieved from
  8. Published by Afsaneh Rajizadeh, Hassan Mozaffari-khosravi and Mojtaba Yassini (2016). The Effect of Magnesium Supplementation on Depression Status in Depressed Patients with Magnesium Deficiency: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Retrieved from











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CBT Techniques for Anxiety

anxietyTalking therapies are generally considered the most helpful of all CBT techniques for anxiety because individuals are able to effectively change their thought processes and reduce irrational thinking with better anxiety control. Techniques that work with different delivery options are adopted in effective psychological treatments.

Therapies or techniques dealing with anxiety work with self-help and psychological treatments under the supervision of trained professionals.

Techniques followed by CBT4Panic involve online consultation, group environments, and online programs. In all these functions, patients have an active role to play in achieving quick recovery from anxiety. They learn skills they can use to foster better emotional control for the rest of their lives.

1. Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)
Interpersonal therapy (IPT) helps individuals to get actively involved in the recovery process. This therapy addresses interpersonal issues in life leading to depression in adolescents, adults, and older adults.

Adopted skills include reading more about the problem, making notes of symptoms between visits to the psychotherapist, and wholeheartedly completing home assignments that contain treatment procedures. The treatment is supportive and is conducted over the short-term.

Sessions begin with identification of the individual’s interpersonal experiences and episodes of depression.

Skills are developed over each therapeutic session and practiced at home, leading to improvement in emotional control. IPT is usually conducted in 12 to 16 hour-long weekly sessions.

2. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
This CBT technique for anxiety is used extensively in psychological treatment. ACT is a therapy that uses top strategies of mindfulness and acceptance.

In other words, situations are created where individuals experience things without using their judgement and live in the moment. These situations bring about behavioral and commitment changes that help them cope with sensations, unwanted thoughts, and feelings.

A psychotherapist will be able to identify behavioral patterns and thought processes in individuals that help them deal with anxiety.

Once individuals begin to understand how unhelpful factors develop, they learn to replace unhelpful patterns with behavioral traits that improve coping skills and reduce anxiety.

3. Exposure Therapy
This technique uses encouragement to show patients the differences between productive worry and unproductive anxiety.

For example, a patient might constantly think of catastrophic situations happening in his life. The situation gets out of hand when he begins to fear the worst and anticipate out-of-control situations.

CBT techniques for anxiety help patients focus on solving problems and develop rational thinking with active participation in avoiding situations that cause anxiety. In practice, individuals are exposed to objects or situations that cause fear, thereby reducing their sensitivity to them over a period of time.

This technique is especially effective in dealing with phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

4. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
When specific conditions are created, eye movements are known to reduce the intensity of unwanted thoughts.

EMDR directly affects the way the brain processes information leading to a situation where the affected individual begins to visualize disturbing thoughts in a less stressful manner.

Rapid eye movements can create a situation similar to a positive dream. This technique is highly effective in treating post-traumatic sleep disorders, phobias, and panic attacks.

Self-Help Techniques
Psychoeducation is a process through which individuals learn about anxiety and develop strategies that help overcome it.

1. Relaxation Strategies
Progressive muscle relaxation and calm breathing are strategies that help individuals relax their bodies.

Sensations like shallow breathing and muscle tension often lead to depression, so individuals must be able to identify these symptoms and learn to relax.

They can stretch different muscle groups and initiate calmer breathing with intent. Methods used as part of relaxation strategies include meditation, massage, and listening to soothing music.

2. Realistic Thinking
This self-help technique is used to identify negative thinking and replace it with balanced thinking. Individuals feel better when they are able to expel unhelpful thoughts by understanding their roles in this world without resorting to excessive positive or negative behavior.

For example, an unrealistic thought process leads to situations where individuals feel they are wrong. They cannot cope with these situations and tend to mess things up.

On the other hand, a balanced thought process helps them understand that mistakes are possible but can be rectified through learning.

One of the basic steps adopted by CBT4Panic is to pay attention to the thought processes and help patients challenge negative thoughts when they arise.

Overestimating danger or anticipating catastrophe is a negative trend, and the best way to tackle these types of situations is to analyze rationally, then decide how to achieve positive thinking by challenging these unhelpful thoughts with CBT techniques for anxiety in a realistic and balanced manner.

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Effective CBT Anxiety Worksheets That Work Well

Cbt 4 step modelPsychology tools work better when therapy connected with self-esteem, anger, and other related thought processes are systematically structured into CBT anxiety worksheets that can be used later to improve psychotherapy treatments.

Though there are many different kinds of worksheets to assist CBT analysts during counseling sessions, experienced psychotherapists follow worksheets that lead to high levels of success.

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The “Looking Back Looking Forward” Worksheet
By reproducing events that help patients derive happiness from their past accomplishments, this worksheet focuses on the good experiences of an individual. It helps him imagine his best possible self that eventually helps him experience a sense of happiness.

CBT4Panic psychotherapists use this worksheet to help clients enter new phases in their lives. For example, retirees, college graduates, and young parents are especially benefited by the discussions recorded in these CBT anxiety worksheets.

Putting Thoughts on Trial
Cognitive restructuring is the process of examining irrational thoughts by allowing patients to play out different roles such as prosecutor, attorney, and judge.

They then compare different aspects of these irrational thoughts. Patients are able to examine thought processes using different perspectives, all backed by evidence that can be proved.

They do not consider assumptions, conjectures, or opinions. The therapist acts as mediator challenging evidence if it does not fit into the case or if the patient misses out on a few important cognitive behavioral traits.

Therapists usually introduce CBT to patients by teaching them the cognitive model that is used throughout therapy sessions. The psychoeducation worksheet consists of a single page with notes from a therapy session that can be used as a homework guideline.

It provides access to examples and notes focused on behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that are useful in changing negative thought patterns.

Psychoeducation motivates patients to follow up on their CBT homework and practice using inputs found in the CBT anxiety worksheets.

Substance Use Assessment
Therapy addresses addictions by detailing the comprehensive history of substance use in this worksheet. It contains a set of important questions that help patients understand addiction.

Answers entered into these worksheets are then used by therapists before a counseling session to complete a psychosocial assessment. Patient details including drug usage history are recorded on the first page.

Simple “yes” or “no” questions are listed out on to help the analyst probe into DSM-5 substance abuse symptoms. These assessment sheets are then used as aids to complete psychosocial assessments.

Therapy Goals
Client retention is assured when treatment goals are listed out during the first therapy session.

It motivates clients to think of further improvement when they experience desired outcome in the first few sessions. Clients list their expectations and hopes associated with therapy.

One of the most important questions listed is the Magic Wand question. Clients are told to imagine that they wake up to find all their problems resolved.

They are then asked if they noticed any difference in the way they felt. Specific examples are used to help clients understand life-changing elements in the solution.

Socratic Questions Worksheet
The cognitive restructuring process involves challenging and changing irrational thoughts. One technique that facilitates this process is Socratic questioning, wherein therapists pose probing questions to clients about their irrational thoughts.

Clients then become more aware of their irrational thoughts and are able to consciously pose questions and challenge these disturbing thoughts. A series of questions are listed under each thought process.

The client selects a few questions for each thought process, then records in-depth responses in the CBT anxiety worksheets explaining why these thought processes occur.

Boundaries Exploration Worksheet
This activity focuses on a complicated relationship endured by the client. Boundaries around that relationship are then explored in the first half of the worksheet. The second portion helps the client consider ways to improve those boundaries.

The therapist begins by explaining about boundaries with the help of the boundaries info sheet. Conversations occurring after psychoeducation are then recorded in these worksheets for later reference.

Thought Record Worksheet
With the help of thought records, patients are taught about interactions between feelings, thoughts, and behavioral traits. They can use these worksheets to record their experiences, which are then used to challenge irrational thought processes.

Problem-Solving Packets
Worksheets containing problem-solving packets are used to complete the problem-solving process.

Patients are offered five problem-solving steps on each page with a set of questions, several tips, and the rationale behind each step listed in these CBT anxiety worksheets.

Patients understand the problem, choose one of the generated solutions, then implement the solution and review the process. CBT4Panic offers self-talk scripts and worksheets to solve anxiety in daily life.

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The Most Effective Therapies for Anxiety and Depression

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a short-term structured psychotherapy treatment to treat anxiety and depression.

Therapists identify current anxiety symptoms in patients, then modify dysfunctional behaviour or thinking by talking to them and helping them to take an objective or pragmatic viewpoint of chronic anxiety problems.

CBT gradually changes the way a person faces daily challenges and recovers with rational thought processes that last for a lifetime.

How Anxiety Becomes a Problem in Life
Anxiety is quite normal, especially for those exposed to busy city lifestyles. Conditions like job interviews, visits to the doctor, and even travelling in a lift can cause some amount of anxiety.

However, when people experience anxiety over extended periods of time, it turns into a medical problem and is identified as a general anxiety disorder. Symptoms of anxiety may include:

  • Lack of confidence
  • Eating disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of concentration


Types of CBTs for Anxiety

There are different types of CBTs for anxiety, all aimed at identifying the root cause of anxiety, finding out how it is triggered, then structuring treatment plans based on symptoms experienced by the patient.

Negative feelings in patients may include panic, fear, worry, and anxiousness. These symptoms may be moderate to severe depending on how it affects the patient in daily life.

Psychotherapists at CBT4Panic are able to pinpoint circumstances that cause anxiety, identify challenges faced by the client, and then prescribe treatment based on this patient’s strengths to remove the symptoms of anxiety.

1. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
Behavioral and cognitive therapies combine to form CBT, one of the most commonly used psychotherapy anxiety treatments. Therapists can try out cognitive therapy to identify irrational thoughts in the patient, and then use behavioral therapy to treat all kinds of mood-related issues. CBT for anxiety addresses symptoms and conditions of irrational behavior in the present. It helps identify thought distortions using what is commonly called “here and now” therapy. Several new techniques originate from case studies leading to variations in psychological treatments.

Third wave CBTs – Anxiety treatments have evolved over time to form what are known as Third Wave or Third Generation CBTs. Experienced therapists come up with modifications that are useful in counselling sessions to treat symptoms of anxiety. These Third Generation CBTs teach patients how to accept conditions of anxiety, then use their strengths to come up with enhanced treatments that do not just remove symptoms of anxiety, but also help patients avoid relapses of this mental illness.

2. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
This Third Generation CBT helps patients understand their anxiety-causing emotions and thoughts with scientific literature. Making them aware of negative behavioral traits is the first step. They begin to accept these negative thoughts as they arise, but with ACT they are able to develop skills like mindfulness in order to prevent relapses of these events in the future.

3. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
Evolved as a Third Generation anxiety treatment, DBT helps patients synthesize their negative emotions and feelings, then develop positive behavior to get rid of these disturbing thoughts.

DBT works in four stages:

Train patients to understand their irrational behavioral traits
Help patients to open up and experience their emotions
Determine specific goals for individuals to increase productivity
Teach patients to explore spirituality that leads to happiness and satisfaction
4. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)
Improved upon in recent times, this Third Generation therapy helps people change their approach to disturbing thoughts. People suffering from anxiety and other illnesses like IBS and chronic pain experience success by focusing on mindfulness to remove symptoms. Patients change their judgmental attitudes with cognitive approaches that help develop mindfulness. In the process, negative thoughts are addressed from a distance to successfully remove anxiety over time.

5. Functional analytic psychotherapy (FAP)
Promoting and encouraging mindfulness, FAP offers a structured method for patients to understand what is and what is not relevant in real life. Therapy sessions help them develop positive feelings and understand how to avoid being overly critical about themselves. Human emotions like compassion, courage, acceptance, and love are explored using the “here and now” approach to increase self-esteem and love for life.

6. Compassion informed psychotherapy (CIP)
Another Third Wave therapy evolved out of traditional psychotherapy practices, CIP focuses on alleviating symptoms of anxiety by increasing self-worth in a person. For example, an individual suffering from low esteem can participate in therapy sessions to reduce stress while increasing self-confidence and building up the mindset needed to prevent further attacks of anxiety.

7. Integrative couple’s behavior therapy (ICBT)
By identifying characteristics that cause anxiety in partners, couples are able to use ICBT to improve communication between them. Happiness is derived out of planned pleasure trips, while a conscious effort to indulge in emphatic listening helps couples remove the symptoms of anxiety.

CBT Exercises For Patients
Patients suffering from anxiety can find quick cures by taking part in CBT for anxiety exercises, specially designed to address negative automatic thoughts. They learn to challenge them when they arise, then develop healthy rational thinking to get rid of them. These exercises are customized depending on the patient’s level of anxiety and success rates achieved with specific exercises.

1. Mindfulness meditation
Patients use mindfulness meditation to stay away from negative thoughts and live more in the present. Meditation can be performed in different ways as part of cognitive behavioral therapy to cure anxiety.

2. Maintain anxiety scales
The Anxiety Scale and Blue Scale are commonly used to measure and record anxiety levels as they occur. Treatments leading to improvement in anxiety are also recorded for future reference.

3. Graded exposure
This exercise helps patients to adopt behavioral traits they would normally avoid. Negative tendencies must be challenged, and graded exposure is one way of allowing patients to experience circumstances that lead to fear and anxiety on a regular basis. They then develop capabilities to overcome these symptoms with effective interventions.

4. Successive approximation
Difficult tasks are divided into segments that patients can understand. It becomes easier to perform this exercise when patients are aware of achievable goals. In this case, approximation is used to break down the symptoms. Patients learn to tackle one problem at a time to achieve success.

5. Cognitive restructuring
This CBT exercise allows patients to examine negative behavior in themselves. Effective methods (like maintaining thought records to tackle these negative feelings and replace them with alternate positive responses) are then adopted.

6. Breathing exercises
People suffering from anxiety may experience difficulty in breathing. In such cases, they can relax by performing breathing exercises to get rid of negative emotions, then experience calmness and clarity of thoughts. These breathing exercises are known to remove symptoms of rapid heart rate, dizziness, and shortness of breath.

7. Maintaining activity schedules
CBT for anxiety treatments may contain exercises to bring about behavioral changes. When patients record these activities and maintain frequencies of positive occurrences, they become better equipped to develop positive thought processes.

8. Develop cognitive and positive behavioral skills
Patients lacking the skills needed to overcome anxiety often have to take part in skill exercises that include role-playing and fulfilling direct instructions to meet specific goals.

9. Maintaining stress logs
Patients can keep track of negative thinking patterns to gain insight into how their minds work when experiencing panic attacks. They are able to identify negative behavioral traits that occur frequently. They then develop the skills to cope with them at a later date.

10. Challenging disruptive thought processes
The way to challenge negative thoughts is to face them when they arise in a structured manner that helps patients convert these distorted thoughts into positive mental behavior.

11. Daily exercise schedule
For best results, patients may fill in daily action sheets to address symptoms of depression. Every day, they perform specific cognitive exercises, then enter outcomes into their daily exercise sheets. In time, individuals are able to identify negative as well as positive traits, then follow a customized exercise plan to recover from anxiety.

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CBT for Major Depression
A report published in the Joint Clinical Psychiatry in 2013 indicated pharmacotherapy trailed behind psychotherapy by a 1:3 ratio as an effective treatment for depression. Also, CBT for anxiety is considered to be more cost-effective than pharmacotherapy, especially if follow-up periods are considered.

The primary treatment of major depression includes strategies like monitoring patient moods and daily activities, scheduling week-by-week activities to help patients master these activities and derive pleasure from them, and lastly identifying and reducing negative behavioral traits that increase symptoms of depression.

CBT Benefits Across Major Depression Settings
Meta-analysis indicates benefits offered by CBT performed in a clinic can address symptoms of depression as well as secondary outputs generating enduring positive outcomes and lowering maintenance costs to sustain long-term treatment of major depression.
CBT performed in a group brings down the cost of treatment and turns out to be as effective as individual therapy sessions over the long term.
As compared to the use of antidepressant medications and behavioral activation techniques, CBT for anxiety turned out to be around 61% more efficient in preventing relapses of major depression.
CBT Training For Individuals
Symptoms of anxiety vary and may affect people in different ways. Therefore, even individuals suffering from borderline anxiety disorders must prepare themselves with cognitive behavioral therapy training.

Cognitive development
New techniques and exercises are developed for CBT based on case studies. They are then structured into training materials for individuals suffering from anxiety. For example, constantly thinking of impending danger allows anxiety to creep in. Individuals must be trained to overcome these negative thoughts and respond differently. The ideal cognitive development training teaches them to recondition their thought processes and turn negative thoughts into rational thoughts. Training methods at CBT4Panic may include:

Slow walk/relaxation/slowing down/slow talk
Step-by-step improvement – Individuals listen to reason and do away with lies with increased focus. For instance, sufferers are able to identify negative behaviors, challenge them, then develop positive emotions without getting aggressive. Therapeutic exercises are prescribed to remove anxiety.
Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) – Train the mind to divert attention, focus, and interest away from automatic negative thoughts.
Talking to self – By constantly repeating helpful statements, individuals are able to change negative to positive attitude on a permanent basis.
Acceptance paradox – When one learns to accept their faults, the acceptance paradox becomes a useful tool that helps individuals understand they can break down, are ineffective and imperfect at times, and can handle difficult situations with better understanding.
Behavioral development
Individuals learn to put themselves in difficult situations, identify positive behavioral traits, then find solutions that help them drive away anxiety and depression. Behavioral development training is often considered part of their homework after therapy sessions. Exercises and techniques taught to individuals and therapy are repeated at home. With patience and understanding, this training can remove anxiety permanently.

Relaxation techniques
Techniques that teach individual to relax are important components of daily training to get rid of anxiety. Individuals learn to breathe calmly and relax their muscles. Patients remove tension by systematically flexing groups of muscles. It becomes easier for individuals to face erratic breathing episodes and remove tension.

Emotional development
When individuals undergo therapy, they are offered de-stress strategies to develop emotionally. These strategies help them achieve calm and peace. They learn to fill their minds with therapeutic information gathered at counselling sessions. In time, these individuals are able to find inner peace and can easily overcome fears and anxieties.

Exposure to fear
Exposure to conditions that cause anxiety and fear is another important part of training. Individuals learn about what causes fear in them, then adapt by constantly exposing themselves to similar conditions. For instance, travelling in an elevator can cause anxiety in people who feel trapped in enclosed spaces. Avoiding travelling in lifts is just a short-term solution. The mind must be conditioned to overcome fear by repeating the exercise.

Avoiding relapses
Training the mind to overcome anxiety is a much better option over the long term. With practice, individuals learn to deal with emotional stress and anxiety. Once they experience positive outcomes, the mind is trained to follow similar techniques and exercises that prevent relapses in the future. Weekly schedules are prepared to practice CBT for anxiety skills. Individuals learn to look for warning signs, then use CBT techniques and exercises to prevent further episodes.

Benefits of CBT
Consideration must be given to a treatment plan that does not endorse the use of medication to get rid of chronic problems like anxiety. The benefits of CBT cannot be ignored when dealing with symptoms related to depression and other mental illnesses. In fact, research has shown schizophrenia can be treated with CBT.

Some major benefits of CBT are:

1. Patients suffering from chronic illnesses like schizophrenia can actually participate in treatment plans and effectively overcome psychotic symptoms with CBT techniques and exercises. They learn to identify negative thoughts using collaborative empiricism, confront them with a positive frame of mind, and get rid of hallucinations, delusions, and depression without resorting to disruptive processes. CBT for anxiety techniques and strategies are applied to initiate rational thinking by doing away with unwanted thoughts and preventing negative thought processes from developing repeatedly.

2. Experts consider CBT to be the best treatment for anxiety and depression for both moderate and severe depression. Negative behavior is slowly removed from the mind by adopting altered thinking processes and developing positive feelings. CBT has the potential to match pharmacotherapy in curing depression and in several cases brings about a lasting solution.

3. CBT affords long-term benefits for mental illnesses with or without the help of antidepressants. Patients usually try out antidepressants to get rid of anxiety problems before resorting to CBT treatments. Though short-term benefits are similar, CBT turns out to be a much more affordable and long-lasting solution for anxiety.

4. The short-term effects of CBT are also positive when therapists complete treatment in a few weeks. Patients are then given exercises and techniques to follow up at home to ensure permanent results.

5. Therapists make use of technology during counselling sessions to speed up the process of curing anxiety. Therapeutic sessions may include computer programs, counselling sessions, and self-help books as follow-up aids.

6. One of the most effective uses of CBT is treatment without historical data. Symptoms of anxiety appear when patients are taken through circumstances leading to stress. They learn to connect negative behavior and thoughts to incidents that led to anxiety in the past. Solutions are offered in the present, and patients find relief quickly by altering behavioral traits that cause anxiety.

CBT for anxiety sustains positive changes in patient behavior by teaching them how to deal with stressful situations. CBT4Panic offers training techniques especially designed for them.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Exercises for Anxiety – A Brief Guide

Depicting basic tenets of CBTThere are several cognitive behavioural therapy exercises designed to counter the negative effects of mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.

These exercises come into play when negative automatic thoughts are identified, examined, and the patient is challenged to get rid of them with healthy rational thinking.

Exercises may vary over time, and people suffering from anxiety may have to resort to different kinds of mental exercises as part of their overall psychological therapy to meet with total success. CBT4Panic offers panic dialogues, emergency self-talk scripts, and a four-step program to tackle anxiety.

Here are some exercises commonly used in CBT treatments:

Graded Exposure
This exercise is an extremely effective tool to help patients recognize behavioral tendencies that lead to anxiety. The graded exposure intervention exposes sufferers to behaviors they normally would not demonstrate.

By constantly coming in contact with circumstances leading to anxiety and fear, sufferers learn to adopt the approach that leads to reduction in anxiety over the long term.

Cognitive Restructure
This cognitive behavioral therapy exercise helps people examine their negative thinking patterns and come up with ways to tackle them when they arise.

For example, a cognitive restructuring exercise may involve maintaining thought records, thereby identifying abnormal automatic thought processes and countering them with alternate responses.

Successive Approximation
This is a practical tool that helps people divide difficult tasks into segments to achieve seemingly improbable goals. Steps include performing a single task aimed at achieving the goal.

Patients typically find that it is easier to perform a single step than several tasks put together. By attempting one task at a time, sufferers are able to master all these goal-achieving tasks.

Developing Skills
If skill deficits are identified, sufferers are put through skills training, a cognitive behavioral therapy exercise consisting of direct instructions for patients to follow. They model and role-play with the intention of completing tasks that help them achieve their larger goals.

Mindfulness Meditation
Sufferers learn to distance themselves from obsessions or harmful ruminations by coming to grips with situations they face in the present. Meditation in different forms can be practiced. Studies show this CBT exercise is responsible for curing different kinds of psychological problems.

Scheduling Activity
Depression is often tackled by using activity scheduling exercises wherein people experience behavioral changes they normally would not consider. For instance, a low-frequency activity can be systematically increased over the week to form a pattern that leads to positive behavior over the long term.

Breathing Exercises
One of the best exercises to tackle the psychological impact of anxiety is to regularly perform breathing exercises for relaxation. This cognitive behavioral therapy exercise helps sufferers recover from psychological problems leading to symptoms like dizziness, shortness of breath, and rapid heart rates.

The exercise helps control negative emotions arising in the body. Slowly but surely, patients gain clarity over thoughts leading to enhanced comfort levels and lessened anxiety symptoms.

Logging Stress
Keeping a record of automatic negative thoughts is a practical way of gaining more insight into the working of one’s mind. By keeping note of repetitive negative behavior, sufferers become aware of a chronic problem and are able to cope with it in time.

One of the best ways to solve problems related to anxiety is to adopt an active problem-solving role. This CBT exercise involves charting out strategies and following them. Sufferers face difficult situations to reach a point where they have better control over anxiety.

Challenging Negative Thoughts
Another useful CBT exercise is to directly challenge negative thoughts when they arise. In time, sufferers are able to come up with rational behavior that replace these distorted thought processes.

Anxiety Scales
Two of the most effective scales or exercises used by sufferers include the Blue scale and the Anxiety Scale. These scales help monitor symptoms of depression at different levels. Sufferers then keep track of progress made with the help of progress reports.

Daily Action
People suffering from depression undergo different CBT exercises. By keeping constant track of symptoms when daily activities are performed, they are able to identify patterns.

For instance, people begin to understand intense pleasure, anxiety, and depression when they occur. Again, solutions are designed to gain mastery over these negative thoughts.

In all instances, cognitive behavioral therapy exercises help people gain confidence. They begin to take active roles in solving their emotional problems.

If planned psychological exercises are not included in therapy, people go into depression or experience chronic mood fluctuations leading to repeated failures. This is why CBT4Panic follows a comprehensive program that is customized for each patient.

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The Stress and Exhaustion connection to Anxiety and Depression

The Stress and Exhaustion connection to Anxiety and DepressionWhy do some people have a trouble with anxiety & depression and others do not? It seems that some people seem more nonresistant for that type of problems than others but that the key trigger tends to be mental, physical, or emotional exhaustion. Things like diet or substance abuse lead to physical exhaustion also.

For some persons it may be exhaustion caused by an active and even aggressive lifestyle. Too many people never taking time to release the stress. Individuals like that often do not discover that their stress levels are too high until they get surprised by a spontaneous panic attack. For others it may be an emotional exhaustion caused by the loss of a loved one or the break up of a long term relationship.

If the anxiety and depression is caused by a traumatic life event it is challenging to note that the person rarely experiences the anxiety until the event has passed. You frequently see people handling a crisis very well but several weeks later they start to feel the anxiety. It is like they have been in shock and are only now open enough to process the experience.

The most important thing to know about panic attacks or general anxiety is that help is available and it is essential to get help sooner rather than later. It’s always recommended to visit your doctor firstly to truly find out that it is just anxiety you are dealing with and not an underlying physical disorder. Once you are sure that it is anxiety that you dealing with, treat it. Don’t wait. Burying your head in the sand hoping it will simply be gone next week is not a good way to treat it. It is totally unnecessary to spend months if not years dealing with problem that can be corrected now.

That help is available right here. The Panic Away Program modify the way you process your anxiety enabling you to end panic attacks and general anxiety and depression. It costs no more than a dinner for two but can improve your life for the better. Invest in the right kind of information that puts you back in control of your life. That is the best kind of investment you can make.

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Thoughts on the Necessity of Negative Emotions

Necessity of Negative EmotionsIn different stressful situations it is very important to deal with the wide array of emotions including those that are considered negative. In most cases revealing that one has negative emotions and displaying them is forbidden by our society. A man that cannot control these emotions is considered bad mannered or even a bad person. Many people today think that controlling negative emotions means suppressing them, not letting them out. But in most cases that is not quite right.

Suppressing negative feelings like anger or sadness in some situations may help. These are the situations where hiding your emotions is crucial for your success. But most of the time we don’t need to hide our emotions. When we talk to our family members, friends or other companions it is much more useful do try to demonstrate and talk about our feelings. When we do that we are getting closer to those people that we care about.

What does it mean to control your emotions and even the negative ones? It means being able to know what exactly are you feeling in the situation of “here-and-now” and to use them for your own good. For example if you’re feeling a particular negative emotion like anger you can use all that energy that anger provides you for achieving positive goals. Sometimes negative emotions are signals that something is not right, that for example you need a rest or change something in your daily life. Knowing your emotions can help you understand what exactly you want and what exactly do you need.

Many of modern psychotherapeutic schools are focused around emotions. Gestalt-therapy, existential therapy and many others are helping their clients understand their problems better through emotions. The important role of our emotions is growing due to the lack of time and communication between family members nowadays. Knowing that negative emotions are as important as positive ones can make your emotional life brighter and richer.

In fact suppressing negative emotions makes it nearly impossible to show all the variety of feelings. Positive and negative emotions depend on each other and make your life complete. We recommend you to pay attention to all of your feelings. Anger, sadness are as important as joy or other so called positive feeling. Your feelings are the things that no one can take away from you. Let yourself feel different emotions even the negative ones a live your life to the fullest.

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Beating Post-Holiday Depression

post holiday depressionMost of us are likely to feel obligated to make sure everyone has a good Christmas. These pressured expectations can lead to fatigue and exhaustion, guilt, and even a depression. The best way to avoid frustration after the holiday season, control over your post-holiday expectations and provide a meaningful Christmas and New Year’s experience for you and your family, without the emotional disappointment that usually occurs after it’s all over, is to follow the tips below .

Post-holiday blues can result from built-up expectations and disappointments from the previous year, coupled with stress and fatigue. People who do not view themselves as depressed may also develop stress responses, such as headaches, insomnia, overeating and excessive drinking. Anyway, a sudden change between holiday and everyday life is a difficult change, but can be managed in a few simple steps.

– Make realistic expectations for the holiday season. Always set realistic goals for yourself. Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Do not take on more responsibilities than you can handle. Let others share the responsibilities of holiday tasks.

– Keep track of your holiday spending. Overspending can lead to depression when the bills arrive after the holidays are over. Extra bills with little budget to pay them can lead to further stress and depression.

– Do not put all your energy into just one day (no matter Thanksgiving Day or New Year’s Eve). The holiday cheer can be spread from one holiday event to the next.

– Enjoy the present and look to the future with optimism. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment and sadness by comparing today with the “good old days” of the past.

– Limit your consumption of alcohol, since excessive drinking will only boost your feelings of depression.

– Spend time with supportive and caring people. Make time to contact a long lost friend or relative and spread some holiday cheer. At the same time it’s great time to make new friends. Don’t forget to find a moment and a place for yourself!

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Melancholy is Blue, but What Color is Depression?

Melancholy 1894Doctors classify the classical clinical depression as an upset condition when a person is never happy, always filled with dismay, and does not see or expect from life any good, nether in the future, nor at present. Appetite and sleep may be lost, working capacity may be reduced.

Fortunately, most of all we are pressed by a seasonal depression. So what should we do? Spring, bright sun and green grass are a long way off. And spending so many months, not living, not enjoying life – is offensive.

Therefore, we need to give ourselves a shake. Not only in a figurative sense, but literally, as a dog shakes the water off. Scientists claim that any physical shaking is useful for the body, it makes the negative energy kind of through off and tunes you to a working mood, action, and creation. Aerobic, morning exercises, walking, running, swimming, and a usual Sunday walk are excellent antidepressants. Even half an hour walk before work stimulates production of new brain cells.

A good sleep is an important condition, too. If you can not fall asleep, take a bath with a valerian root broth before going to bed. Pour 2-4 tablespoons of a minced root with a liter of water, boil slowly for 10-15 minutes, infuse for 1 hour, strain and pour into the tub. Bath temperature should not exceed 37-38 degrees. Take it for 15-20 minutes. At night you can also drink chamomile tea with honey or a glass of warm milk with honey.

In the morning it is good to take a cup of tea with cranberry or blackberry instead of regular tea.

Any citrus, as well as their flavour and colour, cheer you up.

Experts recommend yoga or Chinese gymnastics. Excellent choice is dancing or aerobics. You can dance at home under fiery music.

Any hobby picks up the mood, for example, making funny pets or beautiful things of scraps. Bright patches generally have a salutary impact on women.

You can start drawing. In summer we don’t really have time; we rather want to go here and there. But winter nights are just created for creativity.

Aromatherapy will have a therapeutic effect, too. Oils of rose, mint, jasmine, or clary have a positive effect on the nervous system, banish sad thoughts, tone and soothe simultaneously.

One of the best means of fighting with depression is to replace destructive thoughts to creative ones. If you’re thinking: “all is bad, I have no luck in anything”, then just take change this idea to the light one – everything in my life is fine, I am perfection itself, life loves me and cares for me. Never mind that in fact it is wrong and you do not really believe it. Just constantly replace all the negative thoughts by this idea. If you do so at least for a month, then you will be amazed at the changes occurring to you.

Smile to life, and it surely will smile in return to you. Life adores smiling people, they are lucky both in deeds, and in love. Look around and you’ll make sure of it.