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Thursday, 14 January 2010

Dealing with Mental Stresses

Albert Ellis, the person who invented Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (a form of cognitive behavioural therapy), suggests a simple technique for helping with certain types of stresses as follows.

The technique applies to situations where you find yourself thinking that someone should or must or ought to do something. You may be thinking this about someone else (a kind of expectation or demand) or about yourself (a form of self criticism). Or indeed you may be thinking it about a situation rather than an individual: Thoughts such as it ought to be like this or it ought not to be like this.

If you have these kind of internal demands or expectations (and I think we all do at some time or another) then if they are thwarted you usually begin to feel stressed or resentful or angry or frustrated (with others or with yourself or with the situation).

The technique suggested by Ellis is that in this kind of situation in your mind you replace your internal dialogue with the new thought 'I have a strong preference for X' instead of 'X ought to be the case' or 'S/he should do X' or 'I should do X'. You could of course slightly alter the formulation to use a similar phrase with which you are comfortable, such as 'I would greatly like it if X.'

If you do that you may find that the feelings of stress, resentment, anger or frustration reduce.

Try it and See!

Note: If you are interested in learning more CBT techniques like this one through telephone life coaching session, to help with a personal stressful situation then visit the link below for information about what such sessions might cover:

Life Coaching with CBT


Blog Post Written by Life Coach David
For Life Coaching Books and Resources visit: Life Coaching Books

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