How To Feel Better About Anything With CBT

How To Feel Better About Anything With CBT


Can you use CBT to feel better about almost anything?

Of course, the answer is yes! CBT is such a great tool to help us get unstuck and see through our own thought errors: places where we’re making assumptions or mistakes.

However, you don’t need to go to a therapist to try this out on yourself. Today I’m sharing a simple practice to help you slow down your thoughts and consciously choose how you want to feel.

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a widely used and effective form of psychotherapy that focuses on helping individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors.

It’s based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interconnected, and that by changing one aspect, we can positively influence the others.

CBT is typically structured, goal-oriented, and time-limited, with the number of sessions varying depending on the individual’s needs and the specific issues being addressed. It’s been extensively researched and has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, OCD, and eating disorders, among others.

Where You Shouldn’t Use CBT

CBT is not the best tool for trauma or deep psychological pain. That’s because it doesn’t go into our body or subconscious mind. Instead, it forces you to gaslight yourself in a way. While for many things, conscious self-gaslighting is exactly what we need, it’s not for everybody or every situation.

Trauma healing just doesn’t respond effectively to thought-based therapy in general. It’s better to work on that with somatics, EFT, or EMDR. And of course, protect yourself. If you’re every overly triggered, stop the work and always seek out the help of a one-on-one practitioner if you need to!

How To Feel Better About Anything With CBT

This simple CBT protocol will help you to feel better about almost anything.

It’s called The Model and was created by life coach Brooke Castillo of The Life Coach School. It follows the simple logic that thoughts drive feelings which drive actions which drive results.

This is powerful because it lets you “hack” your way backwards into whatever area you need.

Got a bad habit? Find out what thought and feeling is creating that.

Upset about something? Find out how that story was created in your mind and learn to see how it’s affecting you.

Step #1: Write Down The Model Framework

Grab your journal so we can get to work! First we’re going to write a blank version of The Model. (The Model is Castillo’s specific language but the process is actually CBT!)


This is also sometimes called CTFAR for short.

Step #2: Start To Fill Out The Model

The beautiful thing about the model is that you can start anywhere you like.

For example:

Got a thought that’s bothering you? Put it on the T line.

Unhappy with a certain behavior or habit? Put it on the A line.

You just need to start with what’s bothering you and fill the rest in from there.

Here’s a pretend model to look at:

C: My husband forgot to take out the garbage.
T: He really hates me.
F: Anger. Resentment. Bitterness.
A: Avoiding him or not talking to him.
R: Feeling even more disconnected and unloved.

The Model is straightforward but there are a few mistakes people make frequently.

The first is that we like to put our feelings in the Circumstance line. So just remember, that the Circumstance is all about the cold hard facts–not your interpretation of them. Feelings are not facts! If you still get confused, think about what can be proven by law or science versus your lived experience.

Second, we often want other people to take action. The action line is all about what you’re doing, purposefully or not. Thoughts always end up driving actions! They don’t live in a bubble. So start getting responsible for yours!

Step #3: Now Do It Again

Now we get another piece of paper and fill out The Model framework again. However, this time, we’re thinking ahead. How do you want to feel? What do you want to think? Which action do you want to take?

Understanding where you are right now is only the first part. The second part is to create a useful roadmap for your ideal outcome.

Again, this is so powerful because it lets you change almost everything.

The only thing that we can’t change are our outer circumstances. However, The Model still shows us how to have a better relationship to those things.

Example Model:

C: My husband forgot to take out the garbage.
T: He must have been in a hurry this morning.
F: Acceptance. Mild Annoyance.
A: Remind the husband to do it when he gets home.
R: The garbage goes out–late, but it still goes out.

Final Thoughts

I know that at first it sounds crazy that just writing down your thoughts or feelings like this could actually do anything for you.

However, we are all prone to “thought errors”: mistakenly placing blame somewhere it shouldn’t be or assuming we don’t have power over something when we do.

Most of the time our thoughts and reactions move so swiftly we don’t even notice our own mistakes or assumptions.

In other words, yes, writing things down will not only help you identify what isn’t working but also inspire you to figure out what will.

I hope this tool empowers you as much as it’s empowered me! Please go ahead and use it on almost anything: a thought, a problem, a block. While it doesn’t fix subconscious programming or body trauma, it really does solve a ton of our every day issues.

Jenn Stevens The Self-Worth Project

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How To Feel Better About Anything With CBT

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