Super Simple CBT (One Powerful Cure for Depression) #BookshelfScavengerHunt
Welcome to the third installment of the Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt series. With every post, I open a book and challenge myself to find at least one brilliant idea to share.
Authors Matthew McKay, Martha Davis, and Patrick Fanning pack a lot of wisdom into their small book, Super Simple CBT.
CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The subtitle of the book is “Six Skills to Improve Your Mood in Minutes.”
This book is geared to help people who struggle with negative thoughts that cause them to feel anxious, scared, sad, lonely, angry, or worried.
I feel blessed that I don’t experience extreme versions of these emotional states. But I’m well aware that many people struggle with some form of these on a regular basis.
This book is filled with helpful coping techniques that I’m sure many will benefit from.
The main nugget I want to focus on appears in Chapter 6. It covers the relationship between depression and activity.
This is something I’ve heard many times over the years, and the authors do a good job of explaining it.
One of the effects of depression is feeling immobilized. It’s hard to push yourself to do normal self-care activities when pleasure seems absent from your life.
The authors write:
“Feeling immobilized is not only a symptom of depression; it is also a cause. The less you do, the more depressed you feel, and the more depressed you feel, the less you do.”
It’s a downward spiral that perpetuates a withdrawal from life and prolongs the depression.
The solution: Push yourself to get active even when you don’t feel like it.
The authors suggest easing into it by first scheduling activities that either bring you joy (or once did in the past) or you feel you are good at.
After you get some familiar activities on the calendar, it can be helpful to add new experiences into the mix. Challenge yourself to try new things.
Possible activities include meeting with a friend, talking on the phone, going to a movie or play, exercising, playing a board game, listening to music, dancing, taking a drive, hiking, gardening, writing a letter, pursuing a hobby, cleaning the house, getting a massage or haircut, and more.
You don’t have to be experiencing depression to benefit from these types of activities.
Getting physically engaged in something can simply lighten your mood and enhance your life — no matter what your current state of mind is.
So, whether you are in a bit of a funk, seriously depressed, or just want to squeeze more joy out of life, choose some of your favorite activities and put them on your calendar.
P.S. If you are really going through a tough time, you don’t have to power through it alone. Here’s one great place to get the help you need!