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CBT Labeling

CBT Labeling

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CBT Labeling infographic
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Definition

CBT labeling is a practice of naming your negative thoughts and feelings. This can give you more control of your thoughts, boost confidence and mitigate limiting beliefs.

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Possible Benefits

  • Increases the ability to understand and manage your emotions 
  • Gives you more control over what goes on in your mind 
  • Decreases the feeling of uncertainty and thus anxiety
  • Promotes knowledge about yourself
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Required Equipment

N/A

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How to Do It

Observe your thoughts and feelings.  When you have a negative thought/feeling that will not go away give it a name. This separates YOU from the negative thought. Ask yourself “What is this thing that's going on in my head right now?”.

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Why it works

  • Makes us more mindful of our thoughts which gives us better control of ourselves and our environment. 
  • Separates us from our negative thoughts so that we don’t buy into the negativity.
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Time Commitment

15-20 minutes (if you choose meditation-like exercise)

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Suggested Frequency

Daily

Meditation-like exercise: 3-4 times per week

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Suggested Time of Day

Early morning or evening (if through meditation exercise)

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Side Effects

Excessive labeling can leave you overwhelmed. 

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Notes

  • CBT labeling is especially useful at times when you feel more tension and/or anxiety, as it will help decrease uncertainty and increase the feeling of control over your mind. 
  • Typically it takes time to get used to this exercise and make it a habit. This is because our mind has acquired some habits and knows how to function on "autopilot". Labeling is an intentional practice to gain more control over some elements of mental life that are usually automatic.
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Related Products

Mindfulness diary

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Supporting Studies and Articles

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  1. Cognitive strategies to regulate emotions—current evidence and future directions. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3887268/
  2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780323072939000210
  3. Why Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Is the Current Gold Standard of Psychotherapy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5797481/
  4. 15 Common Cognitive Distortions. https://psychcentral.com/lib/15-common-cognitive-distortions/
  5. Psychology’s power tools. https://aeon.co/essays/this-is-why-cognitive-behavioural-therapy-works-so-well
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Category

 Mood  Confidence  Stress  Productivity  Focus
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