There’s a direct relationship between our actions and how we feel.
When we’re stressed, we reduce our activity. As we become less active, there will be fewer opportunities for positive and rewarding things. The fewer rewarding things we experience, the lower our mood.
Behavioral Activation Therapy, or BA, is an effective way to beat this vicious cycle. It’s an evidence-based and practical treatment for anxiety and depression.
Behavioral activation therapy for depression is a brief and structured psychotherapeutic approach that targets a person’s depression by focusing on the behaviors that feed onto the condition. This highly-personalized intervention aims to:
The main idea behind this practical treatment for anxiety and depression is to allow the person exhibiting signs of depression to learn to cope with the negative energy and increase positive awareness by redeveloping their personal goals.
This therapeutic intervention focuses on the person’s behavioral changes in their daily life. It might involve helping them schedule more activities that you actually enjoy doing, helping you boost your social skills, or just simply learning to track your activities and emotions.
While behavioral activation aims to curb behaviors that feed into depression, mental health professionals use different approaches. However, you should expect several behavioral activation examples to stand out, including:
The first step involves keeping a log where you compare the actions that always make you feel good and those that make you feel bad. These items will form the center of your therapy.
After distinguishing the positive and the negative behaviors, you’ll now identify the ones you’ll increase. You may choose several crucial ones and then set specific and achievable targets for practicing them more often. For instance, if you find it difficult to get out of bed every day, you may commit yourself to wearing an outfit that makes you feel your best every morning, even if you don’t intend to leave the house.
Another crucial component of behavioral activation involves replacing unhelpful activities with beneficial ones. For instance, you can limit the duration you spend browsing social media pages or replace it with direct phone calls to family and friends.
Also, if you notice that you resort to drinking whenever you’re stressed, which leaves you feeling even worse, you might want to replace alcohol with another stress-relieving and pleasurable habit like a creative hobby.
Replacing useless behaviors creates positive feelings, allowing you to avoid unhelpful activities whenever you feel stressed. Moreover, you’ll easily manage stress effectively without any side effects.
Finally, you must constantly record your milestones, including how changing your behavior and activities affects your feelings. Over time, you may realize that it’s easier to focus on activities that benefit you. If not, you may want to tweak your approach.
Behavioral activation therapy can effectively beat stress and anxiety, but it’s always a great idea to involve an experienced mental health professional. They’ll accurately diagnose your condition, suggest the most effective behavioral changes, and recommend other approaches where necessary. So don’t hesitate to schedule your consultation today.