The Power of Thoughts

1. Guided Exercise: We're focusing on the cognitive part of mindfulness-centered CBT today, so in this recording I guide you through observing thoughts as opposed to getting caught up in them.

You might think of it like window shopping. Your thoughts are the items in the window, and you're the person looking in from the outside. As long as you're on the sidewalk, you're the Observer.

If you walk into the store and get caught up in the things you see, you've stepped out of your "window shopping" mode and are in your habitual mode of thinking.

When you notice you're "in the store" instead of looking through the window, just step back from your thoughts and resume watching them.

Don't worry if this feels difficult at first. We're not in the habit of observing our thoughts, so it will take practice to get the feel for it. As always, the point of this exercise isn't to do it well, but to learn something from it.

Thanks to Dr. Stuart Eisendrath for the window shopping metaphor.

2. Lesson: Let's dive in today to the big ideas in cognitive therapy—the "Think" part of Think Act Be—and explore the power of thoughts.

3. Activity Plan

  • Repeat guided exercise on mindfully observing thoughts
  • Complete two additional exercises with today's worksheet
  • Add any relevant material to your Plan