Practical Growth: A Self-Recovery Podcast

Elevate Your Emotional Strength and Resilience through Cognitive Reappraisal

June 15, 2023 Season 2 Episode 242
Practical Growth: A Self-Recovery Podcast
Elevate Your Emotional Strength and Resilience through Cognitive Reappraisal
Practical Growth | Self-Recovery
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Do you want to improve your emotional regulation, stress management, and resilience?

Join me, E.B. Johnson, in the final episode of season two, as we dive into this groundbreaking approach and reveal how you can implement these life-changing techniques.

Listen in as we explore why cognitive reappraisal is so powerful and discuss three ways for you to embark on a journey of emotional transformation this summer.

As the season comes to an end, I want to encourage you to think differently about yourself and your life, and to strive for your personal greatness before the year's end.

So, tune in, embrace the journey, and get ready to unlock your full potential with the power of cognitive reappraisal. Keep your head up and your eyes on the stars – the sky's the limit!


Support the show

Love the podcast? Leave a 5* review on Apple Podcasts. Ready to commit to the next level of transformation? Join my email list to get my best advice. Want to get coached by me? Apply now:


Welcome to Practical Growth the podcast. I'm your host, eb Johnson, author, writer and cognitive reappraisal coach. This is my podcast and it's all about empowering you to thrive By giving you the hard to swallow truths they don't want you to know. Tune in every week for new advice, tips, tricks and ideas covering toxic families, complicated relationships and everything in between, including some of the hottest topics in pop psychology. If it's happening, you better believe we're going to talk about it. So tune in for expert guests, practical advice and new mind-blowing personal development topics. Every Thursday It's all happening here on Practical Growth the podcast. Tune in Hello, hello, hello again, my lovelies, it is me, eb, your favorite podcast host, your favorite mediumcom writer and your favorite TikTok coach. And I'm back, back, back. We did it. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and this is the final episode of season two. That's right, we made it. We made it all the way to the final episode of season two, and what a wild ride it's been. We've covered everything from narcissistic families, narcissistic partners, to what it means to build a realistically positive, powerful, transformative mindset, and that's what we are going to continue and finalize here today. Specifically, we are talking about the new type of coaching and training that I'm going to be offering, which is rooted around this one incredible life-changing approach, and that is cognitive reappraisal. That's right, we're going to be exploring the fascinating world of cognitive reappraisal today and talking about the most important benefits, specifically, the three most important benefits that you can get from taking a cognitive reappraisal approach to your life instead of toxic positivity, instead of nothing talk therapy and all of these different therapeutic modules that just simply don't work. So we're going to dive into that today and discuss cognitive reappraisal and how you can use my best tips and techniques to transform your life realistically and fast. But before we jump into that, i hope you'll give me just a couple of quick seconds to tell you about my exciting new coaching program which I am going to be offering this fall. That's right, the two-month coaching program that you have all come to know and love as practical growth is getting a bit of a facelift and an upgrade specifically to a new form, a new approach, through cognitive reappraisal technique. This new one-on-one program is so exciting because it takes all of the NLP frameworks and NLP tools that you guys have come to know and love for me and it upgrades them. It gives them a serious boost so that you can fast track your mental and emotional regulation and healing goal. How does it do that? Well, this new program takes those NLP techniques and upgrades them, not only with cognitive reappraisal frameworks, but through the use of somatic therapeutic techniques to target your nervous system and bring about rapid cognitive and behavioral change. Not only do you learn how to unlock your full potential, but you learn how to embrace the fullness of life and the fullness of your experiences as a human being, the good and the bad. Because here's the truth, folks It's never going to stop being a struggle, it's never going to stop being challenging. You have to learn how to navigate the hardships of life, and that's what this program helps you to do. Now, this is going to be limited to only six people and it will be starting up this August. So if you want to be one of the lucky six who gets to try out this groundbreaking new cognitive reappraisal coaching program with me, then you need to head over to therealebjohnsoncom right now and click on Working With Me. If you're serious about achieving your goals, if you're serious about finding a way to calm your anxiety, to lower your cortisol levels, to manage the chronic pain, the chronic stress that you're in, then this could be the ideal program for you. But for these two months of coaching, you're going to need to get in gear and apply now, because these spots will go quickly And, again, that's starting this August, so time is running out. If you want to apply, head to therealebjohnsoncom and click on Working With Me. All right, let's get back into it. Cognitive reappraisal. What is cognitive reappraisal? Why have I gone on and on and on about it? Why am I getting ready to gear my entire coaching practice towards this life transforming technique? Why? Why would I possibly do that? Because cognitive reappraisal, without a doubt, is the number one greatest tool that we can adopt in order to transform not only our mental and emotional health, but our physical response to stress and to trauma. I'm not even kidding, if you wanna really get technical about the definition a cognitive reappraisal. Essentially it is a behavioral technique, right? It helps you to reprocess the stimuli that your brain receives, reassign emotional significance to them and therefore change your behaviors to stress and negativity in your outward life. You're learning how to work with your brain in order to reprogram it and better cope with the inevitable distressing emotions that you are going to face in this life. Okay, you reframe your thoughts, you reframe your beliefs and you reframe the way you see and understand the world around you. And all of this is based on the principle that, essentially, our emotions are not only a result of external events. Right, they're also influenced by the inside, how we perceive them and how we interpret them. It all kind of fits better. You understand it better when you understand the emotional process of the brain. Okay, it all kind of starts with what is called the limbic system, which is this little tiny bit at the end of your brain stem, which is kind of tucked away under the front of your brain. Okay, the limbic system is a super ancient part of the brain. They estimate it's maybe like 200,000 or 200 million years old or something like that, and it's very, very primitive. And it is essentially the part of the brain which, as stimuli, sensory experiences right, the things you experience in the outside world come up the brain stem, they hit that limbic system And the limbic system is thought to assign the emotional significance. So the information comes up the brain stem, it hits the limbic system and the limbic system goes. This is bad, this is a bad emotional thing, and it starts to send those signs out to A, the cortex right, which is the big front part of your brain, which is essentially kind of what makes us the rational, logical human person. It's kind of our conscious state, it's our thinking brain, our cognitive brain, and then also the limbic system also starts sending out signals to the endocrine system, which makes things like cortisol, and to your autonomic nervous system, which is your fight or flight response. It's responsible for your fight or flight stress, increasing the stress in your body so you can get away from danger. So that's how emotion happens. The limbic system gets stimulated, it sends out signals to all these things. Your cortex starts going crazy, trying to rapidly think through this bad emotional experience that it's going through, and that's where the disconnect really happens. This is where cognitive reappraisal, coaching and techniques and approaches become extremely powerful, because it's all about incorporating that understanding of the brain, that knowledge of the brain, to target yourself before you spiral out of control emotionally, before your nervous system becomes overwhelmed, before your body gets flooded with things like cortisol. It combines, yes, rethinking techniques along with somatic techniques in order to keep yourself level and balanced, holistic, right as a whole, so you can make the right, rational, logical, emotionally healthy and balanced decisions for yourself. Let's look at the specifics of why this cognitive reappraisal approach, these techniques, are so powerful. Okay, number one it has been shown across multiple studies to enhance your emotional regulation, your ability to regulate your emotions. Now, this is not done solely by just thinking through the emotional state right, because that doesn't actually work. Those thoughts, right, the logical let's think this through rational part of your brain, the cortex. It's connected to your limbic system, the emotional part of the brain. But there can be a huge disconnect, right, a lot of franticness, a lot of messiness, if you just try to use that cortex to just think through the emotion. Emotions are also a physical experience in that they inspire a chemical reaction, several different chemical reactions within our bodies, which then create physical responses to these emotions. Right, and some of those physical responses can be really bad for us in the long term. So the first benefit of this cognitive reappraisal is enhancing your emotional regulation. We reframe your thoughts, you approach nervous system, stimulating and calming techniques to activate your somatic nervous system so that you can change the way you perceive your experiences and the motions that you have around your experiences. So it has nothing to do with controlling the world around you, because you can't, bad things are always gonna happen. You have to gain control over your emotional states and regulate your responses to those emotions. Now, we don't wanna have you blissed out. This is not about oh, i'm gonna learn how to be happy when things make me angry. Wrong. You need to feel all of your emotions. True emotional regulation is feeling all of them, expressing all of your emotions internally and externally, but regulating your reactions internally and externally to those emotions, and cognitive reappraisal helps with that. Now, along with that number two, the second big benefit from cognitive reappraisal is improved stress management, and this also includes pain management, and I'm gonna explain why. So, again, tons of studies. You can if you go over to my Instagram. I've shared some of these and my stories. I'll continue to share them over the next week or so. Cognitive reappraisal has been shown to be one of the most powerful ways to improve the way you manage your stress, again on an emotional level and also on a physical level. People that have gone through these studies in which cognitive reappraisal is used. They had more positive responses to situations that made them angry, that put them under high pressure, and it's not that the experience itself was changed? it was that their physical response, like their cortisol levels, were actually lowered during these experiences and they were able to more positively and effectively express themselves and resolve the situations right. So cognitive reappraisal it helps you manage stress, and when you manage this stress, it's on a physical level and it's on an emotional level. So when you're faced with something that just really oh my God, this is really bad, you can actually use cognitive reappraisal to completely reframe your thoughts and reduce the negative impact of the stressful thing that you're experiencing, no matter how stressful and extreme it might be. Now number three, this third really powerful way in which cognitive reappraisal will transform your life quickly and from the inside out. It's by boosting your resilience. Boosting your resilience, and it does it because cognitive reappraisal is embracing reality. Embracing reality. Okay, you look at the world and say I understand, i get it. Things will never be perfect. I will always have ups, i will always have downs. I will experience things that I can neither anticipate nor make good out of. That's life. It just is. It's up to me to make sure that my reactions, good or bad, are true reflection of myself, and I know that, no matter what happens, i will survive it. I have the power to survive it and I will adjust to whatever life looks like on the other side of that challenge. That is resilience More than anything else. Cognitive reappraisal boosts your resilience. Okay, you reframe your thoughts, you overcome adversity, you develop a positive outlook despite the brutality of life, almost in spite of the brutality of life. And when you do this, when you can really master this approach, it helps you to bounce back from setbacks and challenges more quickly and with greater ease and greater physical health. That is incredibly powerful stuff, right? That is incredibly powerful stuff. How different would your life look if you could stop worrying about what was coming around the corner and just know that you had it covered, that it was gonna be survivable, you were gonna be fine? How much different would your life look? How much different would your life look if, no matter what pain you were recovering from remembering, you could take control of your body, you could take control of your mind, you could take control of your portion, your spheres of control in that situation, by changing the way you react, by changing the way you respond, the way you decide to perceive what you're going through. How much different would your life look? Well, if you aren't serious enough to invest in yourself and apply to get coached by me this fall, then there's three things that you can do. Okay, there's three things that you can do this summer, right now, to put yourself on a path of cognitive reappraisal and transforming your perception of life, good or bad. Number one examine your beliefs and your assumptions. Whatever the biggest negative emotional reactions you have, why are you having them? What is the root cause beneath that? Sometimes, our belief in assumptions can be unfounded. They can be rooted in past traumas, pains, experiences that we psychologically, emotionally, mentally have not resolved, and the more that we just leave those inside to fester, they can lead to these negative emotions, these unhelpful thoughts, these outdated and archaic beliefs like well, if this person does this, then they're gonna do this, because this person all the way 20 years ago did this to me, and it's the same thing, it's the same pattern. You need to examine your beliefs, examine your reasoning and examine your reactions. What's working, what's not working, what's making you feel good and what is making you more agitated? Where is the peace and where is the chaos? That's where it has to start, first and foremost. Number two identify your negative self-talk. Identify your negative self-talk. Where are you being cruel to yourself and why are you doing it For me? I have a bad habit of when I make a mistake, i'm super sharp at yourself. Like you, idiot. You clawed you're such a fraud, you're a moron. How could you do that? What a disgrace. Brutal, absolutely brutal. What purpose does that serve? Do we think that that helps my nervous system or do we think that that starts wiring up my nervous system because it goes? yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. You are a fraud, just like that horrible, abusive woman told you 20 years ago. What do we think? A big part of cognitive reappraisal is changing the way you speak to yourself, constantly inside your mind. You need to reappraise those experiences and analyze where the root of that kind of Break is. Why are you so cruel to yourself? that inner voice that criticizes you, that judges you harshly, it serves no purpose. It serves no purpose. You can be just as motivated, just as inspired, just as driven with a positive, voice of love and support as you can. That cruel one Which holds you back, which increases your doubts, increases your insecurities and makes you see potential opportunities as fearful, negative experiences that should be avoided. That inner critic has to be Silence, and if you're not comfortable silencing it, they need to be controlled, because that inner critic is one of the biggest voices That's shaping those outward experiences and is agon on your negative reactions to them. Number three, last but not least, this one's a doozy and it's one that I use all the time and it's one that I like to tell my clients to use all the time, and it's kind of a big first step in learning how to kind of shock your system and at the same time, reframe Your craziest thoughts and moments of stress and macabre positivity. It essentially works like this. I'm gonna use an example from one of my clients. In one of our sessions Okay, anonymously, of course I had a client who was dealing with quite a stressful situation with a family member that they had. It was Really stressing them and they had been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks. It was causing them serious anxiety. They couldn't sleep, they were having problems eating, they couldn't stop talking about it. It was getting in the way of stuff that they had going on for work. They stopped working out, they just couldn't do anything. They were completely possessed, obsessed, overwhelmed, overcome by this situation and Not being able to resolve it with this other person and essentially what it came down to is anxiety. Every time this person would think about the Situation or get triggered by something that reminded them of the situation, they would start the thought loop and it would then trigger their nervous system And they would feel the physical effect of the stress in their body And then they would get more hyper focused and obsessed and it just loop, loop, loop, loop, loop, loop, loop, loop Until they were completely drained, and they drained everyone else around them too. So we started one step at a time, with macabre positivity, and I just had to basically Look my client in the eyes and say right, listen, this is gonna be dark, but you need to understand something. As intense as this situation is, as Sad as it has made you, as aggravated as made you, as angry as it has made you, it will not kill you. It's not gonna kill you. It literally is not gonna kill you. As a matter of fact, when you step back and you look at the rest of your life, short of your disagreement with this person, nothing else in your life has changed, not a single other thing. No relationships with your other friends and family have changed. Your bills are still due. On all the same times. Your clients are still looking for you at work. You still have to show up and feed your dogs every morning and walk them, and take care of your body and feed yourself And go to the bathroom right. None of those fundamental parts of being alive and having a physical life have changed Materially. Nothing has changed. And tomorrow You're gonna wake up. It doesn't matter if this person that you love, who has disappointed you, who has upset you, calls you today And says the most heinous things possible. You're gonna wake up tomorrow and life's gonna go on, so it's literally not gonna kill you. So I want you to look at that for a moment and then tell me how does your nervous system feel about that? How does your brain feel about that? It was a shock to the system. It was a shock to the system and this client was completely taken aback and they looked at me and they were like, wow, that's just taking a massive weight off my shoulders. You're completely correct. There's no headsman coming for me. No one's gonna come and chop my head off tomorrow. I'm not gonna get a rest. I'm not gonna lose my home. I'm not gonna lose anything. This is just one tough Situation. But you're right, it's not actually gonna kill me. And so this was macabre positivity for a few reasons. One, it did actually help her take down the physical effects of the stress that she was feeling, which means it actually helped her to calm down her nervous system in reaction to the stress. Once she was able to do that, she was able to think more rationally. Once she was able to do that, she was able to compartmentalize this situation and understand that right. I've got this one disagreement with this one person. That is just one teeny, tiny corner of my life. I have all these other rooms and halls and gardens that I have to see to and explore in this, this home. That is my life and that is macabre positivity. Okay, it's taking the tough, almost nihilist reality of the fact that That response that your nervous system is having is primitive. Okay, your nervous system's got like two conditions off and on. When it's off, you're at peace, life's fine, you can think through things, your, your cortex can take over. But when it's on, all it knows is I just got to keep him away from death and it thinks everything's death. It's very primitive. It just tries to keep you away from anything and everything dangerous. When it's stuck in that on position, and sometimes we can shock it With this macabre positivity, this alright, listen, calm down. This is a stressful situation, but it's not fight-or-flight, right. It's not worth fight-or-flight, simmer down, turn off, we're not gonna die. Get a grip. That, my friends, is cognitive reappraisal. That is it. That is the true power of cognitive reappraisal. It can change your life on so many different levels, even if you are someone with chronic pain. I'm again, i'm telling you go and look up these studies. Cognitive reappraisal can help your physical response to the stress That is generated in your body from chronic pain conditions. It is powerful, your mind is powerful, and you can learn To control your mind by embracing it, by finding the balance, giving it freedom to be itself, to feel what it feels. But you control the reactions. You are the filter of what comes out and What it creates in your future. Thank you so much for listening to this episode. I hope that you got something. I hope that you really see the power in those three most important benefits of cognitive reappraisal. I hope that, even if you're not gonna Apply for coaching with me, that you will at least go out into the world and do some digging for yourself And that you will take the path of Thinking differently about yourself in your life. So thank you so so much for listening. I really appreciate all of you who read. All of you follow me on tiktok and Instagram, even Twitter. You're great, you're excellent, you've changed my life. So Get serious about achieving your goals, get serious about changing your life and until next time When we meet again for season three, keep your heads up and keep your eyes on the stars. Keep moving forward. Bye, bye.

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