Record Your Thoughts Using a CBT Tracking Diary App

Stress, depression, and anxiety represent three of the major problems modern generations face, affecting the overall quality of life and preventing one from enjoying everyday living (professional and personal implications). Cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective solution for addressing such issues, allowing people to identify irrational beliefs and challenge such thoughts in an effective manner.

If you battle any of the above-mentioned problems, as well as feelings of low self-esteem, resentment or anger, you might benefit from using a cognitive behavioral therapy diary. CareClinic’s health can be used for such purposes, allowing you to record your feelings and thoughts; in addition, you can use it to record coping strategies and rationale challenges.

CareClinic’s health app, the right CBT app for you

It is useful to know that CareClinic’s health app can be used as a CBT app, or, more specifically, as a thought diary. The application allows you to record the thoughts that go through your mind, especially when you are in a negative emotional state.

As you will see these thoughts on the computer/smartphone screen, you will find it easier to deal with them. You will gain perspective and finally understand how far from reality they really are. All you have to do is record different events throughout the day and how you felt in association to the said event. For each event, be sure to add a constructive comment or a rationale challenge, as these will come in handy later on (repetition of positive thoughts for behavioral changes).

If you have gone through a situation that made you feel stressed or anxious, you can make an entry for it. Be sure to mention why you felt in this way and describe potential triggers. Write your thoughts with regard to that situation and what you tried to do, in order to feel better (outcome – relief). You can also rate the event or situation, as well as enter a satisfaction rating for the entire day (R: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21819813).

Why should you consider keeping a CBT diary?

When you are in a negative mood, you might have the tendency to focus on the things you failed to achieve and automatically put yourself down. On the other hand, with the CBT thought diary, you will get to see that there were a lot of things achieved throughout the day. Thus, you will put things in perspective and feel a lot better in the end.

You should use CareClinic’s health app to record not only events you are anxious or stressed about but also those if you feel good about. In this way, you will realize that there are a lot of positive experiences to be proud of and that you are not defined by stress, anxiety or depression.

As the application allows you to make daily entries with regard to your mood and thoughts, you will be able to get a better understanding of your problems over an extended period of time. Based on your entries, a monthly report will be created and you can share this report with your therapist, or other healthcare professionals.

Perseverance is the key to overcoming any difficulties

The CareClinic health app brings you one step closer to cognitive behavioral therapy, teaching you to change your mindset and fill your head with positive thoughts. However, in order to succeed in making the necessary changes, you have to persevere.

It is important to end each of your diary entries with a constructive comment or rationale challenge. This will help you see things from a different perspective, slowly achieving the desired balance in your life. Finding something good to say about your day or provoking irrational beliefs with rational ones can prevent you from giving into negative thoughts.

If you have had a good day, you will find it easy to come up with a positive thought or understand that some of your thoughts did not actually make sense. However, even when you have a bad day, you still have to go through this process. On the one hand, you would have achieved at least one thing and, on the other hand, you had a positive experience from the actual writing.

Thanks to CareClinic’s CBT tracker, you will be able to see that your day wasn’t as bad as you expected and that you managed to achieve more than you thought possible. You can also motivate yourself for the next day, feeling less stressed or anxious about what lies ahead.

Thought diary teaches you to challenge negative thinking

In using CareClinic’s health app as a cognitive behavioral therapy journal, you will discover that it is possible to improve your life by challenging negative thoughts and replacing them with beneficial ones. You can also add personalized coping statements, as these will help you stick to the new thought pattern.

How can you know if this is the right thing for you to try out? Well, if you are battling stress, anxiety or depression, you might want to consider such options. The same goes for those who feel the need to be in control all the time, dealing with anger issues or failed relationships. A thought diary can be used to challenge feelings of low self-esteem and to re-discover the motivation for a fulfilling life.

The application allows you to recognize negative thoughts for what they really are and how these interfere with daily goal achievement (R: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC288092/). The next obvious step will be to make the necessary changes. First and foremost, you have to be willing to admit that irrational beliefs often stand as the foundation for many problems, such as the ones mentioned above.

There is no need to feel hopeless about making such changes, as you have apps such as CareClinic to use as your very own CBT diary. You can write about your emotions, thoughts and mood in general, using these entries to modify your behavior. Once you manage to challenge your irrational thinking, you will finally see how much of your energy went in that direction and accept change.

Customized entries regarding minor and major events

Let’s say you are going to start a new job and you feel anxious about how you will be perceived, and whether you are up to the challenge or not. Make a separate entry for this event and do not be afraid to record all of your emotions, and thoughts. Rate how distressed you are and then proceed to identify irrational thoughts.

Try to separate yourself from these thoughts and look at the whole situation from another perspective. Positive thoughts can help you change the way you perceive stressful events and lower the associated anxiety. What are some of the most common irrational beliefs? These include the tendency to blame others, to generalize situations/thoughts and also evaluating others in a negative manner.

With CareClinic’s health app and its associated cognitive diary, you can make these customized entries and learn to change your thinking. You will develop rational thinking, which will defeat the irrational beliefs. Nevertheless, you should persevere and repeat the positive thoughts until they become an automatic pattern your brain follows.

With regard to the above-mentioned irrational beliefs, you should never use your feelings to validate them. These negative thoughts are not accurate and you have to detach emotionally from each and everyone, opting for the rationale challenge instead.

Let’s take an example, in order to understand why it is essential that the rationale challenge is believable. The phrase “I am worthless” is often heard and it is more damaging to one’s self-esteem that many others out there. If you were to say, as an alternative, “I am a person of value”, your brain would not be as convinced. On the other hand, by adding “who contributes to society, volunteers or loves his/her family”, you will definitely notice the difference. This is what believable refers to.

Practice makes perfect

Upon reviewing your CareClinic thought diary entries, you will notice that there are a lot of constructive comments, positive thoughts and rationale challenges to use. However, it is not enough to write these once and never look back. Practice makes perfect and, by repeating all of these frequently, you will stimulate the brain’s muscle memory and develop a new, more beneficial thought pattern.

It is possible to look at things from another perspective. When you write about your thoughts, either on paper or on an electronic device, you can finally get outside of your head and gain a clearer view. Many of these thoughts will instantly appear as irrational and writing them can help you challenge these in the most effective way possible.

By writing in your diary on a daily basis, you will discover that you have begun to pay more attention to your thoughts and their characteristics. This heightened awareness can be used to make a change in the right direction and learn how to think in a positive, healthy manner (R: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3806791/). Similarly, if you are looking for a DBT Diary, click here to learn more.

Tips on using the CBT diary

CareClinic’s health app should be used to record your thoughts on a daily basis. The more you write in the thought diary, the sooner you will be able to change your mindset. The brain will adopt the new automatic thought pattern and you will finally enjoy your life to the fullest.

As you might have already figured out, you do not need to write exclusively about significant events. You can make entries about minor things that happened to you throughout the day, as this will help you practice your writing and direct you towards positive thinking (R: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4760272/).

Review your entries with regularity and pay special attention to the rationale challenges, as these have to be repeated to be assumed. The thought diary offers increased awareness, allowing you to make better choices and develop healthy self-esteem.

Writing in the CBT diary, you will improve your health and general well-being, reducing the feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression. It is a powerful tool of cognitive behavioral therapy, allowing one to say no to negative thoughts and feel empowered once again.

CareClinic, an application constantly developed for its users

The team behind CareClinic works non-stop to develop the health application, so as it includes a multitude of features for those dealing with mental health issues. Apart from the CBT thought diary, one can use the application to record various emotional and psychological symptoms, as well as treatments and therapies.

The application can be used to set up reminders for therapy appointments and medication, as well as to add a team of caregivers. You can share the monthly reports with your therapist and make adjustments to your intervention program, as well as add additional information about yourself (nutrition, exercise, sleep).

To maintain your own diary and track your progress, click here to sign up to CareClinic.

Alexandra V.

Alexandra V. holds a degree in Physiotherapy from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Carol Davila. She holds an additional degree in Journalism and writes in English and German. She is passionate about preventative health care and an undergrad in Medicine.
Alexandra V.