Friday, October 19, 2018

CBT Disputing Negative Thoughts

If you find that you are feeling angry, depressed, upset, or anxious, take this as a clue to examine your thinking. Make a habit of using your negative feelings as a cue to begin the Disputing Negative Thoughts practice.
Reality Testing

-What is my evidence for and against my thinking?
-Are my thoughts factual, or are they just my interpretations?
-Am I jumping to negative conclusions?
-How can I find out if my thoughts are actually true?

If your thought is a core belief, write it out and ask yourself, “Is this thought 100% true ALL of the time?”. Begin creating a list of any and all instances you find that are not true.
Look for Alternate Explanations

-Are there any other ways that I could look at this situation?
-What else could this mean?
-If I were being positive, how would I perceive this situation?

Put Things in Perspective
When you are feeling upset, you are likely to think about things in a way that is much more extreme than the actual situation. This can make the negative feelings a lot worse. Putting things in perspective, can help you to reduce this extreme self-talk.

-Is this situation as bad as I am making out to be?
-What is the worst thing that could happen? How likely is it?
-What is the best thing that could happen?
-What is most likely to happen?
-Is there anything good about this situation?
-Will this matter in five years’ time?

Use Goal-directed Thinking – Recognizing that your current way of thinking might be self-defeating can sometimes motivate you to look at things from a different perspective.

-Is thinking this way helping me to feel good or to achieve my goals?
-What can I do that will help me solve the problem?
-Is there something I can learn from this situation, to help me do it better next time?

Do a cost-benefit analysis of believing your thought. Ask yourself, “How will it help me to believe this thought?” and “How does it hurt me to believe this thought?”. Write down your answers and decide if believing this thought is more harmful than good. If so practice choosing to let it go, or opening to the possibility that your thought is not true.
This technique is one of the core practices of cognitive therapy. This direction in therapy was mainly pioneered by Aaron Beck.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Journal to Self-Awareness

Journaling is the first step in self-awareness. A thought is fleeting; a paragraph is reflective.
Let’s start this year off with a different approach. Rather than looking externally for “fixes”, let’s look internally for “resolutions”.

There are many ways to self-reflect, but keeping a journal and reading it out loud is one of the best ways to gain insight to your thoughts which create your universe.

Epictetus said, “Write them, read them aloud, and talk to yourself and others about them.”

Journaling is important because it creates a space amid the relentless mind chatter from which to pause, collect, organize and untangle. Journaling enables us to set things down, sort through them, unpack them, understand them and heal them. I believe that keeping a journal is one of the healthiest things that we can do, fundamental to emotional well-being and on a par with regular exercise, a healthy diet, and plenty of sleep.

I’ve included several Stoic thoughts that can serve as a reminder as well as providing a clearer view regarding our perspectives.

As Marcus Aurelius’ said, “The quality of your life will be determined by the quality of your thoughts”

Now put your thoughts down on paper!

Clarity — Remember, the most important task is to separate the things that are in your control from those that are not in your control. This allows us to get real clarity about what to focus on in life.
 “It’s not activity that disrupts people, but false conceptions of things that drive them mad.” Seneca

Equanimity (Mental calmness) Passions are the source of suffering. “A real man doesn’t give way to anger and discontent,” Marcus Aurelius reminded himself, “and such a person has strength, courage and endurance—unlike the angry and the complaining.” Calmness is strength.

Awareness — Accurate self-assessment is essential. Know thyself, was the dictum from the Oracle at Delphi. Knowing your strengths is just as important as knowledge of your weakness, and ignorance of either is ego.
“Nothing is more hostile to a firm grasp on knowledge than self-deception.” Zeno

Unbiased Thought —command to himself. Our life is colored by our thoughts, and so to be driven by this bias or that bias—this delusion or that false impression—is to send your whole existence off-kilter.
“Objective judgement, now at this very moment,” -Marcus Aurelius

Right Action — It’s not just about clear thoughts, but clear thoughts that lead to clear and right action.
“First, tell yourself what kind of person you want to be; then do what you have to do.”-Epictetus
“Don’t talk about what a good man is like. Be one.” -Marcus Aurelius

Problem Solving — Are you vexed by daily obstacles or do you throw yourself into solving them? “This is what we’re here for,” Seneca said. No one said life was easy. No one said it would be fair. Let’s make progress where we can.

Duty “Whatever anyone does or says,” “I’m bound to the good...Whatever anyone does or says, I must be what I am and show my true colors.” -Marcus Aurelius
He was talking about duty. Duty to his country, to his family, to humankind, to his talents, to the philosophy he had learned.  (Don’t preach your philosophy; embody it!)

Pragmatism — If the food is bitter, toss it out. If there are brambles in the path, go around. Don’t expect perfection. Be ready to be flexible and creative. Life demands it.

Resiliency — Do you want to count on good luck (passive) or be prepared for anything that happens (prepared)? “Let come what may” because we have cultivated inner-strength and resilience.

Kindness — Be hard on yourself, and understanding of others. See every person you meet, as an opportunity for kindness and compassion. Nothing can stop you from being virtuous, from being good. That’s on you.

Amor Fati — Don’t just accept what happens, love it! Because it’s for the best. Because you will make it for the best. Embrace everything with a smile. Every obstacle provides a path for growth…for adaptation

Memento Mori — We’re strong but we’re not invincible. We were born mortal and nothing can change that.

Seneca said, “prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life.” Let us put nothing off, let us live each moment fully.

Friday, November 3, 2017


“It’s silly to try to escape other people’s faults. They are inescapable. Just try to escape your own”
-Marcus Aurelius

“Wow…How can they do this to me?”

“I’ve done so much for them.”

“They always use me.”

This scenario occurs time after time throughout our lives. Sometimes we’ve taught people how to treat us…sometimes people are selfish and lazy.

Theses no doubt that it’s frustrating, but how much time do you allow other people to occupy your mind? How much time do you allow it to rob you of your time, family, and your peace of mind?

There is a line that Marcus Aurelius quotes from Euripides. “You shouldn’t give circumstances the power to rouse anger, for they don’t care at all.” 

What good does the negative emotion do anyway?

Isn’t it interesting how we rage at the things that are outside our control; traffic, employees, opinions, weather.
The world is going to take things from you; time, energy, and money.

It’s even going to take other people from you. It’s going to do this whether you like it or not. It leaves a little control for us; however, only a small piece of control remains in our hands.

Therefore it’s all up to us to decide what we choose to do with our emotions.

Hold on to them?

Or let them go?

So if we’re going to be stressed or upset about anything; if we’re going to criticize or critique; there is only one place to look. It’s in that very little space we have control over...Our thoughts

“Let go or be dragged” –Chines Proverb

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Diet ‘khor ba (Circling)

“I yearn to be free of pain, but rush straight to it; I long for happiness, but foolishly crush it like an enemy” -Shantideva

‘khor ba, in Tibetan means circling, This “circling” is an endless round of compulsive flight and fixation. We feel compelled to struggle ahead completely blinded by the emotional highs that bring us right back to where we first began.

Optimism- This time is different!!!

Excitement- This is new!!!

Thrill- I’m seeing changes!!!!!

Cockiness- Haters gonna hate!!!!

Euphoria- Look at me now!!!!!

Anxiety- How can I keep this up?

Denial- This can’t be happening?

Fear- What will they think?

Desperation- What will I do?

Panic- No!!!!

Capitulation- I quit

Despondency- There’s absolutely no hope

Depression- There’s nothing left

Hope relief- This sounds interesting?

Optimism- This time is different!!!

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth, only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.”
-C.S. Lewis

Friday, October 13, 2017


Personal awareness precedes personal transformation


Paradigm Shift - A fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions

The reason we don’t change for long is because we have a set of beliefs that keep us who we are, not who we want to be

Things don’t change…we change

Traditional Method (externals)


What can I do to lose weight?


I’m going to restrict my food, and exercise more


I want to look better

Transformation Method (internals)


What can I do to get what I want out of life?


Personal awareness of thoughts

-Internals are primary (self-awareness)

- External are secondary (diets, exercise)


Because I’m important and I want to fully experience all of what life has to give.

“The day you decide you are more interested in being aware of your thoughts than you are in the thoughts themselves - that is the day you will find your way out” - Michael Singer

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

5 Steps to Euthymia

Eu.thy.mia (yu-thi-me-a) Energetic tranquility

Principle 1: Acknowledge
There is only one person you can change. You can’t change things outside of your control.

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Be mindful…Recognize/accept the events in your life that you do and don’t have control over. If you focus on events outside of your control, you are wasting energy and fostering negative emotions. You can’t change events; you can only change your attitude towards them. Through this realization our mind can become impenetrable. So long as we can control our attitudes and reactions, we can very well never be negatively influenced by outside events.

Principle 2: Contentment
Don’t fall prey to modern society’s materialistic nature.

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”
― Epictetus

You can't buy happiness. Tranquility is something that comes from within.

“There’s no dollar sign on a piece of mind” -The Zack Brown Band

Principle 3: Appreciation/Gratitude
Picture life without the people and possessions you have to truly appreciate them.

“Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.”     ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

We’ve realized now that wanting more leads to dissatisfaction…so how do we find happiness? The key lies in gratitude. We must appreciate all that we have and find joy in it. Ironically, in modern times, we already have everything we need.

Principle 4: Do the right thing
Be genuinely cheerful (passion) in all your interactions. “A man thus grounded must, whether he wills or not, necessarily be attended by constant cheerfulness and a joy that is deep and issues from deep within, since he finds delight in his own resources, and desires no joys greater than his inner joys.”― Seneca

Now, utilizing the stoic principles, our happiness can become independent of other factors; we should be cheerful all the time as stoics because we desire nothing more than human experience. If we desired more, we could allow ourselves to be disappointed. This doesn’t mean that stoics can’t enjoy the finer things in life…it just means we shouldn’t think of them as necessary for our happiness. Only providing goodness to the world through helping people and advancing society…something we each are able to do on a daily basis, can make us truly fulfilled.

Principle 5: Embody
Practicing your values beats preaching them.

“Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.”
― Epictetus

Stoicism must be practiced if you want to influence the world in a better way. Ask yourself regularly, “What’s the best way to act in this situation?” You should be looking to make choices based on your personal values to increase the greater good. Live by your moral code.

To Summarize: 

-Don’t get caught up in materialism

-Let your cheerful attitude (passion) elevate your colleagues to bring them up; perform work diligently and for the greater good

-Recognize and acknowledge what’s in and out of your control…don’t let things out of your control affect your joy

-When frustrating things happen, breathe, recognize your emotion and the reason for it, and let it pass. You can’t do anything about it anyway. All that you can control is your reaction, and all you can do is embody goodness and appreciate all you have, which is something I’m sure we’ll all find joy in.

"You are here for my benefit, though rumor paints you otherwise." And everything is turned to one's advantage when he greets a situation like this: You are the very thing I was looking for. Truly whatever arises in life is the right material to bring about your growth and the growth of those around you. This, in a word, is art -- and this art called "life" is a practice suitable to both men and gods. Everything contains some special purpose and a hidden blessing; what then could be strange or arduous when all of life is here to greet you like an old and faithful friend?”                                             -Marcus Aurelius

Monday, October 2, 2017

Amygdala Hijack (Social media)

Have you ever sent an email or posted a Facebook comment that you've dreaded later? If so, there's a high probability that your brain has been hijacked by an ancient structure in the lower mid-brain area that represents our personal "smoke detector". The Amygdala.

Amygdala hijacking is an immediate and disproportionate emotional response to a stimulus that has triggered it. This is because the stimulus is perceived as a threat to one’s emotional stability. This is produced because the amygdala prevents the activation of other areas of the brain, especially the    neocortex. Emotions end up dominating the individual’s behavior. Also, it shuts off the area of the brain that makes us more rational... more human.

“Intense negative emotions absorb all of the individual’s attention, serving as an obstacle to any attempt to attend to other things.”
-Daniel Goleman

The frontal area of the cortex that is inhibited in the hijacking is the one responsible for our logical thinking and the planning out of our actions. Instead, the amygdala forms part of the most primitive parts of the brain. It’s the one that regulates our emotions (flight or flight). Thus, our logical thinking winds up subordinated to the command of our emotions.

“You have to keep in mind that impulses are the vehicle of emotions and the seed of every impulse is an expansive feeling that seeks to express itself through action.”
-Daniel Goleman

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Colon Cleansing

The latest research pertaining to cleansing is very promising!

If you are new to the “cleansing” scene, let me explain the typical method.

Most colon cleansing systems are 2 week programs that are designed to generate a progressive cleansing effect on our body in just 14 days.

During these 14 days, you follow a 3 phase cleansing process.

Phase 1: Preparation Phase - Prepares the colon for the cleanse.  This phase helps you go to the bathroom more often and kills off the deadly intestinal parasites.

Phase 2: The Cleansing Phase - The primary colon cleansing and detoxifying effectiveness revolves around the ingredients found in the phase 2 Cleansing and Detoxifying Powder. These ingredients merge together with the other super nutrients in the capsules to perform a proper cleansing process.

Sally, house wife and mother of 3 said,

“The powder swells up in your stomach and makes you feel full. I’m never hungry!”

Stomach fullness is very important when you’re fasting; however, the main purpose of the Cleansing and Detoxifying Powder is that it absorbs toxic buildup in your system and scrubs the wall of the colon by sweeping away the parasites that cause fat spackling, water retention, and disease. 

Phase 3: The Restoration Phase – The cleansing is complete and now ready to be restored. In this phase you reintroduce solids foods and continue to consume the included capsules. This process completes the cleanse by adding pro-biotics that introduce good bacteria back into your system.

You can now go back to your regular eating habits!

Latest Studies!

The latest cleansing research is very promising for anyone wanting to regain their health; however, it’s creating a conundrum for insurance companies and the health care industry. At this very moment, these big corporations are lobbying to prohibit this information leaking into the private sector due to the impact it could have on their businesses.

So what is it?

This highly anticipated system is specifically designed to have a progressive cleansing effect on your body in just 14 days. “Every study” has shown that this 3 phase process surpasses every diet and cleansing system on the market, due to its unique approach.

“As it turns out, it’s not about cleansing the body.  It’s about cleansing the mind!”

This controversial statement was made by Kelly Hitchcock (PFT, BCS, CBT, RBT, NLP, Dad, Gym Owner and me) during a training session at KH Fitness.

“For many years we look at the environment and food as the problem… But then I thought, 'Hey, I live in the same world!' It’s not that I eat different…it’s that I think different!”

With that simple thought about thinking about our thoughts, Hitchcock’s system was developed.

Cognitive Cleansing System

Phase 1: Preparation Phase (Awareness) - Prepares cognition for the cleanse. This phase helps you become aware of your flawed thoughts and identify their manifestations.

Phase 2: The Cleansing Phase (Acceptance) - The primary cognitive cleansing and detoxifying effectiveness revolves around the ingredients found in phase 2’s clarifying, evaluating, and acceptance process. These ingredients are teamed together with other psychological methods in this system which allows a proper cognitive cleansing and detoxifying.  The amount of self-esteem that swells up in your head provides complete and unadulterated liberation.

Barbra, secretary and mother of 2 said,

“My head felt full, yet empty. I was finally free from the diabolical constructs that imprisoned my thought process for so many years. This cleansing process has truly imbued me with purpose, freedom and compassion.” 

The true secret to this system is the clarity of perspective. This clear honest view absorbs the toxic buildup of cognitive fecal matter in your mind, while at the same time sweeps up the ANT’s (automatic negative thoughts).
And as an added bonus, it scrubs the neurological wall of arrogance, ignorance, and ill-discerned certitudes. 

Phase 3: The Restoration Phase (Contentment)  

The restorative phase in Eastern philosophy is called Nirvana. It’s a place of perfect peace and happiness. The individual’s desires and suffering are diminished into a world of cognitive clarity and acceptance.

The Cognitive Cleanse System has been referred to by many clients as an emancipation, liberation, self-realization and a release of false-self.

The part Hitchcock (me) said he was the most excited about with this new revolutionary system is it that it works for any age, gender (even those with a gender identity disorder), and race.

“This program is available to anyone, from kids to adults of any age that are compacted with brain spackling and toxic buildup of flawed thoughts… and the best part... it doesn’t cost you a thing!”

He/me continues…

“There is one catch; you have to be honest, intentional, and persistent. ‘The system is a process’… It’s really cool to see how it works; nothing changes; however, everything changes” 

He/I concluded…

“Unlike the colon cleanse, that goes right back to the “regular way”…with the cognitive cleanse system, you will never be able to look at things the regular way ever again!”

"Cleanse the mind and the body will follow!”

Friday, September 1, 2017

Three Fitness Truths

1. Physical looks are 80% nutrition and 20% exercise

2. Training specificity is extremely important in reaching your goals

-Cardio…You don’t increase caloric expenditure by shrinking your muscles

-Weight training (not circuit training)… Increases caloric expenditure, builds bone density, and aids in preventing injuries in other sports.

3. Your body is a reflection of how you think. The reason we don’t change for long is because we have a set of beliefs that keeps us where we are, not where we want to be

Changing your body is really about changing your mind

Thursday, August 31, 2017


Internal or external?

The man who desires attention, accolades, or wealth, then becomes enslaved by attention, accolades, or wealth.

The man who derives satisfaction from doing the right thing, becomes liberated by doing the right thing.

Never let your self-esteem be dependent on what others think.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

“Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them”
                                                                                        ~ Epictetus

Perhaps (Buddhist parable)

Long ago in China there was an old farmer. With the same horse this old farmer had plowed and worked his land for many years when one day his horse suddenly ran away. As news of this reached his neighbors, the old farmer was met with sympathy. Neighbors visited throughout the day saying, "Wow, what bad luck to have your horse run away!"
The old farmer would think for a moment then say softly, "Perhaps..."

The next morning the old farmer awoke to find his horse had returned. With the horse were several wild horses who had apparently followed the horse home. Neighbors rejoiced, visiting the old farmer to express how happy they were for his sudden good fortune.
The old farmer would think for a moment then say softly, "Perhaps..."

Shortly after, the old farmer's son decided to try to ride one of the wild horses. Climbing on the horses back, the boy knocked the animal hard with his leg shouting for the horse to go. Startled, and probably a little annoyed, the horse flung the boy off its back. The old farmer's son broke his leg in the fall. Again, neighbors came to offer their sympathies for the misfortune, "What a horrible string of bad luck you're having!"
The old farmer would think for a moment then say softly, "Perhaps..."

The very next day, military officials came into the village with orders to draft young men into military service. As they went from home to home, rounding up young men, they made their way to the old farmer's house. Upon seeing the farmer's son with his broken leg they decided to move on, leaving the boy alone. Once again, neighbors came to share words of congratulations to the old farmer for the good fortune to have his son passed by.

And again, the old farmer would think for a moment then say softly, "Perhaps..."

 When the soul cries out, it is a sign that we have arrived at a necessary, mature stage of self-reflection. The secret is not to get stuck there dithering or wringing your hands, but to move forward by resolving to heal yourself. Philosophy asks us to move into courage. Its remedy is the unblinking excavation of the faulty and specious premises on which we base our lives and our personal identity.

                                                                                                                             ~ Epictetus