So many times when I am explaining therapy to families I say things like “its hard to change how you feel so you need to act or think differently to feel better” or “flip the problem on the head and look for the opposite”. I talk about looking for patterns that aren’t serving you (or your child) well anymore and changing the patterns. I talk about how families are SO good at pushing our buttons because they are the ones who installed them. This podcast episode captures all of those concepts in a fun way. Author Jon Acuff is discussing his book Your New Playlist co-written with his children to talk about ways to change that soundtrack that is playing in your head. It’s hard for us to change the playlist or soundtrack but a lot of times we can learn ways to “turn down” the stuff in our heads. This podcast also really talks about the importance of supporting our kids in learning from tough experiences and incorporating them into things and modeling for them to set them up for the adults we want them to be.
I love this metaphor and want to run with it. Our experiences set the soundtrack of our brains and early experiences have a huge impact on what themes and artists come on to our soundtrack. As parents, we want to make sure that the “songs” we are creating for our children are fitting what we want their lifelong soundtrack to be. We want to give them messages of confidence, and enough, and love, and hard work, and whatever our other family values are. We want to pay attention to what of OUR soundtracks we are passing along. How often do they hear us repeating the songs about “I hate my job” or “my body is not good enough” or judging others? How do we get ourselves out of those negative “songs”? One thing I hate when I’m watching a movie or TV show is when the soundtrack is too loud. I can’t hear the dialogue or focus on what's happening because all I hear is the intense music. Even when it’s really great music it can be too overpowering. We need to learn, and give our kids, ways to turn down the soundtrack. We need to have ways to make changes whether that be taking deep breaths, walking away from the situation, or doing an activity that gives us joy.
This is what CBT is! Changing how we think, paying attention to the patterns in our thoughts, and making a decision to challenge those thoughts or take the power away from them. Changing how we act even when it would be so much more simple to just keep doing things the way we have been doing them. If you need support either for your children or yourself supporting them please reach out to me for a free 15 minute consultation.