Cognitive restructuring, in laymen terms, is the process of learning to replace your current negative thoughts with better and more beneficial thoughts. You might also say that it is the process of learning a better way of speaking to yourself. Another common term for it is "re-framing". The cognitive restructuring theory asserts that humans are directly responsible for generating their own negative emotions and that these self created negative emotions, over time, lead to dysfunctions, like stress, depression, anxiety, and even social awkwardness. The good news is that you can, with some diligence, change your internal dialogue which will change your emotions which changes your overall behavior and state of being.
Now, cognitive restructuring isn’t necessarily the same as the ol' self improvement idea of "positive thinking" or even positive affirmations. Let's say you have a goal of losing five pounds of body fat in one month. If you were to take a positive thinking approach to weight loss you might recite something along the lines of "I will eat right and exercise everyday this month and I will lose five pounds!" With the re-framing approach, you would take notice of your internal dialogue on the times when you failed to exercise, you would then examine what you said to yourself, create a logical and sensible alternative to what you said, and make a new statement to replace the old one. For example: The internal dialogue when you skipped the gym was: "Wow, I had a long day at work. I skipped breakfast and I was really busy all day. Ya know, as active as I was today I probably don't even need to exercise." Of course this doesn't make any sense at all and it will be detrimental to your progress but how many times have you made similar statements and later regretted them?
Well, if you're an overall positive person and having a hard time defeating negative behaviors or accomplishing certain goals you might want to start re-framing some of your internal dialogue. In the above example you would think about what you said to yourself, realize that you're making a counter-productive nonsensical statement, and replace said statement with one that is logical and constructive. "I had a stressful day and exercise is a good remedy for stress. Anytime that I work hard I will exercise equally as hard." Of course, what you say to yourself needs to be relevant to you and your situation and if it's something positive, even better!
Do you want to think like a billionaire? Would you like to change your inner rationalizations just before eating that hamburger and fries? Would you like to continually be convinced and motivated to act on your personal development plan? If so, then cognitive restructuring is something you definitely want to consider. You can, over time, reprogram any habit or behavior and install a new habit or behavior on anything from health and fitness to manifesting wealth. You can change any area of your life and direct your destiny through the power cognitive restructuring!