Thoughts Are Not Facts

One of the main things we focus on in CBT is how we can modify our negative thoughts in order to improve how we feel. But why is it okay to change our thoughts? If we have a thought, isn’t it important? Shouldn’t we listen to our thoughts and what they say?

Well it is important to be aware of our thoughts and what they’re telling us. But it’s also important that we recognize that, in most cases, our thoughts are not facts. Our thoughts are just our subjective interpretations of our environments, situations and experiences. When we use CBT techniques to dispute and modify our thoughts, we’re not trying to change the facts. We’re not denying reality, or forcing ourselves to believe things that aren’t true. We’re just reframing our understanding of situations and looking at things from different perspectives.

And the reason we can do this is that our thoughts are not facts. Given the same facts about a situation, it’s possible to have different thoughts about that situation. If we’re having thoughts that are making ourselves feel bad or making things difficult for ourselves, we have the ability to change these thoughts. We can see things from a different light, and as a result start to feel better and make things less hard for ourselves.

This video below starts off with the same example as the previous video (sorry about that, they were originally published a few months apart and not designed to be viewed back-to-back). If you get impatient, you can jump to about the 55-second mark of this video where the new content begins, or start the video on YouTube from that point.

Thoughts Are Not Facts

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them on the YouTube video page.