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Behavioral Activation | Why is it important?

Have you ever felt sad, tired and unmotivated at the same time?

If your answer is "yes", that is the most human answer you could have given! Because it happens to everyone at least once in their life to feel like that.

For me, it happened often. So I looked for solutions to this problem that once seemed so big. And I am here to help you.

What is behavioral activation?

Behavioral activation is a type of psychotherapy that aims to increase a person's engagement in activities that are associated with a sense of pleasure and/or control.

It is a psychotherapy that is recognized in the treatment of depression, but it is also very good to apply in everyday life.

But why is it important to get active and do things?

1. Activity helps us feel better: At its most basic, activity allows our minds to be free of negative thoughts. It can also make us feel like we are taking back control of our lives. With behavioral activation, we come to feel better about ourselves and our lives. And believe me, you'll find that an activity often brings more pleasure than you would have thought before doing it.

2. Activity helps reduce feelings of fatigue: Contrary to what you may think, sometimes the cure for fatigue is not to sleep more, but to move more. When we are active, it gives us energy. Staying inactive will make us feel more amorphous and lacking in energy. Moreover, doing nothing leaves your mind inactive too.

3. Activity gives us energy and motivates us to do more: It is by doing that we become motivated to do more. The more you do, the more you want to do. The first step is the most difficult: to commit to doing something. However, once the activity starts, it is much easier and more enjoyable to continue.

4. Activity increases your ability to think: The way we perceive things changes once an activity is undertaken. It's as if we have a different way of seeing the obstacles that prevented us from taking action in the first place. Proof that we need to get active to help us think better.

There is a lot of talk about "activities", but what exactly are we talking about?

In fact, we're talking about any activity whether it's watching TV, washing dishes, going for a walk outside or talking on the phone with a friend. It's an activity that "activates" your brain.

The important thing is to recognize when we need to change activities. It happens when the activity we are doing no longer gives us pleasure. For example, I've been watching television for 4 hours, I'm getting tired and I'm starting to lose motivation to do something else. This is the right time to stop this activity and to give yourself the "boost" to start a new one. Once you start the new activity, you will see that you will regain energy and motivation.

Stop telling yourself, "I didn't get anything done today" or "I had a much easier time doing this task before," because even though you may not have done any chores or gone out all day, you did something. You got out of bed this morning. You made the choice to watch TV or you made the choice to read a book, whatever. But you did not do NOTHING. That's a negative term that we should all avoid, and I'm the first.

Life is full of obstacles. We don't have to add to them ourselves. We need to stop putting ourselves down. This is one of the first steps to feeling better, more motivated and happier. And that's what we want for you!

So let's get busy! And if you have any questions or just want to talk with us, you can always write us a comment or join the Centre des femmes de Montréal-Est/Pointe-aux-Trembles.

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