Cognitive Behavioral Therapy via Your Password

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Photo credit: Mauricio Estrella

Here’s an interesting idea, courtesy of Mauricio Estrella. In a blog post titled How a Password Changed My Life, Mauricio shares how he came up with the idea of using the monthly event of changing his log in to set a daily reminder or goal or imperative. It started with a nudge to forgive his ex (“Forgive@h3r”), and evolved into lifestyle goals such as quitting smoking (“Quit@smoking4ever”), losing weight (“Eat2times@day”), and saving for a trip to Thailand (“Save4trip@thailand”).

Although Mauricio never says it, these daily reminders, or one-word “scripts,” strike me as a simple way to build Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) into something so mundane as updating a password. I think it’s a great idea: turning cyber security into real-world gains. What do you think? Would it work for you?

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The Scared is scared (of things you like)


Here’s a wonderful little movie created by a 6-year-old boy named Asa (with a little help from a grown up, but still).

The movie, called the Scared is scared, tells the tale of a bear, a mouse, swimming pools, sleepovers, friendship, pizza and life. It’s excitement, fear, joy and bewilderment wrapped up into a story full of heart and humor that only a six-year-old’s imagination could provide.

It also is a great lesson in handling adversity. When you find yourself facing a challenge – a major life transition, a metaphorical door closing, anxiety, a monster under your bed – Asa has this advice:

“You should just say ‘OK! I’m fine!’ I usually let it go. I just think of something that I really like to do…just think of something else until the nervous has gone out of you…”

In other words, by thinking of something you like, you can help relieve sadness, anxiety, tension, etc. Asa: “The Scared is scared of things you like.” 

Asa doesn’t know it, but his approach is a lot like cognitive behavioral therapy: by challenging your negative thoughts, you can have a positive impact on your mood and behavior. Way to go, Asa. Thanks for the important reminder!