cognitive behavior therapy


Whenever me and my husband take group tours to Europe we make such fabulous memories. Planning these trips, and then taking them, makes each day after our vacation richer. But one thing we’ve learned about our trips is that a lot of things are going to go wrong.


Just off the top of my head I can think of these:


*A man gauged me in the ribs while we were at the Colosseum in Rome. He was just a normal creep who wanted to move through the crowds and I was standing where he wanted to walk. However, it was the actions of a fellow traveler that made the event worse. When I cried out, Huey grabbed his wife and pulled her away, rather than moving towards me to help or ask what happened.


*On one of the trips our guide left his duffel bag that had all his money and travel details on board a Vaporetto in Venice. A quick phone call to the water taxi company brought it back but by then our tour guide was in full panic.


*One of our fellow travelers tripped on cobblestone in Florence, bloodying her hands and face.


*Another traveler got sick and had to be hospitalized for a day. He and his wife caught up with us in the next town.


*Our guide’s credit card wouldn’t read at the ticket counter of the the gondola that took us up the Swiss mountainside. My husband had to pay for the entire group, using his credit card. Our tour guide paid him back later.


These are just a few bad memories. I know I could come up with more, and these came from several different trips, lest you think it was the trip from Hell.


But one thing we learned is that for everything that goes wrong, just as many situations go right.


Accommodations, meals, wines, sunsets, comedians and musicians hit just the right note.


Life is like that too.


Do you know someone who has one thing go wrong and then whines on Facebook, “Why me? Why does my life suck so much?”
They don’t know the rule of vacations. In fact, their mindset and their tone, ensure the rest of the day is going downhill. Their lives are no worse than anyone else’s but they just don’t know how to change their thinking.


This is straight up cognitive behavior thinking:


Thoughts create feelings, feelings create behaviors, and behaviors reinforces thought.


One website gave this example, in the case of someone with depression, because of the negative feedback loop between thoughts, emotions, and behavior, the depressed person’s thoughts tend to be pessimistic, filtered through “smoke-colored lenses.” This results in negative emotions such as sadness and despair. These thoughts and emotions make it more difficult for the person to call a friend, do his/her best at work, or engage in activities that normally improve that person’s mood.


Whenever a situation turns sour on vacation or in life, I say to myself, “Okay, now that that’s over, let’s see what good happens.”


 What strategies do you use when things go wrong? 






Lucille Zimmerman is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a private practice in Littleton, CO and an affiliate faculty teacher at Colorado Christian University.

She is also the author of Renewed: Finding Your Inner Happy in an Overwhelmed World. Through practical ideas and relatable anecdotes, readers can better understand their strengths and their passions—and address some of the underlying struggles or hurts that make them want to keep busy or minister to others to the detriment of themselves. Renewed can help nurture those areas of women’s lives to use them better for work, family, and service. It gives readers permission to examine where they spend their energy and time, and learn to set limits and listen to “that inner voice."