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Jason Best, LCSW



4753 N. Broadway Suite 608
Chicago, IL 60640


Kitty prozac: Improving Mood Through Positive Triggers 

In cognitive behavioral therapy, triggers are neutral prompts that people respond to in different ways. For example, if you picked a random song from the top 40 pop chart and played it to a room of people, some people might like it, some people might hate it, some may complain, some may sulk, some might start dancing or singing in their chair. In mental health, there's oftentimes a lot of emphasis placed on managing difficult triggers. Things or events that trigger sadness, or anxiety, or anger can get a lot of lip service in traditional therapy for completely understandable reasons. However, that means that the benefits of positive or helpful triggers are often overlooked. Just recently, a Japanese researcher named Hiroshi Nittono conducted a study which proved looking at pictures of cute animals on the Internet for a few minutes a day both improved mood and increased productivity. A friend of mine has said for a while that looking at pictures of cute animals on tough days has cheered her up immensely- she calls this phenomenon her "Kitty Prozac."

My encouragement to you would be to identify some of these positive triggers and build them into your life. Look for songs that cheer you up, that energize you, or that maybe help you feel more calm and put them on your iPod. If pictures of tropical beaches cheer you up In the winter, tape one up in your cubicle. To get you started, I've included a picture of a kitten with and duck on it's head- taken from the website cute . Enjoy!

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