Everyone encounters both stressful experiences as well as positive experiences. In order to cope effectively with these events of our lives, it is essential that we understand how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are connected.
Imagine you have an upcoming interview, and you think “I am going to get rejected anyway”. This thought will lead you to worry about what will actually happen in the future. Many-a-times, these thoughts become so overwhelming that they make us uncomfortable and we decide to not prepare at all.
Revisit the scenario above in terms of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Your thought (“I am going to get rejected”) incited a feeling of ‘worry’ (anxiety), and you did not prepare for the interview at all (behavior). What might have changed if you had a thought that was different?
Hence, the CBT Model focuses on:
Situation: An event occurs. This step covers only the facts of what has happened, without attaching an interpretation or inference to it.
For example: A relative of mine had tested positive for Covid – 19 shortly after meeting you.
Thought: Using your thoughts, you interpret your situation. These interpretations may not always be accurate as there are many ways to think about a particular situation, and we often tend to stick to what we know and neglect thinking in other ways.
For example: What wrong did I do? It is because of me. (You fail to take into consideration that you maintained social distancing).
Feelings: You tend to feel in a certain way based on your interpretation of the situation.
For example: You are afraid, and excessively worried. At the same time, you feel guilty.
Behavior: It is what you do as a result of thinking and feeling in a certain way.
For example: You call the relative up repeatedly to get updates on their health.
Draw a table as shown below and put down some of what you are experiencing now, and you will begin to understand how they are connected.Thought Diary (64 downloads)
You can talk to one of our psychologists on the free helpline number, or book a personal online consultation to learn more.