Thoughts contribute to an individual’s feelings and behaviors. Feelings contribute to an individual’s thoughts and behaviors. Behaviors contribute to an individual’s thoughts and feelings. This is the simple version of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy’s (CBT) cycle. An example would be:
Thought: No one likes me
Feeling: sad and lonely
Behavior: Avoid social gatherings, isolate, the behavior then reinforces the original thought.
Repetitive thoughts, feelings and behaviors like this create depression, anxiety and so forth. One place to start when experiencing depression, is to change negative thoughts into positive thoughts. Here is an example:
Thought: I have individuals in my life who care about me
Feeling: slightly better
Behavior: Attend social gatherings, reach out to others.
Continuing to change negative thought patterns from negative into positive thought patterns increases an individual’s overall mood and decreases depression. Lutz Counseling Services is here to help decrease depression using the CBT model.