With the help of a thought record, you can keep track of your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. This will help you to discover and gain insight into your patterns. If you understand your thoughts, feelings and behaviour, it will be easier to change them. In NiceDay, you can register this though record as follows:
- Event: Describe the moment in which you had an unpleasant feeling. What happened? Describe the event.
- Feeling: How do you feel and how strong is this feeling? This can often be felt physically (afraid, angry, sad, happy, ashamed).
- Thoughts: Describe the automatic thought(s) that preceded this feeling. What were your thoughts? What went on in your head, what did you say to yourself?
- Behaviour: What did you do? How did you react? What didn’t you do?
- Consequence: What consequence did this have? Describe the consequences of your behaviour.
Tip: A tip to learn to distinguish between thoughts and feelings is to be aware that thoughts occur in your head, while feelings are mostly physical. For example: ‘During the robbery, I thought I was going to die (thoughts), and I felt very scared (feelings).’
Below, you can find an example of a completed thought record.
|Event||Describe the moment you had the unpleasant feeling
I opened my email at work this morning and had 50 new emails.
|Feeling||How do you feel and how strong is this feeling?
Angry 85%, Sad 75%
|Thoughts||Describe the automatic thought(s) that preceded this feeling(s)
I am never going to finish this, I am not good enough. My colleagues are going to think I am a bad employee.
|Behaviour||What did you do? How did you react?
The tension increased, my breathing was fast, and I found it difficult to concentrate.
|Consequence||What consequences did this have?
I wanted to cry and go home immediately to get away from work. The anxiety and tension were so high that I almost had a panic attack.
Thought record exercise
Think about a situation in which you had to deal with work stress or anxiety. Make sure this situation is tangible, for example: ‘I woke up yesterday and the thought of work gave me a lot of anxiety’. Use the thought record to walk through the situation. This video will explain how to properly complete a thought record.
Keijsers, G. P. J., Van Minnen, A., Verbraak, M., Hoogduin, C. A. L. & Emmelkamp, P., (2017). Protocollaire behandelingen voor volwassenen met psychische klachten.