By using a thought record, you can map out all your thoughts, feelings and behaviours to get insight into your patterns and unhelpful behaviours. If you understand why you feel the way you do, why you think in a certain way and what the consequences are of those particular thoughts and behaviours, you can make changes sooner.
It is important to distinguish between the event, thought, feeling, behaviour and consequence. In NiceDay, you can register this as follows:
- Event: What happened? Describe the actual event as if you were looking at it through a camera lens.
- Feelings: Briefly describe what you feel in your body: scared, angry, sad, happy.
- Thoughts: What were your thoughts? What was going through your mind? What did you say to yourself?
- Behaviour: What have you done? What did you do afterwards? What did you not do? What did others do or not do?
- Consequence: What was the result of your behaviour? Describe the consequences of your behaviour.
Below, you can find an example of a completed thought record.
- Event: I came home and got into an argument with my partner because I forgot something.
- Feelings: Shame, sadness and insecurity.
- Thoughts: She’s mad at me, she doesn’t like me anymore. I am worthless. I feel like gambling.
- Behaviour: I stormed out of the house and started gambling at the casino.
- Result: I lost € 300 and I didn’t look my partner in the eye. My guilt grew and I was angry with myself.
A useful way to distinguish between thoughts and feelings is to remind yourself that thoughts take place in your head and feelings are mainly physical sensations. For example: during the robbery, I thought I would not survive, I felt very anxious about this. The thoughts are ‘I don’t think I’m going to survive’. The feelings are ‘I feel anxious’.
Reflect on your last relapse and fill out a thought record via NiceDay. Feel free to send a message to your professional if you need support.
Sources: Keijsers, G. P. J., Van Minnen, A., Verbraak, M., Hoogduin, C. A. L. & Emmelkamp, P., (2017). Protocollaire behandelingen voor volwassenen met psychische klachten.