How CBT Can Affect Our Thoughts And Feelings

In children, teens and adults, negative thoughts lead to negative feelings and negative feelings can lead to more negative thoughts. Using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) we help you, or your children, examine the evidence for thoughts.

When you choose to change negative thoughts into more reasonable thoughts, you will feel calmer and happier.

Thoughts and feelings: image of a serene alpine lake

Thoughts when we are anxious

Anxiety occurs when you are predicting something bad will happen. The more catastrophic the prediction, the more anxious you feel.

“What if I get sick?”
“What if I don’t pass my math test?”
“Something bad is going to happen”
“I can’t handle it”

Thoughts when we are sad and depressed

Sad thoughts are often black and white. The thoughts may be self-critical or be incorrect assumptions about others.

“I am always late”
“I am a failure”
“I should have tried harder”
“She does not like me”

Thoughts when we are angry

Anger is typically fuelled by thoughts such as:

“That is not fair”
“He isn’t respecting me”
“Everyone is out to get me”

Sometimes, the first thoughts before anger are so quick, you do not notice them, but they are actually the thoughts triggering the angry reaction. These first quick thoughts could be:

“He doesn’t like me” which leads to hurt.
“She is going to leave me” which leads to anxiety.

Thoughts when we cannot sleep

“I won’t do well at work tomorrow if I don’t sleep”
“I am going to be irritable tomorrow”
“I need to fall asleep now”
“I am so tired and fed up with not sleeping”

Thoughts when we have low self-confidence

Low self-confidence is typically fuelled by thoughts such as:

“I keep making mistakes”
“I am a failure”
“I am boring”
“I am not attractive”
“I am overweight”
“I am a failure”

Thoughts when we are engaging in maladaptive behaviours

In eating disorders, the thoughts may be:

“I am going to lose control of my eating” which leads to anxiety
“I am going to get fat” which leads to anxiety
“I am fat” which leads to shame
“I’ve eaten too much” which leads to guilt
“I’m disgusting for eating so much” which leads to disgust and shame

In addictions, the thoughts may be:

“I can’t stop drinking” which leads to shame or guilt
“I can’t handle these sad or uncomfortable feelings” which leads to anxiety.