Here’s an example of how these fit together
Jeannie, aged 16, has always been afraid of end of year exams, believing she will fail them even though she has never failed any exams.
She thinks that she is going to fail because she is stupid. While preparing for her exam, she often has racing thoughts which makes it difficult for her to concentrate, and she thinks the worst that she is going to fail. As a result, she has tension headaches and difficulty sleeping. She also puts off studying because it reminds her that she is going to fail, and eats a lot to cope with her sadness and anxiety.
When her parents tell her to study, she shouts at them, then bursts into tears because the stress is too much for her to take. Her coping response of stress carrying and avoiding the stressful event maintains her belief that exams are too difficult for her and that she is stupid.
Think of a recent example of when you were very stressed and see if it fits this model. There’s no right/wrong answers so there’s no need to be stressed!
Feel free to try this exercise for other stressful times. This helps you understand your coping style.
Before going further, we want to let you know that just because you are stressed doesn’t mean that you are thinking in a bad way. Sometimes, it is the event itself that is very difficult. Also, if the diagram doesn't seem to work for you, don’t give up! You can still go on with the program and learn something useful!