Susie a 15-year-old student waiting to audition for a singing competition in school. She is thinking negatively: “I must look like a nervous wreck. I will forget the lyrics and sing out of tune.” This leads to her feeling anxious and embarrassed, with physical signs of feeling hot and flushed, sweaty hands and a churning stomach. She then feels like running away, and avoided going for the audition. Here is Susie’s model:
We can now see that thoughts can greatly affect a person’s stress through their feelings, bodily signs and behaviour. We hope to teach you to notice when you are having stressful automatic thoughts (SATs); and to challenge these thoughts to see the event in a more realistic and less scary manner.
By changing our thoughts, we can break the vicious cycles as seen above, which will also change the way we feel and behave. We will be going through these methods from next week.