CBT Self Help Course - Step 3
Changes - Behaviours
Changing what we normally do
can greatly affect they way we feel and think.
When you look at your '5
Aspects' sheet where you wrote down your thoughts, emotions, behaviours and
physical sensations, notice particularly what you wrote for 'behaviours'.
Very often we react automatically, without considering our actions or the
consequences of them.
- What helped you cope and get through
- What didnít I do or what did I avoid
- What automatic reactions did I have?
- What would other people have seen me
- What were the consequences of what I
did? What happened later because of it? Did it affect the way I
Now ask yourself, what could I
have done differently?
- What would someone else have
done in that situation? (it might help to think about particular
people that you know, and what they might have done differently)
- Have there been times in the
past when I would have done something else?
- If I had paused, and taken a
breath, what would I have done?
Write down several options that
you might have done differently if it had occurred to you, then ask yourself:
- If I had tried that, how
would the situation have been different?
- How would it have affected
what I felt?
- How would it have affected
what I thought?
- Would it have been more
helpful or effective for me, another person or for the situation?
- What would the consequences
have been of doing something differently?
Dealing with Distressing
Practice and learn to STOP
and take a breath before considering what action to take. Just
simply pausing and taking a breath when feeling distressed can help us to see
the situation more clearly, and help us decide what action to take.
Choose to do what works!
considering your options, ask yourself:
be effective and appropriate?
Is it in
proportion to the event?
Is it in
keeping with my values and principles?
will be the consequences of my action?
best for me and most helpful for this situation?
Some suggestions for coping
with crises and distressing emotions:
- Do something different (to what you
- Pause, take a breath
Mindfulness - learn Mindful
your attention fully on another activity -
Relaxation techniques - try lots and find one that works for you
some music - sing and dance along, or just listen attentively (use music
that is likely to help you feel your desired emotion (no sad songs if you're
Meditation or Prayer
- Be with
others - contact a friend, visit family
- Talk to
Grounding techniques - look around you, what do you see, hear, smell, sense?
Hold a comforting object.
exercise - walk, swim, go to the gym, cycle
in a hobby or other interest - if you don't have one, find one! What
have you enjoyed in the past? What have you sometimes thought
about doing but not got around to?
down your thoughts and feelings - get them out of your head
take one step at a time - don't plan too far ahead
yourself - do something you really enjoy, or do something relaxing
self-talk - encourage yourself, tell yourself: I can do this, I am
strong and capable - find an affirmation that works for you (even if you don't
believe it at first!). Write it down and memorise it for when you need
it. See Affirmations
something creative - make a box of items that remind you to use the
techniques that help, or put photos on paper, or write and decorate a
- Use Safe
yourself: "This will pass, it's only temporary". "I've got through
this before, I can do it now". When we're going through a tunnel and
become fearful of being trapped, there's no point in stopping - we just have
to carry on in order to reach the end of the tunnel. That light is
there, and waiting!
Activity & Physical Exercise
- Makes us feel better
- Makes us feel less tired
- Motivates us to do more
- Improves our ability to
think more clearly
- Uses up the adrenaline
resources created by anxiety and anger
- Increases motivation
- Makes us generally more
When we're depressed, we can
feel particularly tired and lack any motivation to do anything. Just
increasing our activity and exercise levels can make an enormous impact on our
mood as it stimulates the body to produce natural anti-depressants.
Click on these links for more information about
Depression, Anxiety & Anger:
Use either or both of these sheets to
record what you do and how it affects your mood.
Click on the link to open or
download the document. Each time you complete one, save the document with
a different name, perhaps using numbers or adding the date, or print a copy.
Use this sheet for helping you to set
Use the Treatment Plan to help you plan
what you need to do more of or start, or what you can do less of or stop:
More worksheets to complete and save or
Breathing and Relaxation helps to
combat the body's adrenaline fight & flight
that occurs in Anxiety and Anger, and the agitation and ruminating thoughts of
Depression. Try different relaxation techniques - some will work better
for you than others.
More information here:
guided imagery/relaxation downloads for self-help