The Relationship Maze
Change your thoughts, transform your relationships
May 16, 2021
In this episode we explore the connection between thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and behaviour. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) has been useful at helping us identify how our interpretations of a particular event, rather than the event itself, determines how we feel about it. It is our reaction to situations that make them problematic, not the situation itself. Most of the time something happens to us and we assume that the thing that happens to us makes us feel sad, upset, angry etc. What we often fail to pay attention to is that we have an underlying belief or belief system that assesses a situation and comes up with an interpretation. These interpretations frequently don't serve us well. This is true in relationships where our partners says or does something that we interpret as disrespectful, annoying or hurtful. Subsequently we may fight back or sulk and lick our wounds. It is also true in dating scenarios where you may chose to interpret another person's lack of response as a lack of interest. Understanding our underlying beliefs gives us more control over the outcome of a situation that we find frustrating. We have a choice in being offended for example. Thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and behaviours are in constant interaction with each other. For example, I might think that nobody likes me. I then feel sad or angry. I notice a sinking feeling in my stomach. As a result, I may decide to stay at home in order to avoid feeling bad about myself. This is in turn will generate thoughts that I am not worthy of liking and so on and so forth. In a CBT model the idea is to break this cycle. You can start for example to change the behaviour by going out more often. This might make you feel a bit better about yourself and can positively influence thoughts and feelings.
In this episode we give you a brief overview of some of the main ideas of CBT. We briefly talk about the ABC model and the 'hot cross' bun, a model that describes the connection between thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and behaviour.

In our online course The Relationship Maze we explore in more detail how our thoughts mediate the relationship between situations, emotional reactions and behaviour in the context of relationships.
Our behaviour impacts on the way that we think and feel about ourselves and our (potential) partner.

We explore how you can work at changing your thoughts, feelings or behaviours and how this will positively impact on your and your partner. 

For example, if you are getting very anxious  when going on dates, struggling with low self-esteem or confidence there are techniques you can use to challenge your thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

If you are in a relationship you can work on automatically blaming your partner, instead looking at the automatic underlying thoughts and assumptions that you may have, which may not serve you will in your relationship. You can also learn to find out what your trigger points for these automatic thoughts are.