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Evaluate your train of thought and learn from it.

When emotions take over, we cannot always think rationally about a situation. Think about how you reacted during a situation in which you were insecure, angry or stressed. You are not yourself then and you react from your emotions.

Event - Thought - Feeling - Behaviour - Consequence

An event takes place which makes you behave in a certain way. In between there is a thought and a feeling. The G-scheme is a tool that can be used to find out which (unconscious or automatic) thoughts cause a certain event to evoke certain feelings in you. These feelings lead to a certain behaviour and that behaviour in turn leads to certain consequences. We can adjust the thought, through which we can also create a desired behaviour and consequence.

Example:

Event: After a week of healthy eating, you go on the scales and do not lose weight.

Thought: This makes no sense and does not bring me any progress.

Feeling: Angry and sad.

Behaviour: You go back to your old habits.

Consequence: Weight increases

As you can see, your thoughts determine how you behave. In this way you can influence that thought:

Step 1: Observe your thoughts

Listen carefully to these thoughts: what exactly do they tell you, what disaster scenario goes through your head, what are they trying to tell you? Observe your thoughts to gain insight, not to condemn them.

Step 2: Relax and concentrate on your breathing.

Distract yourself by concentrating on your body now. Breathe with consciousness: quietly follow your breath inward, then quietly follow your breath outward. Feel your breath in your lungs and feel what this is doing to you. Concentrating on your body ensures that your brain no longer has any capacity left to create worrying thoughts, causing the intensity of the negative thoughts to diminish immediately.

Step 3: Speak to yourself

Now say (out loud) to yourself: 'I refuse to lose myself in disaster scenarios. I just stick to reality, because there is nothing wrong with that now. I haven't lost weight yet, but I haven't arrived either. Point. I consciously don't want to make myself crazy now, so I don't go along with the negative thoughts'.

Author: Demi van Mulken & Nina de Rooij, PSV lifestyle coaches