The basic model says that any point in your life can be divided into three basic components:
- your emotion — how you are feeling, such as happy, angry, or anxious
- your cognitions — the thoughts going through your head
- your behaviour — what you're doing
Each of these components affects the others: what we think about something affects how we feel about it, and that affects our behaviour.
We can't control our emotions directly, but we can change how we think and behave, which will affect our emotions. By thinking and behaving differently, we can actually feel better. This has powerful implications for people with depression and anxiety.