My current hypothesis for an emotional processing workflow that works for me

Carve out time to process.

Someday, I’ll be able to do this faster. But right now, it takes me like 10-15 minutes to deeply dive into what I’m feeling, and I think this is really productive lol

Name, acknowledge, and accept the feeling.

e.g., “Wow, this news makes me feel really bad. But why? Oh … Probably because I feel envy. But what is it about envy that feels bad? Oh - it’s because envy leads to self-deprecation and comparison, where you think you aren’t “enough.” And this makes you sad.”

Something about naming the feeling helps me get to the associated thoughts. For some reason, I often feel like I don’t have immediate negative thoughts because it’s so hard for me to ‘hear’ them. But it’s easier for me to identify, I think, when I hit upon the emotion.

Focusing on being curious so I can identify the emotion is also a great way to avoid judging myself! Judging myself is a surefire way to keep feeling awful (e.g., “wow, you can’t even be happy for them or feel grateful for what you have?”)

Come up with alternate frames or compassionate thoughts.

Very much in the style of, ‘what would you say to a friend?’

In the past, this step has felt way too effortful for me, to the point where I thought CBT was just less effective for me than DBT or radical acceptance. But I think I actually can do CBT effectively - I just need to first get to a less emotionally-activated place, and then sometimes I hit upon a framing that REALLY works.

e.g., “You are not as smart or competent” ➡️ “oh man, you are smart and competent in so many ways. And so is X! … Just because you didn’t get this one job doesn’t mean you’re not as smart or as competent. It just means you have different skills. And having different skills is great, because we need all kinds of people to help solve the world’s problems.”

Wow, did that framing ever work! I have reaffirmed my value, and I am now able to fully embrace the pride I feel for X and nudge my envy into a quiet appreciation for their gifts + striving to learn from them.

Figure out some way to remember the techniques that work for me

still working on this :( I log things on Notion/Facebook/my website but I really feel wish I had a better memory lol. Maybe I should start making flashcards.

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