โ‰๏ธDebugging Emotional Distress

Based on the presentation "Emotional Distress: a Mindset to Start Resolving It" at Zรผhlke Day 25.04.24

Tldr; The base idea is to treat emotional distress like bugs in software. By debugging it you can find out what's the actual root cause and often times it's not what we may think first. It also somewhat relieves the emotional distress to know the root cause. It also helps to rewrite the past event in the mind into something more positive - mainly by viewing the person causing it in a positive light.

  • Step 0: Trigger

    • Something triggers emotional distress in you (sadness, anger, hate, ..)

  • Step 1: Looking in the right place - debugging it

    • Base response: Who is responsible / who is at fault -> leads to: notion that emotional distress is caused by someone else. Loss of power.

    • Alternate Strategy: How to break out of the cycle?

      • Separate things (also in time)

      • Address source later (if still needed)

      • Focus on your emotional reaction / look at yourself

        • Power to change

        • Trick: thankfulness -> cool I can change something

  • Step 2: Is my emotional reaction appropriate?

    • Identification: Ask yourself: Should I be this angry (..)?

      • Emotional distress is a sign of a bug

      • Base response: Reactions are real and therefore feel justified, but actually it may still be a bug

    • Communication: How do we connect our emotions to words?

    • If in doubt: Assume there is a bug that causing the emotional distress.

  • Step 3: Identifying the bug:

    • Understand the situation

    • Reflect it back to yourself

      • Things (good or bad) we recognise in other people / situations, are often aspects of ourselves that need attention

      • How does it feel to inverse the position?

        • E.g. formulate the most concise & sharp response and say it to yourself.

    • Observe your reaction

      • Is there on?

      • Identifying the bug often feels relaxing / easing the distress

  • Step 4: Changing the software / fixing the bug

    • Established access to underlying emotion

    • Dive into emotions and let images come up

      • Not necessarily represents a past reality

      • Important that they feel connected to your emotion

    • Change the content of the image to something positive / e.g. open the IDE to your software

      • Make it so that other involved persons in the image are in their best form as well

      • Don't remove them. It is generally better to change their circumstances, so that they act according to your needs

      • "Love trumps hate/anger"

    • This rewrites your software

      • No need to change your actual past (or conflict partners)

      • Rewrite the software that was written with a fictitious, more beneficial past

    • New capabilities

      • Read the situation better, more empathy

      • Freeing resources

      • Become more stable

      • Societal

        • Defuse, improve, resolve recurring fights

        • Reduce strife and conflict

        • Empathy for other positions

Side notes from presentation

  • Fighting e.g. in a partnership happens when both sides are triggered

Further resources

  • Integrative Body Psychotherapy (IBP)

  • ๏ปฟ๏ปฟCognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

  • ๏ปฟ๏ปฟTrauma therapeutic approaches

  • ๏ปฟ๏ปฟSomatic Experiencing

  • ๏ปฟ๏ปฟFocusing

  • ๏ปฟ๏ปฟImagery Rescripting

  • ๏ปฟ๏ปฟEgo State Integration

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