I’ve been really bad about journaling lately. I don’t always have my notebook around. But the basic exercise is supposed to help me identify my emotions.

{Event > Thoughts > Emotions} versus {Events > Emotions > Thought}

  • Describe the situation
  • What caused the situation
  • Primary and secondary emotions
  • Identify your urges
  • What did you do?
  • Outcomes

Pick a situation where you were overwhelmed with emotions. Describe the situation: what happened, where did it happen, and who did it involve?

Write down your thoughts about the situation. Be honest with yourself about the situation. The way that you explain the situation and your thought process during the event can shape your emotions. What do you think caused the situation? What are the main aspects of it?

Once you’ve described the situation and pinpointed what you think caused it, you should describe how you felt. Try to remember the emotions you had as the situation occurred. What did you feel immediately? What emotions followed in response? Maybe you felt sad at first and then anger and aggravation in response to your sadness?

What was the first thought you had? Even if it was briefly. What actions did you want to take as a result of your emotions. It’s not necessarily what you did in the end, because eventually you’ll use this technique to change your reactions to overwhelming emotions. Once you are able to recognize these urges, it becomes easier not to automatically act on them.

Take some time to reflect on the situation. What did you do in response to your emotions? If there were others involved, what did you say to them? Did you argue because you felt hurt or angry?

What was the ending results? How did this situation and the way you reacted to it affect you? Was it good or were you unhappy with it? Consider the consequences that you experienced. Observe and be honest with yourself using Wise-Mind.

Are our emotion-induced actions good or bad for us? This is an important thing to recognize for us to be able to change. I keep seeing fancy DBT worksheets for this skill, but I think you can pretty much do this in a normal notebook on a page using the checklist at the top of the post.

Published by Erin Seto

Southern Peach 🍑, in her 30’s - Artist 🎨 + Bibliophile 📚 + Geek 🎮 + Nerd 👓 + Animal-Lover 🐾 + Bipolar Disorder 💢 x Anxiety 😨 x PTSD 💣÷ DBT Therapy ✨ + Mental Health Matters 🧠 = ME 👩🏽

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