Four Steps to Process an Emotion – For Your Phone

The IAAA Process


  • No emotion lasts forever
  • A feeling will go away faster if you welcome it and let yourself feel it
  • Your emotion is your body telling you something
  • Use your brain to process the feeling while you are feeling it.

Save the link to this page on your phone or laptop, and use it every time you need help.

Follow the IAAA Steps Below:

1. IDENTIFY: What is this emotion? Is it just one, or is it a mixture? Put a word or words to the feeling.

2. ACCEPT: Your emotion is there for a reason. Don’t push it away. Welcome it, and let yourself feel it.

3. ATTRIBUTE: Why are you feeling this emotion? Is something that just happened? Is it because of something that is currently happening in your life? Is it an old feeling, from the past; maybe even as far back as your childhood? Or is it something happening now that’s kicking off an old feeling?

4. ACT:

Part 1: What is this feeling telling you to do? Watch out? Self-protect? Protect someone else? You’re losing something? You need to speak up? Intervene in something? Set a limit? Or just accept that something affects you?

Part 2: Should you listen to the feeling? Should you take an action here? Every feeling needs to be listened to, but not every feeling should be acted upon.