How to manage emotions when rational thought doesn’t seem to work

Hi Brooke!
I had an incident occur last night that I am trying to use the model on, and am feeling stuck. When I come up with the new thoughts to think, they don’t do enough to stop the old thoughts from coming back (and the old feelings). This happens to me sometimes – where I can rationally see how a situation I’m in isn’t SO horrible and isn’t that big of a deal in the big scheme of things, but that rational thinking isn’t enough to calm my emotions down – it’s like they are instinctual and I can’t figure out how to override them. I’ve even tried repeating the new thought in my head over and over and over and it still doesn’t override the old emotions.

The scenario last night might seem somewhat trivial – it’s a bad haircut/color job. Perhaps viewed in a vacuum it wouldn’t be so bad, but of course all the other circumstances in life are mixed in and are probably what makes it worse. The quick background is I’ve had chronic illnesses for the last 4 years (Lyme and Epstein Barr) that have dramatically altered every aspect of my life. Major financial struggle, the inability to work full time (sometimes at all), career issues, social isolation, lack of relationships, lack of energy, inability to exercise and therefore can’t use exercise for stress management or to maintain my looks, depression caused by both the damage to my brain from Lyme as well as frustration with chronic illness and the effects it’s had on my life, etc, etc.

Interestingly, I had been really loving my hair lately. It was oddly one of the things I truly was happy with about my life. It also made me feel more attractive (I haven’t been in a relationship since before I was ill and it’s hard not to feel unattractive because of that). It was simply time to get my hair trimmed up a tiny bit and the highlights touched up… I didn’t expect the results I got.

Below is the model I did, and the new thoughts. But I can’t get the new thoughts to give me any comfort or to change my feelings. Do I need different new thoughts? Am I just not giving them enough time to sink in? My gut is telling me that the new thoughts I’ve come up with aren’t compelling enough to stop thinking the old thoughts because they still feel more “true”. I am stuck trying to come up with new thoughts that are effective.

C – haircut and color – front of hair is orangey, hair cut is uneven, front of hair is 1-1.5 inches shorter than discussed
T – I was really liking my hair before the appt and now I hate it. It’s going to be even harder for me to get a date. I can’t believe the stylist did this to me especially after I was so specific with what I wanted done. I look horrible. I don’t want to look in the mirror.
F – ugly/unattractive, grief over what my hair used to look like, anger at the stylist, overall frustration, lack of confidence
A – cry uncontrollably, constant sadness in the background of my mind
R – feel unattractive and angry still, keep thinking the same thoughts

new thoughts:
T – This isn’t that big of a deal and in a couple of months it will look more like it used to. This gives me an opportunity to love myself and feel attractive regardless of my physical appearance