Self debugging consists in the process of sitting down, forgetting about everything else, and debugging yourself as if you were a buggy program. The aim is trying to find out what is going on at a deeper level, without ending up throwing away, repressing, or wrongly addressing the core of some personal issue.


  1. Switch off everything, distraction included
  2. Loosen the self for a few minutes, getting ready to stay focused for a long time
  3. Pinpoint a problem, hence try to identify the source of stress or pain, define its extension and influence
  4. Start the very debugging process:
    1. identify the source of the problem
    2. identify its effects
    3. imagine how would it be to live without it
    4. think about a possible resolution
      1. Try to come up with a solution
      2. think if there may be other solutions
      3. reflect on the applicability of those solutions
  5. Take a few other minutes tinkering about the conclusion you got to and appreciate what’s been achieved. Not much has been achieved? Start a new debug


A great habit would be to perform self debugging even when there is nothing relevant bothering or pressing us. Addressing the cause of some suffering while not suffering for it could open a new, brighter and helpful new perspective on a possible solution — or, to stay in the Computer Sciences vocabulary, a possible fix.

I found out that Casey Watts had my same idea and wrote a book that explores my same concept: Debugging Your Brain. I added it to my Books wishlist.