Since my last post, I have actually implemented two new strategies:
1) Nuance Over Hyperbole
So far, when I feel a shame spiral coming on, trying to be more precise and nuanced is helping. Instead of letting the abstract (and problematic) concepts of "stupid" and "idiotic" and "incompetent" whirl around and around and around, I start making a list that more accurately describes my mistakes, shortcomings, quirks, etc. I still write down some things that may be a little far-fetched, a little too extreme, but mostly just to note those feelings and move on.
It's amazing how much easier it is to deal with the idea that you are "forgetful" or "frazzled." Why? Those are concrete things...they are not some negative amorphous blob that encompasses everything about me and makes me a worthless human being. In terms of problem solving, they are also concrete things that, if I like, I can address (to whatever degree I am able). In my case, naming those things seems to quell the shame storm.
I also decided, for some reason, that doodling would be good for my anxiety. When I was feeling anxious or bad or had a conflict, I began doodling to take my mind off obsessing...about the issue, what I did wrong, etc. I like this tactic so far. I'm not an artist, so my doodling is very abstract consisting of lines and scribbles and motions my hand likes to make...but it's an outlet.
And so I have been toggling the doodling and the nuancing. If, while doodling, I'd feel a ping of shame, I'd pull out my other sheet of paper and try to think about I was really feeling and name my specific shortcomings (in a given situation). Then I'd put the sheet away and go back to doodling until I felt a ping again.
This did wonders for the anxiety I was feeling. It wasn't completely gone, but much of it was alleviated. It was a great way to overcome the abstract shame thoughts that can feel so overwhelming and certain.
So, well, that's something. I'll keep finessing the nuance.