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Be authentic with messaging to self

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Ann Miller, Jan 16, 2023.

  1. Ann Miller

    Ann Miller Well known member

    The pain/fear cycle being what it is- fear of the pain actually reinforces the neural pathways that create the pain- it makes sense that while we work to calm our nervous system, we want to send messages of safety to ourselves. These messages typically sound like, “I’m okay. This is just neuro-plastic pain. There is nothing structurally wrong. This will pass.” etc

    But what if we don’t actually believe this self-talk? What if we do not believe any of those messages in our heart of hearts? Do we still say it? Or does that backfire?

    Here’s my take. Culled from personal experience and the experience from many clients.

    Be authentic with the messages you send to yourself. And yes, focus on where you DO feel safe. There is a TON of real estate between complete fear of your symptoms and total safety around them. Perhaps you’re not yet to the point where you can authentically say, ”I'm okay. I know there is nothing structurally wrong.” But you also don’t need to go down the fear tunnel of reliving the MRI and googling the scary diagnoses. There is space between these two extremes. And THAT is where the magic lies.

    So maybe you could say, “I understand the concept of neuro plastic pain and I fit the model.”

    Or “My symptoms come and go randomly and structural pain doesn’t behave like that.”

    Or “Last week, when I was distracted, I sat in this wooden chair for two hours. Today, it's killing me…that doesn’t make logical sense.”

    Or “I feel safe in these areas of my life…my neighborhood, my home, my job.”

    Or “That emotion is huge and dark. I know now that emotions are just energy in motion. I can feel it rise up in my body and whoosh over me. My character is not defined by my emotions.”

    Or “Others with my diagnosis have solved their pain using these techniques. I will be patient with myself and keep going. I’ll get it eventually. I’m learning.”

    You see the point here. Move one small step at a time away from the fear messaging and towards the safety messaging while being authentic with where you truly find yourself. If you slip (and you will!) and start thinking fearful thoughts, just kindly stop, redirect, and go on. Changing neural pathways takes commitment and compassion. With practice, your overall tension will ease and symptoms slip away.

    My best to you.
    tag24, zclesa, Balsa11 and 1 other person like this.
  2. Indiana

    Indiana New Member

    I agree. Actually i have difficulties giving myself authentic and positive messages most of the time. The messages also have to be realistic. Saying “i am getting better every day” when You deep down feel you are getting nowhere cannot be helpful.
    But as you suggest i guess it has to be small steps to get to the other side and messages that fit my personality.
  3. Ann Miller

    Ann Miller Well known member

    Yes, good point. authentic and realistic. The main point being that we have to be true to ourselves and not just say what we know is the "right thing." But not scare ourselves either.
  4. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    Your various posts with this message have been really helpful. “Covering up” the anxieties with overly rosey messages is a trigger for me. This is exactly the emotional managing I had been groomed to do for myself and others in my family so that we could not feel true feelings (or even think reality based thoughts”. This is truly “keeping it real”.
    Ann Miller likes this.
  5. Ann Miller

    Ann Miller Well known member

    Yep. We are good students aren't we? And when we hear that messages of safety sound like "you're okay, " we want to DO that, get that right.
    For me, it wasn't authentic and so I never believed it even though I repeated it...A LOT.
    When I changed my approach to believable messages...voila...symptoms decreased. And then I really did believe that I was okay!

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