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But I don't Want to Journal....

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Ann Miller, Jun 13, 2022.

  1. Ann Miller

    Ann Miller Well known member

    But I don’t want to journal. Is it the only way to get in touch with emotional drivers of chronic pain?

    No. No, it’s not.

    Now, if you aren’t opposed to journaling, I’d certainly start there. It has worked beautifully for many many people including me.

    However, if the idea of sitting down and writing makes your skin crawl, it’s not going to be beneficial. Read on for alternative ideas to discovering emotions and accepting them:

    Consider web journaling. In the center of the web is your starting problem or activating event. Branching out from that are rays with emotions written down. Then those emotions lead to other thoughts and still more emotions on additional rays etc. This is a particularly helpful method if you want to do some writing but not journaling per se, or if you tend to get lost in storyteller mode when journaling and would like to focus on just the thoughts and the emotions they bring with them.

    Another method is the bullet point method. Similar to the web in that it uses single word or very short phrases, but this method is more like a laundry list of all the various emotions and stressful feelings that are firing in us at any given moment in time. While the web usually focuses on a single event or thought, the bullet point list can be focused or can be a wide variety of thoughts and emotions. Don’t forget to include where/how you feel it in your body. What is tense? What is throbbing, burning, closing, sweating, etc. We call this part somatic experiencing and it’s very powerful.

    The final method of uncovering trapped emotions is to ask yourself over and over in rapid fire succession, “right now, what am I feeling?” This can be out loud or in your head. The key here is that you ask (and answer) over and over rapidly at least 15-20 times. Aim for a few rounds each day. This is particularly useful to use on the go. We don’t always have time or privacy to sit down, journal, etc. When you get used to this method, it’s very effective. And it’s easy to combine with other methods such as those above, or traditional journaling.

    The key to all these, however is that you must do them consistently. If you’re having chronic symptoms, you’re going to need to rewire the danger signals that your brain is receiving and that takes time and intentional practice. So while you don’t HAVE to journal, you are going to want to have a dedicated tradition where you allow yourself to see and accept the vast array of emotions inside. It’s safe to do so. I promise.

    My best to each of you.

    Cap'n Spanky likes this.

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