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Does thinking psychological contradict reprogramming your subconscious?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by KatieDid123, May 17, 2015.

  1. KatieDid123

    KatieDid123 Peer Supporter

    Hi all,

    With TMS I know that one of the main healing techniques is to "think psychological." When we notice our pain, or notice that the pain is particularly bad, we should forcefully shift our attention from the physical pain to emotional reasons as to why we have the pain. For most TMSers, we have pain to cover up painful emotions, memories from the past, or uncomfortable personality traits such as being anxious or being a perfectionist. In my case, when my pain gets particularly bad, I'll think "Okay, what's bothering me or upsetting my inner child?" I'll rattle off all of these negative situations and emotions that could possibly be stimulating my pain as a distraction..."I'm frustrated that I don't have a job and feel inferior and behind my peers"..."I'm socially anxious because I've been programmed that way due to a couple of experiences growing up"...."I'm living at home with my parents and feel like a loser", etc. Notice that all the things I think of are negative.

    I've been reading a lot recently about reprograming the brain. Our brain is an organ of habit, so you must apply the appropriate techniques to change that habit of negative, fearful, doubtful thinking. Going with this theory, once your thinking changes, your life changes. I like this quote by John Kehoe to describe this: "Your subconscious mind is like deep fertile soil that accepts any seed you plant within it. Your habitual thoughts and beliefs are the seeds that are being constantly sown within, and they produce in your life what is sown. Just as surely as corn kernels produce corn and wheat seeds produce wheat your thoughts will have an effect in your life. You will reap what you sow. It will manifest success, abundance and health just as easily as failure, ill health and misfortune."

    So here's my quandary. With TMS, we are told to shift to the psychological and think about all the negative things that could be bothering us. With reprogramming the subconscious mind, we're supposed to visualize ourselves as we wish to be (i.e. pain-free, successful, healthy, wealthy, etc), use positive affirmations (i.e. I'm pain-free and healthy, I have a job that provides me with joy and good money, I'm confident in social situations, etc), eliminate negative thinking and thought patterns.

    So by continuously focusing on what I don't like about my past and my current life every time I have pain, am I just drawing more of what I don't want into my life? Would it be more helpful to acknowledge that the TMS pain is present as a distraction and for various psychological reasons, but not go into specifics (i.e. I'm mad I don't have a job, I feel lazy, I'm very uncomfortable in social situations)? By focusing on negative things every time I'm in pain, am I allowing the mind to focus on what I don’t want, thus allowing it to further manifest?

    I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    IrishSceptic likes this.
  2. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    Hi Katie! Excellent topic!

    I love affirmations and I find lately more and more I can ask myself ---do I want to be thinking about this? whatever it is and feel myself relax into a new thought I couldn't have predicted being possible.

    When I hear an inner Critic part: "you have to be perfect all of the time,"etc. I simply update that part---"no I actually don't need to be perfect anymore...I never really did" :)

    When I am aware of a pain or feeling of anxiousness I ask myself --What IS this REALLY about? And I find the answer will come :0)

    I would say----ALLOW it to come to you and be ready and willing to receive it. If you are trying to figure it out by presenting a bunch of possibilities from an intellectual part of you - you may not be listening to what's actually there.

    I find the best way to get to the root of it whatever it is is to think about what ELSE I was feeling at the start. But like you said you may not even need to go into specifics! Sometimes just the understanding that the pain is not real - that it is caused by the brain trying to distract from any and all kinds of emotions is enough.!! Some people don't need to do the deeper work. For the lucky ones Sarno says ---
    "knowledge is the penicillin."
    SunnyinFL likes this.
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Katie,

    I think lexylucy is onto something when she writes that it can be more of a question: How do I really feel right now? What might be up for my inner child?

    If the inquiry leads you to painful experiences, or difficult feelings this can be addressed with self-compassion. Self-compassion is a sort of antidote to the "negative" side of investigating difficult feelings, and experiences. Over time you build a more caring, intimate relationship with yourself. You observe when the repetitive victim-self arrives, and you take care of it. You see when the hurt comes, and you are with it. And you are with it with love, and witnessing. You hold the difficulties as real, but not the whole of your experience. There is also love. This is more satisfying to me personally than "thinking positive" when my experience down deep may not be positive.

    I think your question is very good. I am not saying all levels of Dr. Sarno work need to be at this depth. There may be much in the way you can do to treat TMS by thinking positively. As I say, I think you can contemplate your troubles without wallowing in them too. And any approach to TMS is going to require keeping a positive attitude, and not going along with the doubts and fears, and setbacks. For many people with TMS, though, it is opening the doors to more inner awareness and deeper feeling that seems to be needed.

    Andy B.
    SunnyinFL likes this.
  4. Zumbafan

    Zumbafan Well known member

    I had the same quandary. I found Steve Ozanich's words helpful, maybe they will help you too.

    'Pain is a form of self punishment. It prevents the expression of the fear and anger over emotions that are too sad, too powerful, or too threatening. It helps us to cope when we don't want to be somewhere but have to go, to be silent when we want to say something, and to punish. We don't feel worthy. We feel shame, therefore we internalise the rage that disrupts the attunement of the ANS. That reduces blood flow and wreaks havoc across all of its functions. The chain reaction of errors all begins with the thought process. To heal, the thinking has to be changed to self worth.'
  5. KatieDid123

    KatieDid123 Peer Supporter

    Thanks guys. All good insight. I like what you said, Andy, about being able to contemplate without wallowing. That's a good point. I think, for me, it is more about finding an inner awareness, exploring why I am the way I am, and finding self-worth, rather than dwelling on negative things from my past. I like that quote by Steve. Every quote by Steve is jam-packed with important info!
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ji, KatieDid

    Dump those negative thoughts from your past into the delete bin of your mental computer.
    Yesterday is gone. Try to live in today, in the present moment. If you do want to live in the future,
    think of it as being happy and pain-free.

    As for finding self-worth, you are a terrific person and you just have to remind yourself of that.
    I just read a book about the personal lives of many of the top movie stars of the 1940s and 1950s.
    Wow, were they psychological wrecks. Many of them were stupid, selfish, egotists, and sex deviates.
    Many of my favorite movie heroes were gay or bi-sexual and hid behind press agents to cover their dalliances.

    They had a lot to dislike about themselves, but instead they
    believed all the movie fan magazine articles that they were great people. Maybe we should all pretend
    magazine writers are saying fabulous things about us! haha.
  7. didi sharp

    didi sharp New Member

    This is an interesting conundrum. One I was just thinking about. I feel I have to let myself feel the feelings I've repressed in my life. It's giving myself permission to feel my feelings. Let myself experience them, even though they may be painful. But my intention is to release the grip they have on me. The more I push them down, the more they express elsewhere...like in my body! But of course I don't want to dwell there day and night. I read Dr. Sarno recommends journaling for 20 minutes a day. The other part is to begin to build in my imagination a vision of healing. What do I look like, how does it feels. Make it vivid, like I am building a theatrical set. I believe this type of active imagination helps build new pathways in the brain mind body. Plus it's fun. And when I look around me I think everything I'm seeing was once just in someone's imagination. Hope this made some sense. All this to say, I feel you.
    lexylucy likes this.
  8. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    I have been starting to journal every day. I find it's like a de-cluttering process. Trying to create the fertile soil katie is talking about.
  9. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Katie, a fantastic question and wonderful thread.

    I personally think you are correct. If we focus solely on negative emotions our fear will just increase and our pain will perpetuate and affirmations will have zero value. However, it certainly is important to understand ones thinking patterns on a higher level so you can recognise patterns and behaviour.

    I would say, as long as we can understand the patterns in our thinking as it occurs: I.e whether it's a clean fear or dirty fear, we can intercept thesr unclean thoughts as they occur and replace them with new ideas/affirmations which will eventually be instilled within our true being.

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