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Day 3 Exercise

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by 49C2, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. 49C2

    49C2 New Member

    I know you're not supposed to stack days together, but I did day 1 and 2 yesterday and doing day 3 and 4 today. I don't get much time on the weekends to myself with the kids being out of school so I need to do it this way.

    So day 3 says to try exercise and to write about it here. I have been walking on a treadmill and doing light upper body strength training for 2 or 3 weeks now. I used to be a 6-8 mile per day runner before I got injured. yesterday I decided to kick my walk up a little and I jogged for 3 minutes just to get a feel for what it would be like. I jogged pretty much pain free, however about 2 hours later my hip and back really started hurting. I tried over and over to tell myself "it's TMS, it's stress," but this did not work.

    I'm still very early on in this learning program and I still have a huge fear that I am going to re-injure myself. I'm hoping that the acceptance part of this kicks in soon. I'm really banking on this program working to get me out of pain and back to life!
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Over and over again, I see other people here (the ones who have had the true experience of recovery) saying that a mindset similar to "I'm banking on this program" while allowing the brain to continue its negative fearful behavior, is almost a guarantee that progress will be elusive. That is their personal experience, and what they try to get across to beginners is the idea that you have to accept what is, don't watch the calendar, let go of expectations, and begin to change the way your brain has been working during your life "Before Sarno".

    I believe this is absolutely true - however, I don't have the same experience of being frustratingly stuck and finally experiencing progress when I let go of expectations - I think because before I read Dr. Sarno, I was already a firm believer in the power of our minds to affect our bodies, and I also firmly believed in the ability to self-heal. What I did not understand is the power of our unconscious primitive brains to cause nonsensical symptoms purely for the purpose of repressing emotions. That was the final piece of the puzzle for me - I was at 100% acceptance of my own TMS diagnosis before I finished The Divided Mind, and I never had to look back.

    Mind you, I still had emotional work to do. I did the SEP, and I took to heart the lessons in Hope & Help For Your Nerves, I learned about how our brains are wired to be negative as a survival technique (not an effective one in today's modern world) and I found the strength to fight back, hard, against life-long anxiety and a new (and horrifying) experience of depression.

    Above all, I learned to listen to my fearful brain as it kept bombarding me with negative messages. And mind you, this is all still a work in progress, because TMS is a survival mechanism, not some kind of condition that can be cured. You have to think differently ("think psychologically, not physically" is the often-repeated mantra) and literally retrain your brain, while being aware that it will fight back with all of its survival-above-all instincts.

    There is a 180-degree mind shift which is ESSENTIAL to being successful in doing this work. Once you are able to experience and accept that shift, the ability to shift your thoughts from negative to constructive whenever symptoms arise in the future (and they will) will happen SO much faster than at the beginning of your work. It took about a year until I realized that I had started automatically thinking "TMS!" whenever something tried (or still tries) to distract my attention. Sometimes it's not enough to just think that - if I'm mired in stress and rumination, I still have to force myself to stop. breathe. journal. meditate. That's still necessary sometimes in order to get back on track.

    Here's a little mental exercise that really worked for me when I started training after my summer of almost becoming housebound with TMS symptoms - and I believe that super-athletes practice this kind of mental thinking in order to push themselves beyond expectations: Whenever I felt fear about doing something my trainer asked of me, and even if I felt a little twinge of fear-pain, I would tell my brain to stop with the negatives, and instead to visualize my muscles receiving blood flow and getting stronger, and my overall health and my body improving by doing this good thing for myself. So simple. So hard to do, sometimes. But I swear, it absolutely works.

    This example is what I mean when I talk about shifting your thoughts from negative to constructive. I prefer the word constructive, because if I say "positive" people think they can simply cover up negativity by adopting a positive attitude - what I call a false happy-face - but it's deeper than that. It is an authentic rejection of negativity and fear, consciously replaced with a realistic vision of what can be achieved by moving forward to accept the new challenge.

    For anyone particularly interested in sports and training, I recommend this podcast: The Mind And Fitness Podcast with Eddy Lindenstein (aka @LindenSwole here on the forum) although anyone can enjoy his awesome interviews and solo episodes. I made some specific episode recommendations for new listeners, here: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/investigating-tms.21817/#post-112648 (Investigating TMS) There are always LOTS of discussions about belief in the diagnosis.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
    Aimee88 and 49C2 like this.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh, and BTW - I don't know who said that! Just as there are no black & white answers to this work, and certainly no linear path to TMS healing, there are also no specific rules about how or when to do a program. That being said, we generally advise newcomers to take it slow and not try to do too much at once - people are so excited by starting out that they take on too much, then they they crash and burn without really absorbing the new knowledge, or contemplating what it takes to really do the writing exercises with honesty and integrity to oneself.

    Certainly, completing 7 "days" every week is not at all necessary. Just keep at it. And do the work with complete honesty towards yourself. This is your first opportunity to start listening to that negative voice in your head, which will try to keep you from doing the work by convincing you it's not necessary.
  4. 49C2

    49C2 New Member

    This worries me because I want to get better and I believe in the process. I'm just having a hard time accepting that I don't have a physical injury. I realize how important it is to accept and I'm working on it everyday. Every time I feel pain I start telling myself it's just stress, but it's hard when all your life pain means an injury. I'm only 5 days in and I'm wondering if others had a hard time when they started?
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    They do! Have you read any stories on the Success Stories subforum? Rather than cramming two SEP days into one, I suggest reading one or two (depending on length) stories there every day. You'll see what people have overcome and how they did it.
    The thing is, that still sounds negative, especially if you're not actually doing anything about the stress. This is one I know well. Stop. Breathe. Clear your mind of all thoughts, especially the negative ones. Say to your fearful brain, with conviction, "Stop that! I'm perfectly healthy and there is nothing wrong with me, and this is not necessary!" Repeat as needed. It's surprisingly effective if you aim it directly at the thought that you wrote here. Seriously, this is an argument that the rational You needs to have with the irrational fearful You, and you need to believe you can win. It's your choice to believe that.
  6. nowa

    nowa Peer Supporter

    I am so pleased to see this advice, because I have exhausted myself with reading about TMS, in books and here on this site, so today I decided to be aware of my breathing (and that was all I needed to do). It has illustrated to me how stressed I am about everything, I only have to think of something that needs doing, and my breath becomes shallow and fast, it doesn't matter how tiny the task is, my mind instantly starts worrying, (it is happening as I type this), especially it always worries about there not being enough time. So today, every time it happened I did a guided yoga nidra meditation, and the pain and fatigue magically disappeared.
    (I hope this is a good way of dealing with stress)

    and now I must go and meditate because my breath is fast and the pain in my lower back is starting...
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's an excellent way to deal with immediate stress.

    I see that you say you are tired of reading. What about DOING? Knowledge is the first step. Calming your fears and your stress are important tools. But if you don't get down and dirty with your deeply repressed emotions, you are only skimming the surface of what it takes to change your life.
  8. nowa

    nowa Peer Supporter

    I have been trying to deal with my repressed emotions by working with my anger about my parents' treatment of me when I was little, and ended up by forgiving them, (they both had traumatic childhoods, as well), I am feeling very angry and frustrated as I write this, after another very bad night, I am in a lot of pain and not sure where my anger is directed, it feels as if it is directed at myself, but what is the point of that?

    I was aware that this might happen after my smug post about doing yoga nidra...did I give myself a self fulfilling prophecy? I am always afraid of having a bad night, but I thought that I let myself feel that fear last night. whatever happened, it didn't work.

    49C2 I am sorry if I have hijacked your post.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019

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