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Day 6 Fueling Anxiety

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by hopeful10, Jul 3, 2022.

  1. hopeful10

    hopeful10 Newcomer

    I began learning about TMS less than a week ago and was so excited to finally have an answer. I see myself in this diagnosis so clearly. What I've noticed as I go through this program though is that my anxious thoughts seem to be getting worse and more difficult to control. I initially had left shoulder pain, hamstring pain, and left wrist pain as my physical symptoms. I feel like I have taken to the program rather quickly and been able to go back to my normal workouts without fear of injury because I can tell myself that I'm doing no structural damage to my body. It doesn't mean that I never have physical pain, but it's getting better.

    However, my anxiety seems to be out of control. It's gotten progressively worse each day. While I consider myself an anxious person in general (always needed straight A's, win athletic awards, etc.), I could make it through whatever event was causing the anxiety. Now though, it feels like the physical symptoms are amplified (racing heart, shortness of breath, head gets hot, chest tightens, etc.). I think I've identified the reason for this is because I am scared that I'm doing the program wrong and am making it worse whenever I feel these anxious symptoms as I'm reinforcing the danger signal in my brain. That only causes me to become more anxious, hence the vicious cycle. I continually think about what I can do differently to tell my brain that I'm safe, there is no danger, etc., but the relief only lasts 10 seconds. I feel like I'm spending almost the entire day talking to myself in my head. I understand I need to stop focusing on the symptoms, but that's easier said than done. Does anyone have any suggestions or encouragement to help with this?
  2. Perks

    Perks Newcomer

    I'm very new to all this but from what I've read, this increase in symptoms is your brain fighting back at the progress you've made. I think they call this an extinction burst, a short period where it gets worse before it gets better. You are catching the thoughts and sending safe messages, and according to what I've read, that is exactly how to get through it. Wishing you more peaceful days.
  3. hopeful10

    hopeful10 Newcomer

    Thank you for the reassurance. That makes a lot of sense and is helping ease my anxiety, making me feel safe. While I'm still experiencing more anxiety than usual, I feel more confident in enduring it. I've noticed that actually leaning into the anxiety without judgement, just feeling the racing heart, shortness of breath, etc., reminding myself it's just a sensation and won't hurt me, usually allows the symptoms to subside. Easier said than done since all you want is for the physical sensations to stop, but I know it's going to take time. All the best in your journey.
    Perks likes this.

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