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Goals and rewards

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by ellie freegan, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. ellie freegan

    ellie freegan Peer Supporter

    I am trying to overcome my conditioning by building up how long I can do things like sitting at the computer or standing still et cetera. I am a bit confused about rewards. Should I reward myself if I manage to do it for as long as I aim to or only if I managed it without pain? As it's about retraining the unconscious Brain it seems to me it only makes sense to reward it when it does not produce pain but I would appreciate other people's thoughts on this please. I hope this makes sense
     
  2. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    Pavlov's dogs were conditioned to salivate when they hear the bell ringing before they even see the foods. You are conditioned to FEAR when you sit at the computer before the pain.
    1 - Bell ringing = sitting at computer. (conditional stimulus)
    2 - dogs salivating = you have negative emotion about sitting. (conditional respond)
    3 - dogs got food = you got pain/tms symptoms (unconditioned stimulus)

    When Pavlov keep ringing the bell but did not give dogs the food, after awhile, the dogs stop salivating when they hear the bell ringing. If you can somehow stop you mind from having any fear or any negative emotion or any negative expectation about sitting at the computer, after awhile, your pain will disappear. That is Extinction of the conditioned respond.
    Reward yourself is not important. It is important to stop yourself from producing any negative feeling/emotion/thought/expectation... about sitting at the computer.

    sitting is a normal human activity. It should not cause any pain unless your mind think of sitting as dangerous.
    I hope this help.
     
    ellie freegan likes this.
  3. giantsfan

    giantsfan Well known member

    I think you should give yourself compassion whether you reach the goal or not. Be kind to yourself always. The key to this is to just neutralize the fear associated with whatever activity in question. So don't worry too much about rewarding yourself, always be kind to yourself and practice not caring about whether you get symptoms or not with whatever activity. Take good care.
     
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  4. ellie freegan

    ellie freegan Peer Supporter

    Thanks for this but I really don't know how to stop myself from producing any negative feeling/emotion/thought/expectation... about sitting at the computer. My Conditioning is so strong. Every day I try to imagine myself sitting at computer et cetera without pain and remind myself of Times before my TMS started when I did it without pain but I still don't really seem to be making any progress.
     
  5. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, ellie. Give yourself little rewards (a snack or something) as often as you do anything that furthers your healing progress. Keep imagining yourself sitting longer at the computer or standing. Balto wrote about Pavlov's dog and conditioned reflexes. My darling Annie is aging and her hearing is almost gone, so she wouldn't respond to a bell ringing. She just looks at me and her eyes tell me she wants another treat. Most of the time I give her one, but don't want her to become fat. I just shared a cookie with her.

    Be sure to get away from the computer when you can. Even just standing up and stretching your arms and legs is good exercise.
     
  6. ellie freegan

    ellie freegan Peer Supporter

    Thanks for This but I'm a bit confused to be honest. The way I see it in order to overcome my conditioning I need to teach my unconscious brain that sitting at computer et cetera does not cause pain by slowly building up how long I can do these things without pain. If I am still getting pain doing these things how can my unconscious brain stop believing That the pain is caused by the activity and therefore how can my conditioning be undone?
     
  7. giantsfan

    giantsfan Well known member

    Have you started an evidence or exception sheet yet?
     
  8. ellie freegan

    ellie freegan Peer Supporter

    no I'm not sure what you mean by that would be great if you could explain thank you so much
     
  9. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    Don't try to imagine yourself sitting at the computer without pain. It is just wishful thinking. Just sit. Just sit as long as you can without fear. When fear feeling come just tell yourself it is just tms, it is temporary. Just focus on enjoying using your computer. You have to convince your body that sitting is not a sign of danger. You're not scare of sitting. Convince your mind that no one have ever die or permanently have nerve damage by sitting at the computer. No one on record have ever die or got permanent nerve damage from tms back pain or sciatica.
    Exposure therapy. Just keep sitting, just keep standing. Keep expose yourself to the activity that caused pain. don't fear it. Do it confidently, do it peacefully, do it calmly... show your mind that you are not affraid.
    Eventually the pain will cease.
    Have you read Steve O's book. He play hundred and hundred round of golf to prove to his mind that he is not affraid of back pain. His back pain stop.
    Keep doing the thing we fear and the dead of fear is certain.
     
    giantsfan likes this.
  10. giantsfan

    giantsfan Well known member

    Sure, so an evidence sheet is a sheet in which you put down any exceptions to your pain that you may have had. This requires being somewhat like a detective because sometimes it's hard to figure out at first. My TMS therapist has taught me to draw a line down the middle of a page and on the top left, write "structural," and on the top right, write "TMS". On the structural side you are going to write about a certain pain or symptom you have and on the TMS side you're going to write about why you actually think it's TMS and not structural.

    So for example I remember one time I was at a book club meeting and I couldn't take the pain of sitting any longer. At which point a group of some people I really enjoy came in and everyone started joking, laughing, etc. It took me awhile to notice at first but my pain had actually gone down, not away, but it was enough to convince me that this was its "chink in armor." (as A. Gordon would say). Nothing had changed structurally, no change in my posture, in fact I had been sitting longer and yet my pain went down. This is one of my exceptions on my evidence sheet.

    At first when I heard about this I thought, "psh, I don't have any exceptions, my pain is REAL!" And I understand now that it's a normal feeling to have at first, but if we really pay close attention to times where our symptoms shift, or we feel just a little bit better, we have to make note of it. Overtime you should have a larger list and you can look at it whenever doubts or pain starts to creep up or in.

    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/the-benefit-of-an-evidence-sheet.2292/
     
  11. giantsfan

    giantsfan Well known member

    This post by Steve O might help. It's a good one:
    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/tms-pain-while-sitting.4552/
     

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