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Journalling/Negative Writing etc...

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Huckleberry, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Appears to me that pretty much every 'expert' on TMS/stress illness/mind-body syndrome who puts forward a cure or action plan advocates some form of journalling or negative writing as pretty much THE starting point to recovery.

    I have read pretty much every book and theory on TMS etc and consider myself well versed enough to 'know' that I have to start writing to move forward so what the hell is it that stops me doing it...its almost like a damn self sabotaging/defeating thing.

    I'm sure this isn't just unique to me as a lot of people seem to struggle to start journalling and like myself just remain stuck in the realm of theory rather than the actual doing.

    I'm just wondering what people's thoughts are on this...it really is strange in that the one thing that seems to be essential for recovery is so hard to commence let alone stick to. We all moan and groan about how much we want our pain to go away but we (well me anyway) never really seem to walk the walk.

    I often wonder if the writing is so hard to start because the unconscious mind fears this and throws ups excuses for us not to do it...interestingly enough though I can never really define what these excuses are other than just a feeling of not wanting to do it.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member


    Treat like any other thing u do brush your teeth, eat , shower you get what i mean. Myself i dont put a time limit when i get up in the morning i have my coffee breakfast etc . I get my note book open it and i fill one page of all my negetive thoughts stresss and so on. When i am done i tear out the page wrip it up. Then i will do a 5-10 meditation and threw out the day i will check in with myself and see how i am feeling or i do a short meditation.
  3. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Yeah, I get the process Boston but in the morning I want to brush my teeth, shower and eat etc but I suppose I'm trying to just get an understanding as to what it is that makes me NOT want to journal or write. Maybe I'm over-thinking this (it has been known) and it is just a case of plain laziness but it does seem to be something more than that. ;)
  4. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think the brain employs a very clever set of strategies to trick us. Whether that's by symptom imparitive, or by heightening the fear, unwillingness / inner conflict to journal. Ultimately, both strategies are in existence to keep us thinking in the realms of physical, rather than emotional.
  5. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Well it your mind fighting you on this show it who boss even if u start with 1 line and increase and increase everyday eventually your mind will stop fighting u?
  6. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Good points...on a related and purely practical level is it better to hand-write or can you type on a computer etc. I know that the negative writing concept seems to place store on the ripping up of the paper after writing.
  7. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    I would say hand writing would be the more powerful method as the words flow from your thoughts threw your hands. To me its more beneficial but to each is own
  8. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Well known member

    Yeah, that makes perfect sense. It does seem to be more immediate. Thanks for the thoughts and comments.
  9. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    My pleasure and start u will discover some interesting things about yourself
  10. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I agree. But would like to add, I would definitely encourage everyone to write their journals or negative writing exercises rather than typing.

    To elaborate on what you've written, graphology experts believe that your writing is a true reflection of your personality/thoughts/emotions. If you're feeling anger, sadness etc your handwriting will be of a certain style - usually untidy. Similary, if you are writing positive affirmations, your writing style will be one of peace, tranquility, tidy etc and will send positive feedback to your brain. Positive and calm handwriting can have as much of an impact on ones mind as mindfulness, or spoken affirmations.

    I've experimented writing negative emotions and positive affirmations and have noticed a distinct difference in my writing style.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
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  11. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Thx Mike that made a lot of sense
  12. Crissyxox

    Crissyxox Peer Supporter

    Mike you nailed it I think. I agree it's most likely your subconscious keeping you thinking physically rather than emotionally. And I know for me, my inner child is like a defiant teenager. When I am journaling and it gets uncomfortable my go to is to avoid it and stop immediately even though I know that is not helping me to heal. I also try to notice when I am not wanting to journal and find any connections to why that might be...(ex. If I avoiding something in particular)

    Hope this makes you feel like your not alone....
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  13. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I can relate to this, usually when I feel like this, I try to put myself in "neutral", I take deep breaths and assure my inner child he's okay and no harm can come from writing. Usually after a few rounds of this, I'm OK to continue. Perhaps he's scared and feels like a real threat is looming.
    Boston Redsox likes this.
  14. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    For those having trouble getting started journaling, I suggest you do it longhand, because for me I find that I retain it better in my feelings, but if not, the computer is okay. I would start with journaling about happy things in your life present and past. That could get you started and lead into the things that you recall that were stressful.
    Boston Redsox likes this.
  15. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle


    I suggest you start journaling about why you don't want to journal and see what comes out. We always need to start where we are.
    Boston Redsox and mike2014 like this.
  16. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I love this!

    You won't know what your resistances are until you engage. Then you witness them, understand them, have empathy for them, and perhaps not believe them, necessarily.

    I wonder too, if you are not used to journaling, if there is perfectionism, fear of failure at play? That might fit the TMS personality. "Am I doing this right?" With journaling, you treat the activity as a completely open experiment, or experience. Who knows what might come out?? Or remain quite hidden? Who cares?

    Some folks find journaling extremely upsetting. But it does not sound like you are in this camp, since you have not started!
    Boston Redsox likes this.

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