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Negative feelings vs. Affirmations

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Barbara M, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. Barbara M

    Barbara M Peer Supporter


    I am journaling negative emotions like anger disappointment, fear etc.

    When I do, I get lots of symptoms. I also get lots of severe symptoms when I talk to my therapist.

    At the same time,

    I am also trying to stop being in agreement with fear thoughts and negativity and resentment etc.

    My question is ... How do I journal and stop my thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations ... At the same time?

    While I am journaling or in therapy, I am enmeshed in the things that cause me pain.

    Any input would be appreciated.

    jennyc19 likes this.
  2. Anna1

    Anna1 Peer Supporter

    For me addressing the negative and focusing on the positive, comes together perfectly in EFT (tapping). Have you heard of it? You can find a lot of EFT video's on Youtube.
    veronica73 likes this.
  3. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    I love affirmations, but they can also be used to repress emotions that we feel are "wrong" in some way.

    It's becoming easier for me to feel all of my feelings and accept the accompanying thoughts. I've found I need to sit with all of that for a while before going into affirmations. When I used to go right to affirmations, it would often be a way to shove down feelings I didn't want to deal with. I'm not sure if this is what you're doing but I just wanted to throw it out there.

    I haven't done much with EFT but I really like how it sets up affirmations, "Even though I'm feeling angry, I love and accept myself completely."
    gailnyc and Layne like this.
  4. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    It is not unusual that you get lots of symptoms when you journal negative feelings or speak with your therapist.
    I think these symptoms try to intimidate us not to get at the root cause of our physical pain or symptoms.
    This happened to me when I went to the therapist. When I would wake up that day, the pain would intensify.
    I just did not pay attention to it. After many weeks, it finally gave up and now I do not have the pain when I go the
    therapist. The pain and symptoms are there to discourage you, just know that. The pain really wants to monopolize our thoughts.
    That is why it is important to concentrate on the psychological or do some other activity so you are not thinking about
    the pain. You will see the intensity of the symptoms will decrease!!!

    In the beginning it is like a Catch 22 because it seems almost impossible as the symptoms rage. I have learned to ignore them
    with all my strength and that has made a big difference. That is not easy to do. I hope that really helps.

    I am not sure I am understanding your question about journaling but I think when your journaling it is good to feel
    the negative emotions and not try to stop them. Cry if you need to. Just, understand it may not always feel comfortable to journal negative feelings and emotions.
    Then end your journaling with something uplifting; maybe a good memory or all the wonderful blessings in your life. Sometimes, even
    journal about good memories, fun times...

    I usually do my affirmations separately from my journaling. I do some affirmations in the morning and I do a lot at night
    before I go to bed because the subconscious from my understanding does not sleep. So, what you are doing is you are
    giving the subconscious very strong positive suggestions. In a sense, you are reprogramming it. Try to make if fun so it does not feel like a routine.

    Louise Hayes book, Heal Your Life is a great book about affirmations and her own journey on healing. I found it to be very helpful.

    Hope this encourages you. When I have been discouraged even with thoughts, I come on the wiki and share. It has
    been very profitable to me with all these loving members.

    You are on your way to VICTORY!!!!!!
    jennyc19 and veronica73 like this.
  5. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    Hi Barbara,

    First, I would offer congratulations to you because it sounds quite confirming that you have TMS - the pain would not be happening if it weren't for the fact that you're unearthing some difficult emotions. So, it might be safe to say that you know your diagnosis is accurate, and knowing helps - i.e., awareness helps.

    Secondly, I think you're very insightful to be asking this question. Our minds can really only focus on one thing at a time. If we're caught up in negative and sorrowful events of the past, are we not re-creating these negative vibrations (energy of thoughts) within our being, thus causing more turmoil and heartache to be attracted into our life? The law of attraction theory is powerful. Therefore, perhaps ending your journaling with some positive life events might not be a bad idea.

    I want to think about this a little and get back to you. It's a dilemma that I've thought about recently and I know that you're looking for answers. When you get the pain while journaling, what do you do? Do you tell your own brain to "stop it?" or do you do something else? Has there been a physical effect after you tell your brain that you know what it's up to - meaning the distraction strategy - or do you have another different approach when you feel pain?

    jennyc19 likes this.
  6. Layne

    Layne Well known member

    Oh my gosh, I've been thinking about this same issue lately. I run with a "positive thinking" crowd and I notice how some of them use affirmations to deny their difficult emotions. I also hold the spiritual belief that our vibrations that we send out attract in kind so I am always worried that if I feel these "negative" emotions then I will lower my vibration and attract accordingly. But I just had an insight about it today. If the same "negative" emotions have been suppressed, then I have a ton of that negativity inside of me already which is actually doing the attracting, right? So, to feel the "negative" emotion as it comes up or happens in real time and then let it go is actually more beneficial than repression because then it doesn't stick around and you are able to get your vibration up again, sooner.

    PS - I wrote this before reading Dear Lianne's response... Seems like we're on the same page lolol

    You don't have to be in agreement with the fear, negativity, etc... while you are journaling about them, but you cannot deny that they are there. You can accept them for what they are and still not like them. Acknowledge that they are there and then work toward the positive affirmations.

    For example, if you are writing about how your mom got rid of your cat when you were little, acknowledge the pain/anger/whatever you feel; "I am so angry with my mom because when I was 9 years old she got rid of my beloved fluffy...
    And then make it positive;
    "Even though I feel this anger toward her, I am willing to let the anger go. I am willing to forgive her for getting rid of fluffy."

    I have found that trying to change from one extreme to the other is difficult, as the new affirmations don't really feel true yet. So I do it incrementally. Anger to irritation, irritation to annoyance, annoyance to disappointment, etc... this might help:
    If "I forgive my mom" doesn't feel true right now, I will start with something broader like "I am in the process of forgiving my mom."

    I hope that all makes sense! :D
    jennyc19 and gailnyc like this.
  7. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Layne, thank you for that post. That's very helpful. I find it impossible to say affirmations that I don't believe. Your idea could work for me.
    jennyc19 and Layne like this.
  8. RikR

    RikR Well known member

    I think it is important to understand that wounded children often have a negative protection bias to attempt to not be hurt again. When you try to become positive, including affirmations you are challenging that sullen protective part that thinks you need to stay negative to be alert.

    This part will tell you that positive is a lie – it is scared you will remove its protection bias
    Layne likes this.
  9. Layne

    Layne Well known member

    Thank you for that! I have often wondered why I felt so resistant to some of my affirmations... You put it in straightforward terms that I was able to immediately understand. It reminds me of the fear of success and other "blocks." In your opinion, how do you get around that? Would you assure the child that it's ok to believe the positive? What if the child doesn't trust you (I have the issue of not trusting myself...)?
  10. RikR

    RikR Well known member

    I am still in the same process - when I am really hurting or stressed I revert to my limbic system and can not think of one thing positive or supportive.

    I have to get mad and tell my overbearing - negative parent to shut the hell up
    Layne likes this.
  11. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    I totally understand what you are saying. Is it possible when your negative parent just keeps going on and on,
    to do one of two things:
    1. play some soothing music or
    2. have a audio tape all set up with either positive affirmations or some other positive audio tape.
    So, you don't even have to say anything just listen.

    I know Louise Hayes has many affirmation tapes. Maybe, that can start the process of reframing your negative parent.

    Don't give up, it just takes time. When we are consistent with strategies, it may not seem like anything is happening but
    there are definite quantum leaps.

    One thing I know that is very valuable to me is the power of my words. I like what Eric Watson said in one of his posts,
    "Calling things that are not as though they were." Calling things the opposite of what they are. WOW!! POWERFUL!!!

    I am sure you saw that video clip, "Never, never give up." It on the TMS wiki but you can also view it on You Tube.
    It is very inspirational and encouraging. Let me know what you think. It one of my favorites. I cry ever time I view it.

    Keep me posted,
  12. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    If the same "negative" emotions have been suppressed, then I have a ton of that negativity inside of me already which is actually doing the attracting, right? So, to feel the "negative" emotion as it comes up or happens in real time and then let it go is actually more beneficial than repression because then it doesn't stick around and you are able to get your vibration up again, sooner. - quoted from Layne, above

    I have a social worker friend who says that our emotions are like the beach ball that we try to keep held below the water's surface. There comes a point where we need to let go and allow it to pop up to the surface, otherwise we expend much energy trying to keep the ball under all that water pressure. Interesting observation for this thread, I believe.

    So Layne, I think you're totally onto something here...it is much better to deal with the emotion - allow it to be felt- and then release to the surface, away from the watery depths of our subconscious mind which holds that negative energy below the surface. This friend of mine also says that the negative energy withheld has to manifest somewhere in our lives, so the "holding down" or depressing of these negative thoughts and feelings is eventually going to surface one way or another.

    Read Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life's Purpose chapter 5, entitled "The Pain Body" for an excellent description about the emotional pain body that stays in our body. It's so relevant to TMS I thought to myself that he might've had this syndrome. A great book! It says essentially what Layne says here, so that's why I mention it again.
    Layne likes this.
  13. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    I am all for letting the emotions out. WE've kept them jammed in there for long enough. What is the voice you're hearing in your head when the negative emotions out? I remember hearing as a child "anger is bad". So I learned not to express it. But we're human. We feel anger occasionally. I see no point in denying it.

    It is important to get the feelings out. Nothing wrong with thinking of something that happened and "I feel angry that [ ]" Let it out. really feel it and let it spew. There comes a point where it is all out. I am all for getting to the WHY of feeling a certain way--I know something is underneath and I want to get to it and process it so current day situations don't act as triggers for me.

    This is where the balance in journaling comes in for me. I let the feelings spew. THEN I end it with something positive that can be used as an affirmation if I choose. This way I am not stuck in the negative feelings. I can understand why some don't want to journal if they end up feeling worse about something. When you look for the one positive thing, you are not staying stuck but shifting your perspective.

    Many of us when feelings come up may get the authoritative voice in our head (parental or some other authority figure) to counter our new thought. e.g. "you'll never get past this" or "you will never learn to do [that]". This voice needs acknowledgement too, and countering. Who told us this? We need to counter it, out loud is good, with "that is what YOU may believe but I believe I WILL get past this" however many times it takes until it sinks in. The voices can be quieted and replaced with loving, supportive "voices". This takes time.

    Best wishes!

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