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Day 27 New journaling technique, new hope

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Cara, Sep 11, 2016.

  1. Cara

    Cara Peer Supporter

    How is journaling working for you? What techniques do you find most effective? Do you think you are avoiding any specific technique or issue?

    I've been really struggling with journaling. I used to journal every day, sometimes more than every day, although that has fallen off the last couple of years with my return to full-time work and full-time parenting. I just didn't prioritize it, although I said I would. I've been looking at the SEP prompts every day and sometimes being completely unproductive with them. I've written about most of my past events. I didn't discover anything new or shocking. I'm out of things to say. I suspect that my stress comes more from my personality and from my current life situations, but I couldn't figure out what to say about them. Here's this thing I know about myself or my life and....? I'd just stop there. What else was there to say.

    Then, thanks to you in this forum, I finally looked at Dr. Hanscom's website yesterday. Although I have saved all of my journaling since I was in high school (I'm not exactly sure why; this just seems sacred to me), I figured it was a worth a try to try his method of writing down my negative thoughts, something I thought would be dwelling on negativity, and then ripping it up and throwing it away, something I just never let myself do. I did it. I yelled at my life on paper. It was messy, and I cried and punched the desk. I used lots of exclamation points. Then I tore the damn thing up into teeny pieces and recycled them. (I don't ever throw away paper.)

    Then I did something else I have been terrible at: I tried meditating. I did a guided meditation, and my mind wandered, but I tried. When I stood up from that, my back spasmed. Then it didn't spasm again THE REST OF THE DAY!! It's only bothered me twice today in spite of the fact that I performed for two hours this morning.

    I am not cured. I still can't bend. I'm still a bit uncomfortable. I have the occasional spasm. But it's noticeably less than earlier in the week. I'll just repeat that. It's better.

    Some of the stuff I'm learning as a result of this TMS journey makes sense. Some of it doesn't work for me yet. The fact that tearing up a journal could make me feel better falls into that sort-of-weird category. But I prefer sort-of-weird and helpful to all the logical explanations I've had from doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists that didn't seem to make much difference. Or that possibly, over time and in combination, made me more afraid and more painful.

    Cheers to you, TMS people! Thanks for cheering us new-comers on! Thanks for sharing your tricks and your stories and your resources! Thanks for your hope! I'm less afraid today than I was two days ago. I'm less angry. One of day of relief is better than none. It's a step in the right direction.
    Ines, Ellen and Lavender like this.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Cara. You may have discovered all the repressed emotions that bring on TMS, but keep journaling in case something is still there.
    It may be a personality trait causing TMS, such as being a perfectionist or "goodist."

    You've found some relief in meditation. That is very helpful in TMS healing. My favorite meditation technique is the Relaxation Response:

    RR is a wonderful way to practice TMS Mindbody Healing because it changes harmful thinking in the subconscious mind which Dr. John Sarno says causes pain in many people.

    The RR, practiced daily for a few minutes has a profound positive effect on the subconscious mind, relieving or curing everything from inflammation and pain to headaches, stomach problems, insomnia, high blood pressure, to even aiding in recovery from cancer.

    RR is like Tanscendental Meditation which is taught by TM specialists who charge hundreds or thousands of dollars. But the RR is free and you can do it yourself.

    It is done 20 minutes once or twice a day, before a meal and works best if not practiced within two hours after a meal. I do it in bed before arising in the morning and again in bed before falling sleep. Often, I only do it 5 or 10 minutes and it works to calm me and put me to sleep.

    Just sit in a chair (or lie in bed in the morning or at bedtime), close your eyes, don’t listen to any music, and try to avoid outside noises. Let your mind think of a word such as "One " which has no real meaning or association. Or say a calming word such as “Peace,” or add the faith or spiritual element by saying a favorite religious word.

    Say the word silently over and over. At the end of the 10 to 20 minutes, picture and feel yourself as you were when you felt your best, and in a place where you felt that way.

    When distracting thoughts arise during the RR, as they will, just tell yourself, “Oh, well,” and go back to repeating your chosen word. Transcendental Meditation teachers will charge hundreds of dollars to give practitioners a word, but the word you choose yourself in the RR works just as well.

    There are several free videos on Youtube about the Relaxation Response. I especially recommend these two by Dr. Benson:

    Cara likes this.
  3. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    That's great. It sounds like you are on the right track!

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