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Overcoming conditioned response

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by jamejamesjames1, Sep 5, 2020.

  1. jamejamesjames1

    jamejamesjames1 Peer Supporter

    I have some conditioned responses, sine if which are very annoying and I'm getting frustrated in dealing with it.

    The biggest one is laying down on the couch to watch TV or play video games or read after putting the kids to bed.

    It's obvious to me that it makes no sense that pain was a 2 out if 10 while paddleboarding yet sitting in a couch is like a 7.

    I tell myself that it's clearly a conditioned response, that in safe, and I stay in the situation n don't run from it. I wouldn't say I'm scared but definitely distracted and annoyed by the pain.

    I've been doing this for a bit and would have thought my mind would ha e gotten the message by now.

    Am I doing something wrong?
  2. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    I completely understand feeling annoyed with the pain. I have been there far too many times to count! It took me truly believing I was already healed to relax. From there, I worked on the daily management of my heightened emotions (while recognizing that nobody is perfect or 100% rational 100% of the time) and sought ways to implement new thinking patterns in my life. There is no need to feel annoyed over the pain when you’re in control, which you are, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.

    Your shifting pain levels certainly indicate the mind-body connection (TMS), but you already know this. This is a normal part of life. You aren’t doing anything wrong, except your feelings of annoyance and distraction can be counterintuitive to healing. Don’t get too hung up on this - just “being” makes a world of difference. What makes you happy? Do you truly feel safe? How do you manage your emotions and boundaries? Do you feel more pain when you aren’t as mentally occupied because simply you have more time to think and check on the symptoms? Or is something else bothering you?

    If you’re going out and paddle boarding with minimal pain, that’s all the proof you need to see how fantastic life can be. You are not broken. The brain is highly neuroplastic and conditioned responses can be replaced with new responses over time (key words = over time; don’t feel like a failure if this isn’t instant). This should be freeing and comforting to you as you continue keeping on.
    westb and plum like this.
  3. jamejamesjames1

    jamejamesjames1 Peer Supporter

    This is good advice that I will try to follow.

    In regards to the question about feeling safe... That is very interesting because my gut reaction is that I DONT feel safe but I can't figure out from an emotional or cognitive level why that might be. Just a constant feeling ranging from general unease to full bore panic without me understanding why. When it's constant it's harder to find a cause or trigger. I think the one place I feel safe is in the shower lol.

    As an aside I was talking to a family friend who is a Dr about my situation and TMS.. I described the low pain on paddleboard and high pain on the couch (and really how the four days at the beach where I did tons of exercise in the whole felt better but these past few days have been very rough)... She said "well yeah when you are exercising your muscles will feel good, and obviously when you go to rest the muscles try to relax but can't and THAT us why you have pain. And obviously days of exercise could have a delayed response to start hurting, so you should rest until the pain dies down again ". Tms or not I didn't even think muscle related pain was supposed to work like that...?
  4. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    James, one of the greatest healing strides I made came with an increased sense of safety, and by this I mean a very real bone-deep sense of being safe that felt comfortable, grounded and peaceful. This developed over time, especially with emotional healing that focused on boundary setting. I simply knew too many toxic people and as an inveterate people-pleaser I was wide open to hurt and harm on a regular basis.

    The more I saw this and gently teased it apart, the more I realised that I had conditioned myself to be highly vigilant and therefore incredibly tense. I had habituated to being like this so I didn’t recognise it for a very long time. The main ways I came to appreciate how tense and tight I was, was through swimming, using a jacuzzi regularly (the boon of the pool I use...although at the moment it is out of action due to the pandemic) and Yin Yoga. These things reminded me how beautiful my body can feel, how soft and lithe and free, and I began to wonder if I felt like this sometimes then surely the possibility existed for me to feel it more and more often.

    I don’t know how helpful this is for you. I know that many people suffer with overcoming conditioning and the best way I have found is to soothe (as in the ways I mention above) and then lean heavily into pleasure. These things feed into one another nicely so once you find the groove it simply gets easier to do them again and again until one fine day it tips in your favour and the conditioning melts like snow on a hot stove.
    Rainstorm B, TrustIt, Lainey and 2 others like this.
  5. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Beautiful, soft, lithe and free...in reading these words I felt an instant surge of release and relief, both of my muscles and viscerally; the whole of my body/me sighed. I'm going to repeat these words to myself regularly, along with visualizing myself floating and gently swimming in warm turquoise blue sea water and make this my safe place...Wonderful!
    plum and TrustIt like this.
  6. TrustIt

    TrustIt Well known member

    i always feel better reading plums words. Such a gentle, compassionate soul.
    Rainstorm B, plum and BloodMoon like this.
  7. Ludmilla

    Ludmilla Peer Supporter


    I'm struggling with the same thing right now. Regarding what your doctor said, I wouldn't pay any attention about it. Doctors have learnt to assign a purely physical cause to each and every disorder. A "delayed response to start hurting" doesn't make a lot of sense anyway. Either it's just your muscles are tired, which is completely normal, or you hurt yourself, but then you'd feel it on the spot, not days after.
  8. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    I’ve found Pinterest to be an invaluable source of images to help with creative visualisation. (I love the sun-dappling in this one.) I like to find pictures that evoke strong feelings in me and look at them before meditation/relaxation because I find this much easier than conjuring images myself. Having something that acts as a jump board really enriches the experience.
    TrustIt and BloodMoon like this.
  9. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Bless you for these lovely words x
    TrustIt likes this.
  10. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    What a good idea and thank you for this! :)
    plum likes this.

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