1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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Day 8 Progress Report...

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by GTRYDER, Dec 17, 2020.


    GTRYDER New Member

    Just wanted to post an update about the progress I have made so far in the program.

    It certainly will not be an overnight miracle cure. As I add events to my list for future journal entries, other events that I have forgotten about keep the list growing. I have enjoyed journaling, it's nice to have an environment where you can really put your self out there with no judgement. Some of the events can be tough to write about, but after 15 minutes of writing I do feel better.

    The hardest part for me is not focusing on the pain. It has been a constant focus for almost two years, and I catch myself multiple times a day. If anyone can provide tips about how you move your focus away from the pain, and how to stay in the moment so you don't focus on the pain in the first place, I would appreciate the help.
    Hedger and JanAtheCPA like this.
  2. ssxl4000

    ssxl4000 Well known member

    Hello, I think the only good way to not focus on the pain is to be really engrossed in something else. But, that's not always possible. For me, and I think many people, pains would lessen or go away during an enjoyable activity, but then as soon as you sit down for a break and have nothing to distract you . . . boom, it's back!

    My strategy was just to consciously switch my thoughts to TMS principles as much as possible when noticing pain. Every time you think "That hurts," stop that train of thought and start reciting things like: my stress/buried emotions are not dangerous, I do not need pain to warn or distract me, the pain is caused by my brain, there is nothing physically wrong with me, etc. Or, think about your difficult emotions. Think about your stressful situations and the possible negative outcomes. Constantly thinking about these things makes them more common and less "dangerous" to your subconscious.

    I found it exhausting doing this so often. Whenever I got tired of it, I switched to saying "it's just stress" to myself every time I caught myself thinking about the pain. I had to do it a lot during the program, but over time found myself doing it less and less.

    Keep up the good work!
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is solid gold. And it's also my experience. I have been "journaling" all year. What I do is actually better described as "write shit down, and throw it away" because I don't keep a formal journal :D. But yes, back when I did the SEP, it was fascinating how the list of things to write about kept growing. None of them was particularly earth-shattering, but examining them was very helpful and in some cases very freeing. I also practice finding at least one thing to be grateful for each day. Just one. In 2020, that's not always easy, so sometimes it's a very small or very common thing - like how much my cat enjoys being brushed.

    That's the million-dollar question, isn't it? I haven't ever thought about this formally before, but I would say that my personal technique can be summed up as: Breathe, Relax, Visualize, and Question.

    First, STOP. Then Breathe.
    Focus on the location of the pain (or discomfort, for those with something like digestive issues) and consciously Relax all of the muscles in that part of the body, gradually expanding the area of relaxation until your whole body is unclenched. Continue to breathe.
    Visualize your breath expanding, opening, loosening, and providing healing oxygen to all parts of your body, and focus on some part or area of your body that does not have pain.
    Ask your fearful brain this Question: Is This Necessary? You know what the answer is, of course ;)

    Keep up the good work!


    GTRYDER New Member

    Thanks for the advice.

    I do find it exhausting to constantly think psychologically when experiencing physical pain. I think it has a lot to do with how new the process is. I tell myself it can’t be any harder than thinking about the physical pain, it’s just seems more difficult because thinking about the pain is more ingrained in my mind.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    YES!!! It's totally about retraining your brain! And it's easier said than done, for sure. Recognize the fact that your fearful primitive brain has a vested interest in having you remain stuck.

    Have faith, and fight back. Your mindset is definitely pointing in the right direction!

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