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Somatic tracking is freaking me out

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by shesjustoff, May 31, 2022.

  1. shesjustoff

    shesjustoff Newcomer

    I finally decided to start serious TMS work on my symptoms. I'm reading Alan Gordon's book and I plan to start SEP. Knowledge itself doesn't seem to help, but I know that often it takes more than just reading to recover.
    I tried doing somatic tracking like Alan describes and shit... that was tough. The longer I tried to focus on symptoms, the more scared and anxious I got. Fast heartbeat, catastrophic thoughts racing. I tried to calm down, assure myself that I'm safe, that those symptoms are not a threat... yet I've only achieved the opposite and I am even more scared to try again.
    Have any of you experienced something similar? How am I suppose to have "healthier relationship" with my symptoms if I react like this to somatic tracking? Maybe not all of the techniques are suitable for everyone, but I know my main culprit is fear of symptoms and I really don't know how to change it. Any advice?
    Last edited: May 31, 2022
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hishesjustoff and Welcome!

    As you know the point is to create a better relationship with sensations. So right off the bat, I would suggest that you're doing well to see that your approach is not helping. So stop trying to create a better relationship with such a direct approach.

    I suggest instead that you do this good practice whenever the you notice symptoms, or create at least a couple of times per day to do this, in a mindful way: I tried to calm down, assure myself that I'm safe, that those symptoms are not a threat... This in itself can be very helpful, yet don't be attached to the results. Just do whatever you're attracted to to calm yourself down. Try not to monitor the results when you're doing this. You can also direct your attention to something else, something soothing or pleasurable, without self-pressure on the results. I suggest this as a beginning practice to work in the same neuroplasticity area that the somatic tracking exercises meant to help.

    You could also work around the edges of Alan's technique by not working with symptoms, but with the emotions, and feelings, including anxiety. "I'm feeling this right now, and I am safe" kind of work only for a few seconds at a time. With this you're learning to stay in contact with somatic experiences, some of which might be triggering, but gently and without working with the core symptom somatics which are triggering. Be gentle and touch in, and know that inside you have the awareness and love to be with all things, and that activating these capacities takes its own time and rhythm.

    I think in time you'll find you can do the direct techniques starting with a few seconds, and then shifting to the emotional or survival reactions, and holding these with tenderness and awareness, rather than reactivity (since you've practiced this as per my suggestion).

    Glad you're going to do the SEP. There are a thousand ways to undo this TMS knot, so go with what you're attracted to and take confidence.


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