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What are your best suggestions and tips on journaling: please be specific

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by G.R., Feb 15, 2013.

  1. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    Please specifically explain your best tips and suggestions on journaling. Maybe, you can give some
    testimonies how it specifically decreased your pain to encourage some of us who are just starting
    to journal. Thanks and Blessings ,G.R.
  2. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    Hi G.R. Welcome to this site and to your recent efforts at journaling. I am a certified handwriting analyst and I am also healed of TMS back pain (recognized it in Dr. Sarno's book, Healing Back Pain about a year ago). I am currently creating my own website dedicated to TMS back pain and journaling. It's not completed yet, but please visit to get an idea about what I intend to do; I am designing a 30 day journaling program for those who specifically have TMS. I have also a website called DearLianne.com that is finished and I write in this web blog daily. Please visit the site to see what I analyzed for Mariana on February 18, 2013. Also, you can read my story about TMS back pain in a January posting of this year.

    Okay - advice I would give you as a professional handwriting analyst:

    1) If you can, obtain a journal that does not have lines on it. Believe it or not, the unlined paper shows me and other handwriting analysts much more about where you're at emotionally. If you have only lined paper journals that will work as well - I just would not see as much if you were to ask me to analyze your writing.

    2) Write EVERY DAY, even if it's only for 10-15 minutes. This helps you deal with current emotions that are beneficial in expressing.

    3) Choose a pen or other writing instrument that is comfortable for you. This is important. If you hate fine points don't use that pen - your frustration will only be intensified. Use a pen, pencil (or whatever you choose) that resonates with you.

    4) Some inks will bleed into the paper. If you want to save your journal for a while, then write only on one page of each journal page. The back side will bleed onto the front side and you may not be able to see what you wrote if you write with depth (i.e., darkly).

    5) Do not let your perfectionism take over when you're writing. What I mean to say is, don't cross out things that you think are not written grammatically, or are spelled wrongly, or that you decide are not right. If you must scratch it out, put one line through it for you to be able to read later. Sometimes, what we wish to line out is a critical insight that your subconscious mind is trying to delete.

    6) Write as you normally would write. Try not to judge your own handwriting. Judgement is perceived of as criticism which leads to self-doubt, which then leads you to question the entire activity of journaling. You are more apt to quit if you question even the journaling process.

    7) If you want to feel looser while you're writing (meaning not up tight or anxious) do this: create a whole line of figure 8's that connect together. The circular movement of the figure eights creates a calmness in the mind. Try it if you're uptight when in school, at work, or even at home. It helps. Do this for 3 minutes or so.

    8) If you normally write small and you want to see how you can feel more confident about yourself, do one entry where you write much larger than usual. Do this for about one page full of the diary. Then, write how you felt in your regular handwriting. Ask yourself, "How did I feel writing large?" When you write with large letters you become more outgoing. If you don't want to be outgoing, then stay with small writing but try this exercise just once to see how you felt writing large.

    9) Don't expect to write entirely about trauma you may have experienced in the past. It's good to get these feelings out and I recommend that past experiences that were negative get released. However, end your entries with a positive statement about something you like about yourself.

    10) Don't expect immediate results. If you get immediate results, then that's great. But if not, be compassionate toward yourself as you would a friend.

    11) When you become aware of muscle spasm or back pain, neck pain, etc., immediately jot down what it was that you were thinking or saying just prior to the pain. You might have to think about this because we TMS folks are so used to suppressing or minimizing upset emotions that we don't even know that we're angry or sad or whatever. Does your handwriting look different in any way?

    12) Not all pain is caused by big emotional events. One day that my upper back went into spasm. I was in my home. I said to myself, "What the heck is that all about?" Then I sat a moment and really thought about what had happened within the past few moments prior to the pain. Guess what? My sister-in-law had taken the larger piece of chicken pie for dinner and I was really hungry. Inwardly, I guess I was ticked that she took it and my upper back began to spasm. It can be that petty an incident that causes TMS back pain. I don't consider myself a jealous or petty person. However, my back pain can be a friend in showing me when my angry ego self is getting in the way! Forgive yourself too when you realize that the slights to your psyche are that small - LOL! And keep a sense of humor, too. We all need to laugh at ourselves sometimes (but don't put yourself down). Be good to yourself by ending most journal entries with a statement about one thing you like about yourself.

    Hope this helps :)
  3. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    That was so helpful. Thank you!!

    I will definitely check out your website. Such great suggestions.
    That gives me a very good start.

    May I ask you what a professional handwriting analyst does?
    It sounds so interesting.
    Abundant Blessings,
  4. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    Hi G.R. -
    Glad to hear that this description was helpful to you. I am happy that you asked the question before you began the process for journaling. Plus, I believe your question and my answer can help others on this site, even those who have already been doing the journal aspect of the healing process.

    To answer your question about what a professional handwriting analyst does you can see it on my writeaboutu.com website. Like I said, I'm still working on this site (just began building it recently) but it is intended specifically for those who have TMS and are attempting to find what is being repressed and therefore causing their back pain. If you go to this site, I have a tab on the top of the main home page that says, "About Graphology" - which is the study of handwriting analysis. This page describes what it is succinctly along with some examples for how the science is used.

    In Europe, nearly 80% of all professional jobs require a handwriting sample with their employment application. I do personal coaching for people here in the states; everything from relationship advisement to career coaching to health counseling (that's where the TMS comes in). I give presentations to groups of people for parties, fundraisers and educational interest activities. Overall, it's a little known empirical science that has much validity and can truly help one to understand things in the subconscious mind that might take months or years figuring out alone without this expertise. It does not replace therapy in my opinion but can be a nice complement to counseling from a professional.

    I wish you the best with your journaling process. I would be happy to work with you if you wish to gain insight about what your handwriting says about you. But I did not write to promote my work. I sincerely wanted to help you frame your process for beginning the journal writing process for healing your pain. If you wish to go to DearLianne.com you can also see more from this web blog about what a professional handwriting analyst does. If you're interested in learning more about how to do this discipline yourself, you may write to me and I'll give you some input in this regard too.

    All the best with your journaling. If you have any more questions once you begin writing in your journal, do not hesitate to ask. That's what this forum is for - to help one another heal.

    Hope this helps you to feel better about writing in a journal. Being free of TMS pain takes work and journaling is not always easy. But, it's worth the effort - because you are worthy!

    All the best!
  5. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Those were some great tips. If you haven't seen it yet, check out our wiki page, How do I journal. The page is based on the techniques people who recovered from TMS found helpful, and a lot of the techniques also show up in the Structured Educational Program on this site. Lori also has some great ideas and tips on journaling.

    I never really did much journaling in my own recovery, but I did find making forum posts to have a similar effect. My own piece of advice is that there is no right or wrong way to journal. Do whatever seems natural and comfortable for you.
  6. G.R.

    G.R. Well known member

    I just checked out the wiki page on How do I journal. It is awesome!!!
    There is so much valuable information on this TMS wiki. It has been extraordinarily

    Forest, thank you for taking the time in designing the TMS wiki site. It is so wonderful
    to connect with others who are going through the same struggles. Sharing ideas and
    encouragement is definitely part been very helpful to me.

    I am so thankful I am doing so much better.

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