Educational Program Day 9

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In order to overcome TMS/PPD it is important to have the right mindset. It is important not only to know what is truly causing your chronic symptoms, but equally beneficial to know how to think about the symptoms and develop ways to handle flare-ups. As you go through the next few days, begin to think of ways to change your thinking from the physical to the psychological.

Educational Activity: For the most part you have thought of your chronic TMS/PPD symptoms with agony, fear, and anxiety. When they come you think not again, how bad will it be this time, or I can't go on with this pain. By focusing on the fear and the pain itself you are falling into thought patterns that continue and exacerbate the symptoms. You may remember why it is important to change the way you think about the pain from Reframe the Meaning of the Pain in the TMS Recovery Program. The educational activity today is a short blog post by TMS coach, Abigail Steidley, called Your Physical Alarm. This short reading will help you find new ways to think and view your chronic symptoms. To access the article click this link.

In order to overcome TMS, it is important to understand and recognize how past events have shaped who you are, and how they have been one of many triggering factors of your symptoms. To accomplish this task ,you will once again write about your past. Pick one topic that you have not yet covered from your list. As you write, remember what the event made you feel like and try to feel that way again. While it can be difficult, try to put yourself back in the same place, and journal about how the event made you feel. Again, write for how ever long you need to, but 20-30 minutes should suffice.

When I was ___ years old, __________________________________ event/experience happened. I FEEL this way about it:

Work the List: After you finish journaling, add 2-4 items to your TMS/PPD lists. You can add to any of your lists, but it might be a good idea to add to the one with the fewest items listed. Take a short minute and see if any new topics arose from today's (or previous days) journaling. It is common for people to stumble upon new topics and issues while journaling about something else. There is nothing wrong if this happens. It simply shows that you are reaching further depths into your unconscious mind.

A Question for TMSers:
If a person has a lot of current stress in their life, what are some ways they can simplify their life?
  • MatthewNJ: “Another tough question, I recommend reading Stephen Covey, "First Things First". His paradigm is find what is important and do that vs trying to schedule everything into the day that isn't long enough.”
  • marshacohen: "Try to relax whenever you can. Life is full of stress and most times we just have to learn to live with it. We can't always change our life circumstances...we can just deal with them in a more effective way.”
  • 2Scoops: “Focus on what is truly important. Sometimes we have stress because we have over committed ourselves. If there is something you don't need in your life, maybe it's time to get rid of it. Sometimes the more we have, the less we truly gain.”
  • Penny4Them: “Before doing something that causes you pain, try to connect to your emotions in the situation, instead of the physical sensation. (i.e. going to work: you feel nauseaous ... why? your boss doesn't listen to you. Why? Because you've never told your boss how you feel when he doesn't listen. You need to be emotionally honest with yourself and protect yourself too. Cut the dead weight. If you have friends who are NOT friends, dump them and make room for some new ones.”

Question To Ponder
Have you been overly critical of yourself lately? How and why have you done this? You can find a review on recognizing destructive behaviors, such as self-criticism, here. If you feel comfortable sharing, then post your response in a thread in our Structured Program forum. We would love to hear from you.

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