The emotional discovery technique I followed to heal from TMS is called JournalSpeak, taught by Nicole Sachs LCSW. It is a form of expressive writing therapy. As it involves a daily practice of journaling your difficult emotions, I know how tricky it can be to journal every day. Trying to identify stuff that we are so used to burying can be hard, I hear you.
Once you start a practice like this you might have a few BIG topics that you know need addressing...some significant events in your life that really knocked you, but stress illnesses can actually be caused by a lifetime of smaller stresses getting buried that build-up, little things that might seem much less significant. If they were hurtful or caused you to stress at the time, then it’s worth giving them a voice, no matter how small they appear now.
Writing out your innermost thoughts and feelings is training you NOT to bury your feelings, to notice your stressors and witness the effect that they have on you. Practising this gets you accustomed to looking at yourself, uncovering blocked emotions and feelings that you would usually automatically repress. This then gives you the chance to fully feel them, feel them physically and eventually let them go.
Have a think about what sort of things trigger you in your current life. What type of subjects or scenarios really kick-off stress and anxiety for you. See where these thoughts and memories take you, they may lead you to something that needs to be healed or addressed. There will most likely be a reason that these things make you feel the way you do but you don't need to figure that out. It’s important to know that you don’t need to fix or find anything specific, so please don’t stress out even more by thinking you’ve not yet discovered that "DEEP THING".
My journal topics lists look very different today than they did when I started this journey, which is proof to me that this work is not only healing, it’s totally transformational. As I really got to know myself I became a much better witness to my personality traits and the way I react and behave. Being more aware not only gives you the opportunity to address your triggers but over time it also changes their effect on you. It's such a sweet release to find the courage to face these things and in turn, witness their power over you fade away and lose their grip. There might be memories you can’t forget, but they will no longer control you.
It’s normal to feel blockages and resistance when you start, I recently published a list of journal prompts and ideas for emotional release to help get you going with actual sentences and thoughts, but I thought I would share a list of themes that might resonate with you. I hope it helps to bring up some memories in your story and uncover some good stuff for you to hit the ground running in your own emotional discovery.
(in no particular order)
Check out what to expect when healing from TMS and the journal prompts too, I’ve had some great feedback on those pieces. I also have a page about the unexpected side effects of JournalSpeak in case that gives you extra inspiration - I hope this helps you!
Check out my Recovery Journey Roadmap if you would like more details about exactly how I became pain-free! Reach out with any questions, or follow me on Facebook or Instagram for more resources and updates on everything chronic recovery.
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