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Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Mountainclimber1, Sep 12, 2023.

  1. Mountainclimber1

    Mountainclimber1 Newcomer


    I struggle with understanding my own opinions and how to handle my fears. My fear serves as a protective mechanism because my brain tends to signal danger, even when there isn't any real threat. Evolutionarily, it's advantageous to err on the side of caution and have the alarm bells ring more often than less. The most challenging aspect of this is learning to trust my brain and the signals my body sends me. I'm generally quite active, engaging in activities like playing football, hitting the gym, and running regularly. Consequently, my body sometimes gets fatigued, and I may even experience injuries like knee problems. How can I regain trust in myself and the signals my brain sends me? After all, that's the ultimate goal, right? It's not just about trusting my instincts in physical injury situations; it also pertains to trusting my emotional responses. Many aspects of life involve some degree of risk. How can I determine what is genuinely dangerous and what isn't? Trust seems to be the antidote to fear, and I would love to experience more of it.
  2. Sita

    Sita Well known member


    You can develop your intuition. It can be done using meditation, daily. Basically, you go within, calm the mind and then the gut feeling/intuition starts to develop. And you'll know what to do more and more often. You'll know what decisions to make.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    LOL, @Mountainclimber1, you are really into over-thinking, aren't you? :eek: Okay, maybe it's tough love time.

    I believe I tried to explain this in another thread, but I will try again in this instance: just the fact that you are asking this question is proof that your brain is fully under control of the TMS mechanism. It is, in fact, a distraction - a 100%, capital D, Sarno-type Distraction!

    By allowing your brain to get you to create this post to ask this question, you are being fooled into thinking that you are accomplishing something towards your recovery, when all you are really doing is spinning your wheels. Tricky TMS! This, of course, is its job, because it is convinced that you need to be distracted in order to stay safe and always fearful.

    Giving in to distractions allows you to avoid thinking emotionally, even though you appear to be using all of the right language about what's going on your brain and learning to trust and so on. Yet somehow it's all distracting BS that is getting you nowhere.

    The #1 hardest thing that we all have to learn to do is to stop the distracting and fearful inner dialogue, and let it go. Of course you can't just let all that shit go unless you can replace it with something. The thing you have to replace it with is either a mindful calming practice (following @Sita's advice), or active emotional investigation. Preferably both. It does take time, as Sita indicates, and time takes patience. Small steps, small successes.

    Emotional investigation is the goal of what Dr. Hanscom calls expressive writing (it's often called journaling, but there is no permanent journal involved. I call it writing shit down and throwing it out.) I don't know if Alan Gordon's program or his PRT include emotional investigation or writing. I learned it from doing the SEP many years ago, before he published his work.

    My sense is that you're still at the beginning of this work. My advice is to stop asking questions on the forum, and concentrate on the work. Progress reports are welcome, especially if you're doing one of our programs (SEP or Alan). Progress reports don't need to be positive - but they do need to concentrate on the emotional journey, not your symptoms. Read threads on the Success Stories subforum and see what it takes for different people to achieve recovery (and believe me, it's different for everyone). Just start with the most recent ones and work backwards chronologically. There have been some awesome ones lately.

    Good luck.

  4. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    PRT doesn’t include much in the way of emotional “work”. It’s really about fear. I think it works well for some folks but doesn’t dot all the i’s for folks with anxiety, overactive minds, trauma’s, can’t recognize or process emotions or do it maladaptively. Much like Sarno’s work: I think some folks do great with it and Sarno would send the rest for therapy :)
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's helpful, @Cactusflower, thanks! I think you've had to remind of this before :rolleyes: Honestly, I should just go through his program and read the new book and review the new PRT wiki to get a better idea - these things are on my never-ending "to do" list.

    I agree 100% with your assessment. It's a hard truth, but one I have observed over many years, that people with the challenges you listed are more likely to find this work much more difficult, perhaps even impossible, to do - at least to do on their own. I had pretty bad anxiety from childhood on, duly observed by many doctors over the decades who suggested I should address it, but the truth is that it didn't really impinge on my adult life until 2011 when I turned 60. Dr Sarno and this forum got me started on recovery, but it was Claire Weekes (Hope & Help For Your Nerves) who actually gave me the specific knowledge and tools to get the debilitating aspects of my anxiety under control.

    I will always assert, from first-hand experience, that success in this work requires addressing, and significantly controlling, the mental health issues of anxiety, depression, and all of the many manifestations of obsessive-compulsive behaviors. As you said, there were always some people that Dr. Sarno just sent straight to therapy.

    Okay, I took that off-topic, sorry @Mountainclimber1! It's something I feel needs to be stated more often and more openly in case it's useful anyone, so I tend to expand on it whenever I get the smallest opportunity.
  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Check out this brand-new post from @jokeysmurf - historically another of our overthinkers ;) but achieving some progress!

    You might have to let go of the concept of trust, and try faith instead (as per my tagline). And, always remember: this work requires taking small steps, having patience about setbacks, and time.
  7. Bonnard

    Bonnard Peer Supporter

    Hello @Mountainclimber1,
    This part of your post stood out to me. The athletic pursuits you describe are at such a high level...If you're able to pursue those kind of high performance activities, you're in shape and doing well for yourself physically. I know this is simplifying things. BUT, our over-active brains can stress over all kinds of stuff., can create problems where there may be none.
    These are activities where the occasional tweak or injury is going to come up. Injuries come up and heal in a reasonable, expected timeframe (depending on the severity).
    Typically, athletic injuries are a separate thing from TMS.

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