How to use effective tools to think through your issues.
Stress to Joy – Chapter Three Sneak Peek
“Stress to Joy – Your Toolkit for Peace of Mind in Minutes” is set to come out March 21st! As a special “thank you” for reading my blog, I am going to post some of the content you will find in my book. Check back frequently to see what is new.
Excerpt from Stress to Joy; Chapter 3:
…You have calmed down your mind and body with mindfulness, meditation, and other relaxation exercises. Now what? Your problems have not completely resolved. The problems that were caused by a tense body and overwhelmed mind are starting to decrease, yet you still need to take further steps to resolve your problem. Your clear mind can now help you focus on possible solutions instead of feeling overwhelmed by the problems. Before calming down, your mind was so overwhelmed with emotions that it was hard to think logically. As your mind settles, you can reflect on your situation. In this chapter, let’s review some tools and techniques to help you do that.
As Sam calmed her frustration by practicing mindful driving, her mind cleared. So, she started reflecting on her situation and brainstorming her options with friends and family.
As Rene calmed down, she began listing all of the stuff she had to do, so she could reflect on her priorities.
As Natasha calmed her mind and body, she reflected on what was working for her that she wanted to continue and what was not working for her that she wanted to change.As they started to calm their minds and bodies, these women were able to reflect on their situations. The third step in this transformative journey from stress to joy is to Reflect—represented by R in the acronym ACR
When Natasha was having some difficulty reflecting and I suggested writing, she had several reservations, like, “I am afraid someone will read it,” or “I don’t write well.” “Last time I tried to write, I felt more negative, since it brought out so many negative thoughts.”
If you are afraid someone will read it, there’s a simple solution. Tear the paper up after writing.
If you are not writing to show anyone, does it matter if you write well? All that matters is that you offload your mind and clear your mental space of mental garbage.
Do you find that you feel more negative when writing because it brings about negative thoughts? That happens to people since they may have kept the negative thoughts suppressed for too long. Some people initially feel bad, but then feel better after letting out the negative thoughts in the form of writing. If you are able to bring the negative thoughts out of your mind and let them go, you can clear your mental space. Wouldn’t it be better if they were released instead of staying inside of you? When they stay inside, they get lodged in your body and cause problems.
You don’t have to do anything that makes you feel bad. If bringing those negative thoughts to your consciousness adversely affects you, it may not be the right tool for you, it may not be the right time for you, or you may need additional help working with a therapist before you can use this tool. Write only if you feel it is right.
Natasha felt it was right for her, so she scheduled a daily 15-minute time slot in her planner. She made a routine of starting a timer and putting her pen on a notepad. She wrote whatever came to her mind. As soon as the time was over, she put the pen down, tore the pages of the notepad into small pieces, and threw them into her wastebasket. It felt good to get rid of that garbage.
This technique is called “Therapeutic Writing.”
Therapeutic writing helps many chronic pain patients get rid of their pain. How is that possible? When I first heard about it from a spine surgeon in Seattle named Dr. Hanscom, I was intrigued. I scheduled a meeting with him to learn more. He graciously gave me his time and shared how he uses this technique in a rehab program before his patients get spine surgery. He said that this technique even helped him when he suffered from chronic pain for more than 13 years. When he got better, he developed a program and wrote a book called Back in Control. You can learn more about this program and get a lot of helpful tools from his website: http://backincontrol.com.
Dr. Hanscom told me that about 75% of the people who come to him with the intention of having surgery for their back pain end up not needing the surgery when they participate in this program, where therapeutic writing is one of the major techniques. When I talked to him in 2016, he said that more than 800 people were able to get rid of their chronic back pain without surgery using this program. Amazing!
Why do you think this technique helps so many people with chronic pain? I think that many people carry a lot of anger and hurt in their bodies. Writing the thoughts down is like clearing the mind’s space from rotting garbage. Putting the thoughts on paper tells the mind that those thoughts are just thoughts, not you. They are separate from you. Most of all, the act of tearing and ritualistically throwing away the paper tells the mind that you can get rid of those negative thoughts. The bonus is that by throwing the paper away, you don’t have to worry about someone reading it!…..
I can’t put all of chapter three here because that would be a very long article, but the book is coming out soon so you can read the rest when you get your copy! In the rest of Chapter Three, you will learn more about a few techniques to shift your focus and feel joy no matter what.
So excited! The wait will be over on March 21st, 2018. Meanwhile, are you practicing the tools I have shared earlier? If you haven’t yet, sign up for the FREE audio, “Relaxation for Busy People”
Did you enjoy this “sneak peek” of Chapter three? Please let me know if any of this is helpful to you or someone you know!
To your health and happiness,
All comments will appear after moderator review. The tools and techniques I teach have proven to be highly successful for improving emotional, mental, and physical balance, but they are not intended to replace treatments prescribed by licensed medical or mental health professionals.