JournalSpeak is a targeted, expressive writing tool I created to give you agency over your chronic pain.

A regular JournalSpeak practice allows repressed emotions and stored trauma to safely rise, eliminating the brain’s protective impulse to send pain signals. As you learn how to develop this tool, you will also rewire your neural pathways and gain awareness, presence, and freedom from chronic pain. It may sound too simple to be true, but thousands of people around the world have made this transformation using the tools I teach here.

Let me hold your hand and walk you through the JournalSpeak process.

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Step 1

Make your three lists

Past Stressors

Any events that happened in your past that caused you stress, from childhood to adulthood. Things that caused you to feel fear, anger, guilt, shame, humiliation, or any other big feelings.

This list might include: neglect, abuse, abandonment, moving home/school, bullying, witnessing verbal or physical abuse, having a medical condition, difficulties with siblings, lack of affection, addiction in your family of origin, divorce or marital problems, mental illness in the family, bereavement, absence of a parent, stress of studying, leaving a job, experiencing a traumatic event, career stress, difficulties with friendships, illness or injury to yourself or a loved one, or simply being an energetic mismatch with a parent.

Anything that means something to you, even if no one else would understand it, goes on this list.

Current Stressors

Anything in your life that’s causing you stress and remains ongoing. 

Examples include: 
   •  The name of every person in your family (people are our greatest stressors!)
   •  Money
   •  Moving
   •  Relationships
   •  Job/Career/Purpose
   •  Body image
   •  Pain/symptoms/diagnoses and their effect on your life.
   •  Regret/resentment regarding issues related to your pain journey.

Consult your Past Stressors list to identify potential areas to explore further.

Personality Traits

Aspects of your personality that may be contributing to your stress.

Examples include: perfectionism, people pleasing, needing other people to like and approve of you, having a strong inner critic, setting very high standards for yourself, judging yourself harshly, putting other people’s needs before your own, finding it difficult to set boundaries with other people, pessimism, low self-esteem or low self-worth, difficulty in feeling and/or expressing emotions, hyper-vigilance and anxiety. This is a list of suggestions, but open your mind to what makes sense for you.

Step 2

Do Your JournalSpeak

Pick a topic from your list and write about it for 20 minutes.

Don’t overthink about where to start. Just pick one. If you end up going off on a tangent, that’s okay. Imagine you’re putting a bunny down in the snow and letting it explore. Follow the trail and see where it takes you.

20 minutes is the recommended minimum to give yourself time to explore the topic and move past any resistance. If you have more to say, it’s okay to keep going.

Tell the radical truth and don’t be afraid to go deep.

The whole point of JournalSpeak is to write the raw, unfiltered truth about how you feel. Don’t censor yourself or edit; try to be honest about what you’re feeling even if it’s shameful, scary, or ugly. Nobody else is going to read this (I recommend that you delete/destroy it after writing). Imagine you’re a kid having a tantrum and let it all out – or think of it as “word vomit.” You’re getting your hidden, unfelt feelings out onto the page, so they’re not stuck - being expressed through your body.

Invite your feelings to rise. They won’t always do so right away, and that’s okay! True readiness is everything. Just stay the course and you will be surprised what comes out.

The key is to stay focused on your emotional response. Try and be aware of what feelings are arising for you as you write. Notice what’s happening in your body, and try to let the emotions surface. This can be difficult at first if you’re used to repressing your feelings, so don’t be hard on yourself if it takes a while for you to experience anything. Keep up a regular JournalSpeak practice and gradually your brain will learn that it’s okay to be with these difficult emotions.

Step 3

Soothe Yourself

After JournalSpeak, do a self-soothing meditation for 10 minutes.

This allows for a soothing pause, a grounding moment, and a smoother reentry into daily life. I have meditations available here on Your BreakAwake or you can sit in silence, listen to monks chanting, singing bowls, or a guided visualization. Meditation and self-compassion are not just “nice to have” but are “need to have” companions to a JournalSpeak practice which requires saying difficult things for which self forgiveness is important.

Rinse & Repeat

Rinse and repeat – ideally every day when beginning this work.

The best way to see results is to set aside time to do JournalSpeak for twenty minutes. A regular practice will not just reduce internal stress but move the nervous system from the fight or flight state which is driving your symptoms into a rest and repair place for healing.

For more detailed information and tips about how to get the most out of JournalSpeak™ check out this page on My TMS Journey. Compiled by: Phil de la Haye, originally for my JournalSpeak Community on FB.



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