In addition to acknowledging and releasing negative thoughts and emotions, we also need to built up positive and compassionate thoughts. That said, positive thinking never once helped me. Not once. If anything, trying to adopt a positive mindset just made me feel like more of a failure because I could never get it to work. If common advice to adopt positive thoughts or rephrase things in a positive light works for you, then do it! If it doesn’t work for you, maybe what I did will help…
What I found was that I had to release the negative thoughts in order to “make room” for positive thoughts. For the most part, that was what JournalSpeak did. It allowed me to release all the negative stuff in me, and then, I often just felt more positive, without even needing to actively be positive.
But over the course of my recovery, I read a bunch of “woo woo” books. These were books that the scientist in me thought were utter BS, but that did still often have some useful tips. One of those books was You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay . If you aren’t familiar with this book, it’s one where she lists positive thought patterns that can help you recover from a variety of health problems.
However, she also claims that before an illness can be healed, you need to “release the need” for that illness. I tweaked that advice a bit, and I would write in a notebook that I released the need for some fear. E.g. “I release the
need to fear being alone,” or “I release the need to fear my emotions.” I would really feel that releasing from me as I wrote.
I would start writing normally on a pad of paper, but soon, I would really feel it, and I would be “screaming” the statement onto the paper. I would write in huge letters and take an entire page for the single sentence. Then I would naturally transition from writing that I was “releasing the need” and I would instead just “release” whatever it was. E.g. “I release my fear of being alone,” or “I release my fear of emotions.” And I would write those big and huge and “scream” them onto the paper. And then that would naturally transition into things like “I love myself and I love being alone with myself,” or “My emotions are me and I love feeling my emotions.”
I allowed myself to repeat the phrases in each of these statements and write as big or small on the paper as I wanted. I would keep going with each stage of that process until it found it’s natural transition point to a more positive statement. And when I hit the final positive statement, I would write that until I didn’t feel like I needed to write it anymore.
The key to this working for me was that I needed to do the JournalSpeak for a while in order to identify what my core issues were. For me, for example, the migraine was a symptom, rather than a key issue. So I couldn’t just “release the need” for the migraine. I had to understand what the core issue was that brought about migraines (for me, that turned out to be a strong fear of strong emotions), and only then could I release the core issue and start building up “positivity” in it’s place. Although I should also note, that as I released the negative thoughts, positive thoughts just naturally replaced them, without any effort.
Again, I’m sharing this as my experience because “positive mindsets” always made me worse. Other people’s experience have clearly been different, given the popularity of positive thinking.