Stress is a part of daily life for most people. Stress worms its way into our lives in many ways: through work, through the daily grind, through unforeseen circumstances, through our relationships with others and our relationship with ourselves. People take this stress and deal with it in many different ways. Some people are good about dealing with it as it happens, while others push it to the back of their mind to deal with later. And, sometimes, stressful events may be deemed as too stressful to deal with at all and are buried in the subconscious mind. But it can only hold so many of those “forgotten memories.” When that happens, there is discord within the mind, as subconscious memories resurface, causing pain once again.

For those suffering chronic pain from tension myositis syndrome (TMS), also called the mind-body disorder, stress is the real root of the problem. What we do impacts how we think which impacts how our bodies feel. For people with TMS, often our bodies feel immense chronic pain — pain so debilitating that it can cause us to lose our jobs, relationships and even our natural demeanor. Often, the pain we feel is directly being caused by our stress, which in turn causes emotional turmoil.

One of the issues causing the most emotional turmoil in day-to-day life for all people — but especially those with TMS dealing with the physical repercussions — is the conflict we have within ourselves about ourselves. How many of us have thought, “I want love, but I’m not deserving” or “I want that, but I can’t have it” or similar? That conflict between what we want and what we think we deserve can cause so much internal grief.

Let’s take a closer look at the love example: “I want love, but I’m not deserving.” There are so many emotions tied into that simple thought. You want love — to find acceptance, to find solace in those around you, find understanding, compassion, empathy. Interwoven with these emotions is all of the past history you may have with those feelings tying back throughout your entire life, love within your family, with friends, between lovers. Tug on one emotion and it usually unburies another.

All of this buried emotional undercurrent produces strife in your mind when what you want conflicts with what you think you deserve. When we feel “not good enough,” “not smart enough” or “not XYZ enough,” then we convince ourselves that what we want is not really within our possibilities at all. What we want changes into just another barrier created by our negative thoughts, feelings and memories.

There are really only two ways to deal with this completely: you can let go of the thoughts or let go of the desire. Both are difficult to do. To let go of the thoughts, use reason, use back talk, use curse words, use anything that gets your point across in your mind. Tell the negative thoughts to go take a hike. Change “I want love, but I’m not deserving,” into “I want love and I deserve it.” Keep telling yourself this. Make it a mantra. Build the confidence behind those words. Because the only other thing to do is to let go of the desire. While that may work for smaller things, such as wanting material goods, it really won’t work for things we all need like love, friendship and happiness. Use your words to fight for what you want by banishing your negative thoughts. Only then will the chaos caused by the fighting disappear from your mind.

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