Journaling Prompts for Physical Pain

Healing Pain Through a Small Daily Practice

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You might be asking: Exactly how can journaling help alleviate my physical pain?

Here’s something you may not know: almost all manifestations of physical pain are emotionally based. 

– constant sense of fear or worry
– feeling stuck in fight / flight / freeze
– unprocessed emotions
– unresolved trauma
– childhood trauma (inner child healing)
– long-term anxiety
– panic
– hypervigilance
– difficulty with self-worth
– self-abandonment
– self-blame
– racing thoughts
– brain fog
– rumination
– betrayal 
– burnout
– constant fatigue
– sleep issues / insomnia

By tapping into and voicing your unexpressed and suppressed feelings, you will be able to release the pent-up energy in your body.

When you felt a surge of energy around an event, but weren’t able to work through the feelings at the time (for example: you were sitting at a job and felt you had to stay composed, or you were a child and you were told to be quiet and sit still, or you didn’t have the resources to feel your feelings at the time.)

Your body goes into protection mode.

It’s trying to keep you from feeling emotions that are too much or too uncomfortable, however you end up feeling physically ill as a side effect.

When the body can find resolution and safety, it can finally release the stuck energy, allowing stiff muscles and sticky fascia that have been burdened to carry the weight through the years, allowing for both a release and expansion in your body.

Are we just talking a bunch of nonsense and woo?

NO! This has been demonstrated time and time again in multiple studies about held trauma in the body, and the benefits of journaling through our feeling to find relief.

In this blog post, we will discuss some journaling prompts for physical pain and how you can incorporate this practice into your daily life to begin healing and loving your body.

1. Recognize Your Truth:

Living with chronic illness and physical pain can be isolating, overwhelming, and send you on an emotional rollercoaster. It can feel like you’re a burden, or you’re a broken record, or that people don’t truly understand or believe the pain that you’re in. 

Before you dive into any traumatic experiences, you might want to start with how you feel today.

What symptoms am I experiencing?
How is physical pain impacting my daily life?
If I were free from this pain, how would it positively change my life?

Feel free to get messy and ungrateful. This is just for you and no one needs to read it.

You can read more about that in this post about Rage Journaling for your health.

2. Start with Your Physical Sensations:

When you experience physical pain, the sensations can be intense and overwhelming. Use your journal to identify where in your body you feel the pain. Write down the characteristics of the pain and the sensations it elicits. 

Recognizing and acknowledging the physical aspects of your pain can help you develop a more in-depth understanding of how your body responds. It also empowers you to take proactive steps to manage your pain.

3. Trace the Origins of Your Pain:

Reflect on the events, triggers, or situations that may have contributed to your physical pain. Who was present when it happened? Is there an experience similar to this in your past? 

Writing down your experiences can help you identify patterns or understand why you may experience worse pain at certain times of the day or under certain conditions. 

This can help you make necessary adjustments to your daily routine or find coping mechanisms that work best for you.

4. Express Your Emotions:

Chronic pain can produce a range of emotions, including anxiety, fear, frustration, and sadness. Writing about your emotions in a non-judgmental way is a valuable release.

Allow yourself to feel your emotions and respond to them with care and compassion. 

Doing so can help you find new ways of managing your pain and improve your mental and emotional well-being.

5. Set Realistic Goals:

One of the final steps in your journaling practice is setting achievable daily goals. As women, we often put so much pressure on ourselves to do and achieve more.

Instead, write down specific goals for your daily routine that are realistic and achievable. 

Focus on small baby steps that can contribute to your physical and emotional well-being. Remember, the goal is not perfection, but progress.

What not to do: Focus on Gratitude and Positivity

Incorporating gratitude and positivity into your journaling practice can also help you cultivate a deeper sense of self-love.

HOWEVER, you have to be able to access the feelings of gratitude and positivity first to reap the benefits. 

If you are in a place where you can feel gratitude and feel comfortable doing so, here’s how to incorporate this into your trauma resolution journaling practice. 

Write down the things in your life that bring you joy, pleasure, and comfort. This can help you shift your focus away from your pain and towards the things in your life that you are grateful for.

Journaling Prompts for Pain

  • Where do I feel pain in my body?
  • Describe the pain: is it dull, achey, pinched, sharp, throbbing, etc? How often do I feel it? How long does it last?
  • Does my pain happen when I am with particular people, or in particular places, or at certain events?
  • Does this pain make me feel angry? Or sad? Or afraid? Something else?
  • What does that emotional pain bring up for me? Are there any memories tied to that feeling?
  • Where else in my life do I feel that level of anger/sadness/fear?
  • If this pain could talk to me, what is it trying to tell me? What does it want me to know? How is this pain trying to get my attention?
  • What in my life am I tolerating, but actually really bothers me.
  • What in my life am I ignoring?
  • Do I wear a mask for other people? (Pretend everything’s OK, or fine, when it isn’t)
  • Do I find myself doing everything for everyone else? Where does that come from?
  • Do I feel like I am last on the list? Even with myself?
  • How do I feel when I ask for help or support?
  • What would it mean to me to get support without asking for it?
  • What would it mean to me to stop wearing a mask around other people?

Additionally, finding moments of positivity and humor throughout your day can help ease the physical and emotional toll of chronic pain. It doesn’t all have to be serious stuff, or doom and gloom.

Find your own personal voice through these notes to yourself and explore what immediately comes up, rather than trying to write the perfect prose.

No one will be grading your work, and you’re not trying to write your memoir.

Putting it all together

Journaling can be a powerful tool in managing physical pain and cultivating a deeper sense of self-awareness, self-love, and gratitude. Incorporate these prompts into your daily routine to develop a regular journaling practice that works best for you. 

Healing is a journey, and it is vital to treat yourself with kindness and patience along the way. Living with chronic illness is challenging, but you are not alone.

By using your journal to document your experiences and emotions, you can take concrete steps towards nourishing your body, mind, and soul.

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