The concept of support groups is fantastic. Sufferers can meet up, talk to others people in similar situations, be lent a sympathetic ear and be offered advise. Unfortunately they can also be places where painful stories are shared and negative beliefs gained.
For example a person just diagnosed with chronic pain in their shoulders goes to visit a support group. They buddy up with a veteran suffer who after listening to them tells them their problem started in the same place but swiftly spread down to their elbows and wrists. The newby’s mind searching for answers and open to suggestion absorbs the story unconsciously. On the next visit the two get together again and surprise, surprise the newby’s pain has spread to their elbows and wrists.
How many of you have a condition, looked it up on the internet and shortly afterwards developed some of the syptoms listed on the page?
How many of you have visited a health professional and been told ‘in my experience your condition will only get worse’ to find that shortly afterwards it does get worse?
Unfortunately when we are suffering our unconscious minds are very susceptible to suggestion as we search for answers. If you place a negative idea or suggestion in your unconscious mind it will be taken as true.
When we find ourselves with anxiety, chronic pain or illness we often seek help through support groups. These groups are set up with the greatest intentions by wellmeaning people but can unwittingly be responsible for keeping people stuck with their symptoms or help them to discover new ones by ‘sharing beliefs’
So what’s the solution?
Im not damning support groups but here are a few of my suggestions for improving them;
1. Firstly changing the name of the group. Instead of ‘anxiety support group’ how about ‘freedom from anxiety support group’
2. Change the focus of the group by offering help and positive talk of recovery.
3. Ban any talk of symptoms within the group.
4. Bring in motivational speakers and read motivating stories of healing.
Remember, there are true stories of spontaneous recoveries from every illness and pain out there. The people who recover are the ones who refuse to except their fate and focus on healing. Why shouldn’t the next story of a recovery be yours?
Beware of your thoughts because you are what you think!
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