How to use Mindfulness for OCD & Anxiety Recovery

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In this episode, we are going to continue our series on Meditation and Mindfulness, and today we are going to focus on Mindfulness. Jon Kabat Zinn defines Mindfulness as paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. A common roadblock I see many people who struggle with OCD & Anxiety run into is trying to use Mindfulness to cure OCD & Anxiety. 

While both meditation and mindfulness can be very powerful tools for OCD & Anxiety recovery...when we try to use them to get rid of anxiety and thoughts it doesn’t work, so we get frustrated. 

In this episode, I talk about how we can use mindfulness for OCD & Anxiety recovery without getting frustrated. 

Enjoy.

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

(00:00):

All right. Hey, my friends, and welcome to this episode where we're going to talk about how to use mindfulness for OCD and anxiety recovery. And so, um, you know, before I dive in just, um, we'd really appreciate your support by, uh, you know, giving us a little, like in a share and even leaving a comment down below on, um, you know, things we can do in, in episodes we can make and topics you'd like to cover that really helps us out to kind of, you know, create things that are going to help you on your journey. And so, um, but to dive into today, what I want to do is I want to talk about the idea of mindfulness. So let's go ahead and talk about what that is. So, um, John godson, um, who was, you know, really instrumental in bringing mindfulness to, you know, they'll kind of Western society, you know, it kind of breaks it down into four steps, right?

(00:46):

It's about paying attention on purpose in the present moment. Non-judgmentally right. And so let's kind of break that down for a second. And we talking about paying attention. It's like, well, what, what does that mean? Right. It means, and again, for those of you that haven't been with us on the series, you know, the series has been building on itself. So please go back and check out the, um, the older episodes, um, or the last few episodes that really have built up, because what we're talking about here is this idea of witness consciousness and it's, where am I putting my conscious attention? All right. Because a lot of times what happens is our consciousness just, just gets absorbed into things. So in this, and then a good example of this could be when you're watching a movie, right, your, your consciousness can get so absorbed in the movie that you could forget that you're even watching a movie.

(01:35):

Right. It's fascinating. Right. And then, um, so, so really this idea of where my putting my conscious awareness and, and then so paying attention on purpose, right. It means am I directing where I'm choosing to put my conscious awareness, right? And then, um, in the present moment. Okay. Pretty self-explanatory, but also, you know, worth, worth discussing in depth, because for most of us, we, we don't live in the present. Right. We live in the future. We live in the past, right. We're worrying about how the future is or how the past is going to impact our future or vice versa, you know? Um, and, um, and, and this idea of the present moment, this is really where, you know, mindfulness is about, it's about anchoring yourself in the present, right. And watching life unfold moment by moment, by moment, by moment. So much of our suffering is actually us taking our consciousness and future pacing.

(02:36):

You know, these bad events that we think could happen and then suffering right now, like they're happening, even though most of them have never happened and will never happen. Right. I mean, think about how much needless suffering, just go ahead. This is like a little thought experiment. Think about how much needless suffering you've had in your life, because you've worried about something that never happened. You know, what most of us can, can, you know, think of a million different events. I know I, myself, I mean, I can absolutely go in my life and think about how much suffering I've, I've brought into my life, by my inability to be present, you know, or I, I would say, I wouldn't say inability, that's a poor word. Um, because I have the ability, um, by my, my lack of conscious awareness of where I'm putting my focus.

(03:22):

Right. And so, um, my decision dare, I say, to be in the past or future, as opposed to being present. Right. So when we talk about how we use L and then finally the last thing is non-judgmentally right. Um, so those, those four components kind of bring up mindfulness. Now we've talked about meditation, we've talked about mindfulness and we've talked about how they correlate, right? Meditation is kind of our dedicated time to practicing our ability to not get caught in the mind or our emotions. Right. And bringing ourselves back to the present. One of the things we anchor in the present right. Is our breath, right? So that's the idea of, of meditation. Mindfulness really is our ability to continue doing that throughout the day. Right? So when I'm driving, I'm driving, I'm not thinking about what's going to happen at work. I'm not worrying about dinner.

(04:12):

You know, all the other stuff that gets caught up, or, you know, if we're wrestling with OCD and anxiety, if I'm experiencing, you know, like an onslaught of thought, right? Like my, my thoughts are going really fast. What I'm not doing, let's talk about what we're not doing. I'm not using my, to distract myself from the experience that I don't want. Okay. Because already by that very nature, you're already knowing, doing mindfulness. If you're trying to use mindfulness to get a certain result, notice how you're already judging that accent and then trying to get rid of it. Right. What does my paying attention on purpose in the present moment? Non-judgmentally so for many of us, the reason that our intrusive thoughts, it's intrusive thoughts by their very nature, right? One of the things that's interesting about intrusive thoughts, it says the reason they're intrusive is because we judge them right.

(05:06):

When we create a sale, the story about the idea that these thoughts are bad, I'm not supposed to have these, these thoughts are terrible. Well, right. And the reality is they're just thoughts, but our judgment, which then creates a perception is what we're ultimately reacting to. You know, for many of us, we have a certain thing that we're locked onto, or that we get locked onto more so than other things. Right? So many, many people who wrestle with OCD and anxiety generally have a, something that causes them more anxiety than most other things. Right. So that could be driving. It could be flying, it could be contamination. It could be intrusive, harmful thoughts, sexual thoughts, that's about their religion. You know, I'm filling the blank, right. You know, body image issues. Um, I mean, I mean, the list goes on on, right. But something is their primary focus in the reason that that's Bob bothers them more than other thoughts has nothing to do with the content of that thought. But their story and belief structure that they then build around that one theme. And the more and more you reinforce it, behaviourally the more and more that cycle builds. Right. So, um, when we talk about how we use mindfulness for OCD and anxiety recovery, what a lot of people do is they try to jam mindfulness to get the result that they want.

(06:32):

This is a huge trap that people fall in. Right? Huge trap. I and I myself fell into it. Right. Because when you're, when you're first going into the idea of OCD and anxiety recovery, what you need to understand is that you go in with the perceived idea that you know, what recovery is, and it's usually the absence of one or two things. It's the absence of the thoughts you don't like, or it's the absence of the feelings that you don't like. But by that very nature, you don't like them, which means you judge them, which means that you aren't actually allowing yourself to be mindful. So you see how paradoxical this is, right. It's like, and that's the thing I've, I've learned about this recovery process. This is one great, big paradox, right? If I'm trying to use mindfulness and be nonjudgmental about intrusive thoughts, right. Which that's, that's part of mindfulness, but I'm using it to get rid of those thoughts. I'm already judging them. Therefore I'm already not being mindful. Mindfulness is my ability to co-exist with those thoughts and to allow them to be there and then to ultimately allow them to, you know, be there and experience them for however long they're there and allow them to pass when they're ready to pass.

(07:41):

Now, when we understand that, right,

(07:44):

What happens is, is that then we're able to change our perception and our reactiveness to that thought. And so when we're using mindfulness, what we're really doing is allowing thoughts and feelings to surface at their leisure, not trying to control, because again, if we don't judge them as bad, then we don't need to do anything about them to get rid of them. And then it's paradoxical is we're not using mindfulness to get rid of thoughts. We are being mindful, which ultimately allows things to surface and pass in a much more yeah. Natural way. So hopefully, hopefully that makes sense. I know that's kind of like a lot to unpack there, but I thought it's worth talking about, you know, because it's like, um, you know, in, and we can talk a lot about what recovery is and what recovery isn't. Um, cause I think that that goes into how we use the tools, right. What that really means. So, um, hopefully you found this episode helpful and, um, and, and, and as we continue, what I'm gonna talk about next, uh, in the next episode Is

(08:41):

How we use meditation and anxiety for intrusive thoughts specifically. And I really want to go into that because I think that's worth exploring deeper. Um, but you know, um, if you found this out, absolutely helpful, really appreciate if you would, uh, show your support, begin by liking and subscribing and also, um, you know, sharing, if you can, on your social platforms, it's really helpful for us. We also have some additional resources down in the links right below where you can go over and look at additional free training. We have [email protected], free downloads, as well as our, um, you know, programs that are here to help you on your journey. They, again, they're all meant to be able for you to consume right where you are. Um, and that's why we created in the way we created them. So thank you so much for hanging out today, guys. And I look forward to seeing you on the next steps, take care.

 

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