OCD Treatment - How Do I Stop Feeling Anxious

anxiety Jul 09, 2018

 OCD Treatment - How do I stop feeling anxiety


In this video, I talk about how trying to stop anxiety will actually make it worse. I also talk about changing your beliefs and relationship with anxiety and different techniques you should consider if you are struggling with ocd and anxiety.


00:00 Okay, hello and welcome to this training on how to stop feeling anxious or how to stop feeling feelings that we don't want to feel. Um, this is part four of this, uh, this training series on really most of the treatment and frequently asked questions that I get about the treatment process and recovery process of OCD. My name is Matt Cottey and I'm a licensed clinical social worker and I'm also the founder of the academy. And again, in this video I want to talk about this idea of trying to stop feelings. Okay? So in part three of this training, um, and there's a little link below if you, if you haven't gone through that yet, so please make sure to go through that. I talked about this idea of trying to stop thoughts, right? One of the common questions that I get is, oh, how do I stop my thoughts?

 00:45 Right? And I'm in this. And then I talked about in that and with the whole white bear phenomenon where the more and more you try to stop thoughts, the worse and worse they become, or the more and more you're going to experience them, right? And how thoughts. Oppression actually makes thoughts, um, you know, more frequent. And it really is a very similar premise on the idea of trying to stop feeling. So as human beings, we get different feelings, right? That's just, that's part of the human experience, right? Where we'll feel happy will feel sad, you know, anxious, uh, you know, angry. Um, you know, I mean the whole gamut of feelings, right? That we actually have the ability to experience as humans and feeling serve a very important purpose, right? You know, they help guide us on a lot of our directions and know and help us know when things are wrong and all that.

01:36 Right? We talked about gut feelings and so feelings aren't in and of themselves a bad thing. Right? And that's. So when I get the question of, well, how do I stop feeling anxious, right? The first thing that I usually try to bring to the table with the person that asked that question is say, okay, well, so why do you want to stop feeling anxious? Right? And usually it goes something like, well, but because it's uncomfortable, I don't want to feel anxious, right? I want to feel happy, and if we think that the ultimate goal in life is to feel happy, what what we're really assuming is that the whole purpose of life is for us just to feel happy, which is, which is ultimately not true. I mean there's certain people that might believe that, but that's just not a belief that I share and the reason is because I don't believe life like we're here on earth and all that just to feel something right.

 02:28 Just to just to feel happy and content. The reason that other feelings exists is because it's usually through our uncomfortable feelings that the most growth becomes and if we even shift our thoughts to the idea or the mindsets of the idea that like, look, life is much bigger than just feeling happy, but it's actually, you know, learning to become the best person you can become, right? They talk about this concept of self-actualization. Um, you know, when we talk about the pyramid of development, um, you know, and, and really becoming the best of yourself, not only for you but for other people as well. Right? And when life becomes bigger than you, I mean, yeah, in, in you actually go into more of a service mode for others. I know the world becomes a better place and so, you know, people think that if everyone was just happy the world would be better.

 03:15 But health being happy is, is oftentimes a very self seeking and self serving mentality. Right? And so one of the things that I want to kind of address is this idea of like, okay, look, feeling happy is great and there are many times that you're going to feel happier in life, but that's not the end all be all and ultimate goal of life, right? There's, there's a much bigger picture at play. And when we talk about uncomfortable feelings like anger and anxiety and you know, things that, that often make people feel very uncomfortable that, that most people don't want to feel. We actually can come to understand that those feelings exist for a reason, right? Anxiety itself is not actually a bad feeling, right? Fear. It actually keeps us alive. Right? So when I was, I was walking the other day, for instance, and there was a car when I was walking through a crosswalk and there was a car coming and I, it, it didn't look like it was stopping.

 04:11 And so it, I actually didn't stop. And so I, you know, had that fight or flight response so that, you know, fight or flee the situation, that anxious feeling. And that actually allowed me to step out of the way of the car, right? And, and let the car go by now. I was also very angry after that happened as well. And so those are things that like those feelings exist for a reason, right? And so addressing the idea that, you know, maybe anxiety itself isn't actually a bad feeling. So one of the, one of the things that I would want to bring into the table on this question of how do I stop feeling anxious, is that first we need to realize that we don't need to judge anxiety as a bad thing because when we judge, anxiety is a bad thing. We ultimately feel the need to get rid of it.

04:57 Now, if we actually look at our feelings and actually learn to feel them right and actually connect with whatever it is we're feeling, that's going to allow us to live more authentically because we're going to be able to identify what it is that we're feeling and then take action steps that are going to align with our long-term values as opposed to just trying to alter our feelings all the time. You know, one of the reasons that a lot of unhealthy behaviors like things like addiction and, and, uh, you know, are so prevalent these days is because we, we are so focused on transforming our feelings and we use external things to do that. So even something as simple as social media, you know, why people are becoming. There's this big correlation between social media and mental health is because people go on social media to feel that, um, you know, to feel even if you know certain someone likes their stuff or comments, you know, they get the certain feelings, you know, attached to that.

05:56 And when you use media to try to control your feelings or if someone comments badly and in control of your feelings, again, your, your feelings are then at the whim of the world, right at the whim of external things where if we can learn to be more in control and more in tuned with our feelings, we can actually make decisions that aren't so chaotic. So people that, you know, use alcohol or substances to try to change their feelings, there's a reason that cycle exists because the more those feelings come up, the more you have to try to change them, the more substances you have to use. Right? And same thing with anxiety and fear and ocd when we, when we look at the parallels, is just because anxiety exists, doesn't mean that we have to make it go away. In fact, making it go away usually leads to very negative consequences, right?

06:41 It leads to us doing compulsion's all the time and more importantly, not learning to experience our feelings. I'm head on and actually being in tuned with what we're feeling and, and looking at the bigger picture of things. So, um, that was really the whole kind of premise of this particular training is like, you know, how do I stop my feelings? The reality is, is that trying to stop feelings actually ends up making them worse. Burying them down is not a healthy way to experience them. What we want to do is we actually want to learn to experience all the feelings that we have and then realize that there may not actually be such thing as bad feelings, quote unquote, right. And even challenging that idea that anxiety is a bad thing. It may be uncomfortable, but it exists for a very specific reason. And so, so not labeling is bad.

 07:27 What will help us in the longterm of realizing maybe I don't need to try to get rid of it, you know, and learning to feel it will actually help us, you know, um, it do the whole process of Erp and all that where we actually learned to feel our feelings and come to contact with our anxiety and fear and learn to face it head on. So the really the kind of action step, I guess for this video would be to practice feeling whatever you feel, you know, be it happy, you know, uh, you know, anger, anxiety, whatever it is, learning to notice what it is you're feeling is, is a good first step on this path. And, um, you know, in the next part I'm going to go more in depth on actually some of the, um, some of the techniques that we use when it comes to treating ocd.

 08:12 But until that time, um, you know, be sure to like and subscribe to this channel as well as comment below. I'd love to hear back and learn about, you know, videos you want or you know, trainings you want created a that I can look at creating in the future as well as, um, I do want to let you know that I do have some additional resources available on my website completely free. Uh, you know, that I have linked down below different guides and things that you can start doing on your recovery process. So be sure to check those out. And, uh, you know, if you want, you can just go to www.ocdacademy.com for more information. And there's some links below as well that you can click on.