The other day I had the pleasure of helping someone I didn’t know with their OCD. Did I know what I said would help? Nope, but I said what I thought might help anyways and left it up to the universe to see if it resonated at all.
Today, I got the message from him that read, “It worked and I feel so much better!” which put a huge smile on my face because I know just how critical that one moment can be in the road to learning about and trying to recover from living with obsessive compulsive disorder, or any severe anxiety.
Anxiety is based in fear, and that fear can range in intensity, from general anxiety to chronic anxiety that feels a bit more debilitating. When it gets out of control, we naturally try to control it. The increased heart rate, sweating, dizziness, racing thoughts and inability to concentrate are undoubtedly uncomfortable and we want to rid ourselves of them. However, the attempt of trying to rid ourselves of these thoughts is the exact behavior that keeps them coming back, often times even stronger.
So what I did here was try to help this individual realize that his efforts to try to control the obsessive thoughts was only making them stronger, and as willing as he was to try, the best thing he could do was to try to welcome the thoughts so they didn’t have much power over him. That is a scary concept for anyone who has anxiety. Face your fears. But, honestly, that is the trick. Allow the thought to be there, entertain it, don’t fight it, welcome it. Allow the anxiety of this experience to rise and allow it to fall, because it will fall. He experienced it, and you will too!