A few weeks ago, I put myself through misery. According to my brain, something bad was definitely, most-matter-of-factly happening.
Was that a fact? Nope. But did it feel like it? Yes! At one point in time during the situation, it did.
To give some context, some medical things had come up, and I wasn’t totally sure what was going on. Neither were the doctors. They also never said anything bad was happening. For all I knew, it was nothing.
But as you know, if you’ve struggled with OCD or anxiety, our brain can become a tool we’ve trained to look at things with fear-based “what if” thinking. And it can become a tool trained to respond to those thoughts by trying to fix something. If you practice this, you can train your brain to take any uncertainty, and run with it, leading you down a rabbit hole of despair and disempowerment.
And for a moment in time, the uncertainty got me. I googled symptoms and asked for reassurance. I wanted an answer. I felt miserable.
Fortunately, the training I’ve done in the past to get better at anxiety and OCD was no longer up-to-date or in practice. Those skills have weakened. And for me, they’re no longer comparable to the training I’ve done to master my mind and be the driver of my own life.
I think medical “what ifs” are a great example of easy ways OCD can take control. There is SO MUCH happening in the body at any given time, most of which we have no way of know for sure or exactly what the state is. There are endless possibilities, and, to the untrained and anxious mind, possibilities can be ripe breeding grounds for OCD’s creativity.
The difference is, I have the tools now. And I practice and sharpen them every day. I’ve done my Jedi training…
When you’re recovering from OCD, you have to learn how to EMBRACE uncertainty. I’m talking, full body, bring-it-on, “I’m a yes!” kind of embracing.
You have to discipline yourself to not go along with your brain when it wants to take you on the misery ride, and show you in vivid detail how the worst case scenario is possible, what the rest of your life will now look like, and that “Yep, it’s all real.”
You have to discipline yourself to sit with these uncomfortable, no-fun emotions, and no longer “fix” them in the ways you did before, with your compulsions.
And you have to understand what beliefs are running the show. Emotions are messengers, and if you’re feeling anxiety, there’s a belief that’s fueling it. When you’re building your mental health, transforming these beliefs is also a vital part of this.
So when these things had come up for me, I found myself practicing ALL OF THIS.
The thing is, even when you get through OCD, life is still going to to bring challenges. And that’s why, if you’re willing, you go through Jedi training, and receive a gift that will serve you a lifetime. It’s a gift you get to keep and use everyday. And it’s a gift that gets better, and better, and better the more you use it.
This is why you have to decide, everyday, what you want to practice. This is why you have to take a deep look at what beliefs you’re holding that fuel your anxiety and OCD fire. This is why you have to Jedi train yourself to sit with uncomfortable emotions and build up your pain tolerance so YOU make the decisions in your life, rather than being driven by your thoughts or emotions.
My challenge for you today is to start. What’s one thing that you can do to start mastering your mind, and becoming the driver of your life again?
If you’re coming up short for an answer, here are some ideas to get you started:
- Write down the thing that scares you, and follow it down the rabbit hole for 15 minutes without trying to feel better. Allow yourself to feel everything that comes up. This is Exposure and Response Prevention training, and it’s vital to OCD recovery. See if you notice some progress after a couple weeks.
- Try out a meditation app.
- The next time OCD comes up for you, journal about the following, “Right now, I believe _____________.” It’s so powerful to start to become aware of what beliefs are running the show. It’s only through awareness first that change can happen.
- Decide on one judgement you have that you’re choosing to let go of now.
So are you up for it? I guarantee it’s worth it. Make that decision for yourself and start today.
I’m here to support you and I’m cheering you on!!
Share below and let me know – What are you committing to? What Jedi skill are you going to start practicing TODAY, instead of practicing your OCD or anxiety?
Want to take your training deeper? I’m offering complimentary Discovery Session calls to gain insight into where you want to go, what’s stopping you, and how we can work together to get you there. You can apply here. Spaces are limited, so if you’re interested, apply now.