How To Do Mindfulness And Meditation For OCD
2.3% of the population has obsessive compulsive disorder. And new scientific research shows that if you are a sufferer you can start using mindfulness meditation for OCD. Here’s how and why.
A new scientific breakthrough can change the lives of the 2.3% of the population suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
OCD is a condition 1 in 100 people suffer from. In other words, there is a very high chance that either you yourself will suffer from OCD, or you will know someone who suffers from OCD.
For anyone living with it, OCD is a nightmare.
People with OCD feel a compulsory obligation to perform certain rituals so frequently that it interferes with their lives.
Some of the symptoms of OCD include:
- Constantly orgainsing things
- Constantly cleaning
- Feeling the need to perform routine rituals throughout the day
- Inability to function unless certain conditions have been met
- Washing the skin until it is raw
- Repeatedly checking to see if appliances are turned off.
Read more about the symptoms of OCD on the MayoClinic.
OCD is getting more and more common
Not so long ago OCD was considered a rare condition. But experts are now claiming that OCD was often misdiagnosed in the past because many people were not comfortable approaching their doctor about a mental health condition.
If you need uncomfortable talking to the doctor about anything, stop. Remember. Your doctor has seen people for all sorts of conditions. They will treat you with respect and they are the best people to speak to.
Today, OCD is the fourth most common mental health condition in the West and affects everyone regardless of sex, age, or race.
But now the important point.
Even though OCD is common, half of all people diagnosed with OCD will not have sever OCD, and a quarter will have mild cases of OCD. So you might like to ask whether your OCD is severe and, based on that information, what you should do about it. But of course you should speak to a healthcare professional about this.
Diagnoses of OCD have been steadily increasing-
The Healing Powers Of Mindfulness Meditation For OCD
American psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz is renowned for his work with people with OCD.
one of Dr. Schwartz’s most interesting cases was when he was hired by Leonardo DiCaprio to teach him what it was like to have OCD so that he could play Howard Hughes in The Aviator. Howard Hughes is one of the most famous people to have suffered from OCD.
Dr. Schwartz taught DiCaprio what it was like to have OCD. And he did such a good job of it that DiCaprio actually suffered from the disease for one year before getting back to normal (the good news is that he did get an Oscar nod for his performance).
Dr Schwartz has been treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for decades. And his number one method has remained the same. He used the Buddhist practice known as mindfulness for OCD. ( learn how to do mindfulness in this guide).
“One evening, while out of the office, Schwartz realized his patients needed more to do, something to focus on besides the intrusive thoughts of OCD,” says Steve Volk, writing for Discover Magazine.
“He thought back over the practice of mindfulness and found an analogy he liked. In meditation, if he became emotionally invested in a particular train of thought, he sought to refocus himself by drawing his attention back to his breathing.
Using that same concept, he gave his patients license to replace monitoring their breath with whatever behavior they found most compelling. Some patients found it helpful to turn back to the same healthy behavior each time an OCD episode struck: going for a walk, perhaps, or some Zen-gardening.
Schwartz had found three steps — relabel, reattribute and, now, refocus.
But he needed a final step, something to pull them all together. He called that step revaluing. The OCD thoughts that patients once considered so important were to be systematically deconstructed, understood and finally revalued as, in Schwartz’s words, “trash … not worth the gray matter they rode in on.” Conversely, Schwartz’s patients learned to value their alternative behavior highly.
Schwartz’s four steps worked, but it wasn’t easy. It took, and these words struck Schwartz as key, a tremendous force of will.” (Read more about Dr Schwartz’s research on Discover Magazine. )
Dr. Schwartz uses a technique called “self-directed neuroplasticity,”. This is a technique that empowers practitioners to consciously and purposefully rewire their brain.
Diagrams showing self directed neuroplasticity
Dr Schwartz mindfulness meditation technique is changing the lives of millions of OCD sufferers
With mindfulness—the basis of Schwartz’s work—patients are given a healthy, empowering and natural way of treating OCD. Best of all, mindfulness can be self taught and is very easy to begin to use.
We need to get this message out to everyone suffering from OCD. We all know someone with OCD whose life could be changed by this new scientific discovery. Please help share this page on Facebook and Twitter so we can get the message out.
So how to do you mindfulness for OCD?]
The good news is that it is quite easy to learn mindfulness.
Mindfulness is simply the act of focusing the mind on the present moment. Instead of thinking we simply see things precisely as they are.
There’s a caveat here though. Because even though mindfulness is very easy to understand, and perhaps even easy to do, it is bizarrely very hard to remember to be mindful.
As you can read about in this guide to mindfulness, mindfulness is the act of focusing the mind on some element of the present moment. For instance you might focus on your breath or on a sound, on anything that is likely to help you to relax.
And yes, that does sound easy. The trick is being mindful throughout the day.
You need to remember to be mindful on a consistent basis. That’s why I wrote this free guide to 25 mindful habits you can use to develop your mindfulness.
Or, if you want the quick path to total happiness and peace of mind, you can read my premium ebook: Journey To The Buddha Within.
What do you think about using mindfulness for OCD?
Leave a comment.
Paul Martin Harrison
Paul Harrison is a meditation teacher, author and journalist based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential. Don’t miss Paul’s inspirational and enlightening book Journey To The Buddha Within You.