How To Do Mindfulness And Meditation For OCD [Obsessive Compulsive Disorder]
How To Do Mindfulness And Meditation For OCD [Obsessive Compulsive Disorder]

New scientific research reveals that there are big benefits of mindfulness meditation for OCD [obsessive compulsive disorder] that can help to reduce the symptoms.   

OCD is a condition 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 chilcen suffer from [1]. 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.

Meditation is the practice of focusing the mind on one thing, such as the breath. And this has been proven to have many advantages for our mental health.

The Healing Powers Of Mindfulness Meditation For OCD

Scientific research has shown that there are many benefits of mindflness meditation for OCD.

American psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz is renowned for his work with people with obsessive compulsive disorder.

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. [2]

Dr. Schwartz taught DiCaprio what it was like to have the disorder. 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 Treatment

Dr Schwartz has been treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for decades. And his number one method has remained the same. He uses the Buddhist practice known as mindfulness meditation for OCD.

“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 episode struck: going for a walk, perhaps, or some Zen-gardening.

Relabel, Reattribute, Refocus, Revalue

Schwartz’s treatment uses four steps:  — relabel, reattribute, refocus. revalue [4].

These steps mean:

Relabel: Notice when you are having obsessive thoughts and label them. For instance, “This is an obsessive thought”

Reattribute: Tell yourself that it is your condition that is creating the obsessive thought .

Refocus: Focus on something else.

Revalue: Stop reacting to obsessive thoughts in such an extreme way. Pay them less credene.

The fourth step is crucial and can take time to learn. Scwartz called this step Revaluing. The obsessive 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 what Schwartz described as a  remendous force of will.”

Schwarz started to presrcibe mindfulness meditation for OCD, and subsequently more scientific research has confirmed that there are indeed big beefits of meditaiton for OCD [5].

With mindfulness, patients are given a healthy, empowering and natural way of treating obsessive compulsive disorder. Best of all, mindfulness can be self taught and is very easy to begin to use.

Obsessive compulsive disorder on the rise, but so is mindfulness

Not so long ago Obsessive Comulsive Disorder 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 feel 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, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is the fourth most common mental health condition in the West and affects everyone regardless of sex, age, or race.

The good news is that, while the disorder is on the rise, mindfulness is too. Mindfulness meditation is one of the fastest growing health trends of the 21st Century. This is likely because so many people are starting to understand the nature of mental health problems, and mindfulness offers a natural remedy. It can be used to help with problems like depression [READ: Meditation For Depression].

How to do mindfulness meditation for OCD

It’s easy to get started.

Mindfulness is simply the act of focusing the mind on the present moment. Instead of thinking obsessive thoughts we simply see things precisely as they are. We simply focus on the present moment, focusing the mind on something relaxing such as the breath or on whatever you personally find relaxing.

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. This is why I recommend trying some mindful activities to develop a habit.

Or, if you want the quick path to total happiness and peace of mind, you can read my premium ebook.

What do you think about using mindfulness meditation for OCD?

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Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a yoga teacher, meditation teacher and writer. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation.

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