View Full Version : Don't Give Attention To It

11-06-15, 10:00 AM
So, many of you know I have severe OCD.

One thing that someone helped me realize, and that I helped myself realize:
A way to "stop" intrusive thoughts without fighting against them and without pushing them to stop. (Fighting them/pushing them away never works by the way)

When a distressing OCD thought/intrusive thought enters your mind: let it exist, then float away.

DON'T think that you are immoral or wrong if you don't fight against it (like if your brain says something or shows something that you don't agree with) - your brain already knows you have something strong against those thoughts so that is the precise reason it shows them to you.

Don't give the thought attention.

Don't question it.

Don't react.

Okay so: the more you react to those thoughts the more it reinforces the pathway.

I used to beat myself up over my intrusive thoughts and think there was something wrong with me, when there isn't. I know that *I* wasn't coming up with those disturbing thoughts. It was my brain throwing out the things it knew would disturb/upset me most. (Might sound weird to someone who doesn't experience the intrusive thoughts that can come with OCD, but yeah our brain gives us thoughts that we didn't think up ourselves)

This technique actually made several of my worst intrusive thoughts that I was battling for a while disappear. I stopped reacting to them in the bad way that reinforced their existence and when the attention disappeared, so did they.

Just thought I would write some of that in case it helps anyone.

11-06-15, 10:28 AM
"Resistance is assistance" of the most profound things someone shared with me a while back.

The more energy we put into resisting a thought, no matter how grand the scale, the more we assist it into being.

Once I started paying more attention to that, the more I learned it was right on.

Thanks for sharing, Bella.

11-06-15, 10:38 AM
When I've managed it, that has always been the best strategy; it's particularly useful to me in mindfulness meditation to deal with distractions.

Acknowledge it, set it aside, then return to the task at hand.

There was a "Litany of Fear" -- sort of a mantra -- in the Dune series of books that was very similar... Face the fear, let it wash over me, then the fear will be gone and only I will remain. I always used to misunderstand the concept of facing fear as fighting it, when really it's about acknowledging it and letting it pass you by.

Trying to ignore it is just as dangerous, as fear you pretend doesn't exist tends to hang around and affect you anyway :-(

11-06-15, 04:21 PM

I am happy you have found this for yourself, and I think it is proof of your degree of insight, which I think deep.

I see a parallel with the idea of being dispassionate in greater mindfulness and awareness in Zen Buddhism.
Ideas and things will present themselves in your awareness. You neither accept nor reject those things...
you simply are aware of those things as they arise and disappear, with none of them requiring action or reaction,
whether that be motion, feeling, or thought.

Peace of Mind unto You,

Little Missy
11-06-15, 05:46 PM
Usually after I have completely worn myself out I then can realize what was may not necessarily be.