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Statistics suggest that even with carefully targeted medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy, a substantial percentage of OC-Spectrum patients do not receive substantial relief from symptoms.  It becomes important, then, to develop technologies for long-term self-care and lifestyle management.  One such tool is the use of daily meditations. 
 
Meditations and affirmations can serve multiple roles.  They can act as reminders of skills that one is developing through the exposure and response prevention behavior therapy process.  They can reduce feelings of isolation and hopelessness.  They can assist in developing and embracing new perspectives on living without the protection of OCD anxiety reduction behaviors.  They can assist in keeping a steady pace in the recovery process.
 
Here are a few of the affirmations we have found helpful for our clients with OCD-Spectrum disorders.  We recommend choosing several and carrying them in a wallet or purse for ready use when OCD strikes.
 
  • “And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin

  • OCD recovery is like a diet.  When we act on a compulsion (to eat or perform a ritual) we are practicing avoidance of (anxiety).  The result is for the anxiety to grow stronger (or our stomach to grow bigger!). 

  • You can’t put out fire with gasoline.

  • Set your intentions and then leave them alone.  Let the universe take over.

  • If you need to know which voice to listen to inside – always choose the one hardest to hear!

  • Imagine/ remember being free of the OCD – how easy it can be to flow with life.

  • Serenity Prayer:  “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  • Remember that OCD and spectrum disorders are diseases in the brain not of character. 

  • We all have within us a “good dog” and a “bad dog”.  The one we feed is the one that becomes the strongest.  Don’t feed the OCD dog and it will grow weaker.

  • To beat OCD is to choose to live with uncertainty.  You either have a desperate attempt at certainty or you have trust that the universe is out to grow you not hurt you (and everybody has bad stuff happen).

  • Good and bad things will happen in life and, yes, we all die eventually.  The only choice for those of us with OCD is whether to spend the life we have as a slave to OCD - or as a free, spontaneous person.

  • See that your OCD can potentially connect you to a greater spirituality and provide an opening for self discovery.

  • Trust God…and tie your camel!  Know the difference between what you can do something about and what it is best to let go of.

  • Surrender to the anxiety feeling.  Feel it and it will get tired of bothering you.

  • Recovery is about trust.  The antidote for the holding-on-fear-of-everything-syndrome is really trusting (God, the Universe, your Higher Power).

  • Notice how you do something and then think “Oh, I did that without OCD.  Maybe...” and then the OCD comes.  Instead just keep going and don’t get into that loop!

  • Don’t do the behavior AND trigger your relaxation response (explore ways of doing this). 

  • Get anxiety under control before OCD happens!

  • Thoughts do not make reality and feelings aren’t facts.

  • If your magical thinking was real then the rest of the world’s population would be dead!

  • Giving in to “shoulds” leads to OCD.

  • Admitting powerlessness over OCD is the1st Step.

  • Obsessions live in the future and the past.  Keep your mind in the Now!

  • Validation and affirmation are needed and important.

  • What works one time may not the next.  You may have to alternate interventions.

  • Find a neutral zone, or safe place you can recenter in and use it. 

  • Remember, OCD is the anxiety part of the pie and has nothing to do with real illness or real death or real disasters. 

  • You can’t stop bad things with your rituals.  Life is inherently risky.

  • Live on the Universe’s plan - which is always simple.

  • Too much compulsive control leads to being out of control.  If you fear suffering you are already suffering.

  • OCD is a guide to learning about self-ownership.

  • OCD is not related to illness.  You have a disease and it’s OCD. You also have a body and it has both health and ill health.  OCD does not protect you from illness.  There is no connection.

  • If you give in to the OCD it ruins the time you do have to live your life.

  • You can NEVER do ANY “good” OCD behaviors - half measures avail nothing.

  • It cannot be that ALL the compulsions are real can it?

  • It’s SELF-CARE+BEHAVIOR THERAPY+BIOLOGY that creates healing.

  • Say, “It’s a brain disorder.  It’s a false message coming from my brain”

  • Do not resist.  Develop a “spectator” approach.  Say “It’s not me it’s the OCD.” Call it what it really is - an obsessive symptom.  It’s not a real feeling, or need. 

  • OCD is just a medical symptom.   It’s too strong to resist unless you know what it really is.  It doesn’t go away because it is medical.

  • ENJOY breaking the OCD barriers deliberately!

  • Remember some of us get manic-like when we come out from under the OCD-depression and start to feel our spontaneous energy again.  At such times - go slow and stay connected.

  • Say “I can do it in 15 minutes if I still need to.”  Then move on. Do something else instead.

  • Others around you do not have to do these rituals to be ok so you don’t either! 

  • You didn’t always have to do these rituals so why should you now? 

  • Don’t wait to feel like the desire is gone to not do the behavior!  Your behavior will never change if you wait for the urge to change first. 

  • Change your behavior so that the feeling/urge will change.

  • Temporary discomfort is the price of freedom.  Keep going forward. 

  • OCD does not protect against bad results.  Self-care and relaxation does.

  • There is no quick easy solution.  Take the long-term road of not giving in versus the quick fix that OCD offers.

  • Escaping risk leads to greater (real) risk.  There is often less danger in the things we fear than in the things we desire. 

  • Refuse to act on an obsession and it will die of inaction.

  • You can’t have your symptoms and behaviors and have your life.

  • Paradoxes are the major reason for getting stuck in OCD.

  • OCD recovery is measured by living according to your values.

  • Change occurs when one loves what one is not when one becomes what one is not.

  • OCD will isolate you.  You have to choose between OCD and a happy life and relationships.  Treat OCD as an opponent in your pursuit of happiness and fight against it daily.

  • Trust God…and tie your camel!  Know the difference between what you can do something about, and what it is best to let go of. 

  • You cannot control what thoughts pop into your head.  You can control what happens next.

  • If you ever doubt what to do – ask what the average person would do.

  • If nothing changes, nothing changes.

  • If we keep one foot in tomorrow and one foot in yesterday we step over today.

  • Never trust OCD.  It always lies.

  • Things turn out for the best to people who play the cards they got.

  • Pain may be inevitable, but misery is not.

  • If you want to make God laugh, pretend your in control!

  • The life tools you pay most dearly for are the ones you don’t use.

  • If you must suffer, suffer for a purpose.

  • Just because you think is doesn’t mean you did it (or want to do it).  Actions are actions and thoughts are thoughts.

  • It only looks risky.  Only risks will bring rewards.

  • Progress always has detours.

  • If you want to think about it less – Think about it more!

  • Easy does it – But do it!

  • Don’t stop a minute before a miracle.

  • Where there is life there is hope.

  • If all else fails, lower your standards.

  • If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

  • Let go and let God.

  • Keep it simple.

  • One day at a time.

  • Progress not perfection.

  • Avoid H.A.L.T. (Hungry, Angry , Lonely, Tired)

  • The disorder of OCD is not fair and life is not fair.

  • You cannot perfect your symptoms.

  • We all have within us a “good dog” and a “bad dog”.  The one we feed is the one that becomes the strongest.  Don’t feed the OCD dog and it will grow weaker.

  • Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow.  It empties today of it’s strength!
                        - Corrie TenBoom (Nazi concentration camp survivor)

  • To beat OCD is to choose live with uncertainty – without compulsions and obsessions to try and control the uncertainty.

  • Good and bad things will happen in life and, yes, you will die eventually.  The only choice for those of us with OCD is whether to spend the life you have a slave to OCD or not.

  • Logic and reason don’t make the OCD drives go away, but it does help us decide whether not to listen to them.

  • OCD recovery is like a diet.  When we act on a compulsion (to eat or perform a ritual) we are practicing avoidance of (anxiety).  The result is for the anxiety to grow stronger (or our stomach to grow bigger!). 

  • You can’t put out fire with gasoline.

  • Serenity Prayer:  “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.   

  • Remember that OCD and spectrum disorders are diseases in the brain not of character.

  • See that your OCD can potentially connect you to a greater spirituality and provide a opening for self discovery.

  • Surrender to the anxiety feeling.  Feel it and it will get tired of bothering you.

  • Recovery from OCD is about trust.  The antidote for the holding-on-fear-of-everything-syndrome is really trusting (God, the Universe, your Higher Power).

  • Notice how you do something and then think “Oh, I did that without OCD.  Maybe...”  and then the OCD starts.  Stop before you get to that point.

  • Don’t do the behavior AND trigger your relaxation response (explore ways of doing this). 

  • Get anxiety under control before OCD happens!

  • Thoughts do not make reality and feelings aren’t facts.

  • If your magical thinking was real then the rest of the world’s population would be dead!

  • Giving in to shoulds leads to OCD.

  • Decelerate to disinhibit.  We can get going so fast in our compulsions.  Slow down in order to get back to your spontaneity.

  • Admitting powerlessness over OCD is the1st Step.

  • Obsessions live in the future and the past.  Keep your mind in the Now!

  • Validation and affirmation are needed and important.

  • What works one time may not the next.  You may have to alternate interventions.

  • Find a neutral zone, or safe place you can recenter in and use it. 

  • Remember, OCD is the anxiety part of the pie and has nothing to do with real illness or real death or real disasters. 

  • You can’t stop bad things with your rituals.  Life is inherently risky.

  • Live on the Universe’s plan which is always simple.

  • Too much compulsive control leads to being out of control.  If you fear suffering you are already .

  • OCD is a guide to learning about self-ownership.

  • OCD is not related to illness.  You have a disease and it’s OCD. You also have a body and it has both health and ill health.  OCD does not protect you from illness.  There is no connection.

  • If you give in to the OCD it ruins the time you do have to live your life.

  • You can NEVER do ANY “good” OCD behaviors - half measures avail nothing.

  • It cannot be that ALL the compulsions are real can it?

  • Say, “It’s a brain disorder.  It’s a false message coming from my brain”

  • Do not resist.  Develop a “spectator” approach.  Say “It’s not me it’s the OCD.” Call it what it really is - an obsessive symptom.  It’s not a real feeling, or need. 

  • OCD is just a medical symptom.   It’s too strong to resist unless you know what it really is.  It doesn’t go away because it is medical.

  • ENJOY breaking the OCD barriers deliberately!

  • Remember some of us get manic-like when we come out from under the OCD- depression and start to feel our spontaneous energy again.  At such times - go slow and stay connected.

  • Say “I can do it in 15 minutes if I still need to.”  Then move on. Do something else instead.

  • Others around you do not have to do these rituals to be ok so you don’t either! 

  • You didn’t always have to do these rituals so why should you now? 

  • Realize if you give in it will tighten the “lock” and make it stronger.  To loosen the lock don’t give in.  If you don’t feed it it will get weaker.  It’s a battle in the gray area. 

  • Don’t wait to feel like the desire is gone to not do the behavior!  Your behavior will never change if you wait for the urge to change first. 

  • Change your behavior so that the feeling/urge will change.

  • Temporary discomfort is the price of freedom.  Keep going forward. 

  • OCD does not protect against bad results.  Self-care and relaxation does.

  • There is no quick easy solution.  Take the long-term road of not giving in versus the quick fix that OCD offers.

  • Escaping risk leads to greater (real) risk.  There is often less danger in the things we fear than in the things we desire. 

  • Refuse to act on an obsession and it will die of inaction.

  • You can’t have your symptoms and behaviors and have your life.

  • Paradoxes are the major reason for getting stuck in OCD.

  • OCD = “What if?”

  • Change occurs when one loves what one is not when one becomes what one is not.

  • Our discomfort with an uncertain existence leads to perfectionist control and that leads to rigidity and depression of spontaneity.  We want to control what cannot be controlled and play god in that way.

  • OCD will isolate you.  You have to choose between OCD and a happy life and relationships.  Treat OCD as an opponent in your pursuit of happiness and fight against it daily.

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