get rid

8. OCD Treatment: How to stop the thoughts!

so this is the 50 million dollar

question isn't it

how can you stop yourself from having

the thoughts that you don't want to be

having well the short answer is you

can't now I know that's not what you

want to hear because I deliberately

titled this video how to stop your

thoughts because that's the goal that so

many people have when they come see me

is the goal is to stop having the

thoughts and this is something that is

so important to understand early on in

trying to help yourself overcome your

OCD is that we can't control the things

that pop into our head you cannot stop

the thoughts from popping into your head

if you don't believe me ask yourself

this how long have you been trying to

control what pops into your head or

trying to stop things that you don't

like popping into your head how long

have you been doing that now likely

thing is that you probably say well you

know I've always been doing that or as

long as I can remember having the

problem and if that's the case then ask

yourself this if you've been trying to

do it for so long why are you still

having the problem because it's

impossible you're trying to inch Eve the

impossible by trying to block out this

door try to stop the thoughts from

coming in because we don't have control

over the things that pop into our minds

we only have control over what we then

do with the things that pop into our

might so for example whether we decide

to listen to it whether we imbue it with

meaning and whether we carry on that

thought process or whether we just

ignore it and that's where we have

control but we don't have control over

what pops into our head yet equally

important is the fact that the more that

you try and control the uncontrollable

are you forced yourself to stop thinking

about some

then where's your focus if you're trying

to stop thinking about something what

are you focusing on you're focusing on

the exact thing that you don't want to

be focusing on so I try not to think

about it you're actually getting

yourself to think about it more and

that's how it becomes such a problem is

the more you try and stop it the worse

it gets so if the answer is not to try

and stop the thoughts then what is the

answer what do I do with my thoughts

well this very short answer is you do

nothing now that probably sounds like a

really unhelpful or difficult thing or

perhaps even kind of a ridiculous thing

to say about thoughts you find really

disturbing but ultimately that is the

shortest answer is that what we want

people to do with these thoughts that

pop up into their head is we want people

to do nothing we want people to ignore

them like they're just Goldie goop but

they don't mean anything so we want

people to stop and viewing them with

meaning to stop paying attention and

acting on those thoughts to stop trying

to push them away

so stop replacing them with other

thoughts we just want you to let the

thoughts be there in your head and not

pay attention to them now obviously when

you've been paying attention to thoughts

for a long time and you've been in

viewing the mood meaning or trying to

push them away or engaging in them

having arguments with them when you've

been really paying attention to them it

takes a lot of practice to get you to

start doing something different well

actually for some people they do once

they get this idea I've just gonna let

the thoughts be there they can start to

do that but it isn't as easy as it

sounds well actually probably doesn't

even sound easy so we we do understand

that it's not as easy as that

that just ignore them

that's it is we've got to now get you to

retrain your brain by behaving

differently with those thoughts and the

first primary kick is you've got to stop

trying to stop the thoughts you cannot

stop what comes into your head I'm sorry

that I'm going on about this but it's

such an important point that your goal

here in dealing with your OCD cannot be

to stop the thoughts because it doesn't

work it's impossible and you will never

achieve it and the more you try and

achieve it the more you will keep

focusing on the problem and the

problematic thoughts and the worse it's

going to feel so what we're going to do

is some more of these videos is I'm

going to exemplify this in some of the

other thought videos and we're going to

start showing you some training

exercises as well for how to just let

the thoughts be there and observe them

without engaging in them but just so I'm

not leaving you with anything I wanted

you to think about thinking about that

it started to think about those thoughts

of a different way so when they come

into your head rather than trying to get

rid of them or raise them or act on them

just try it and see if you can notice

them without attaching importance or

praising them anyway

notice them and just let them be there

to let them pass so if you imagine for

example that you're standing on a busy

train platform and there's trains coming

and going imagine your thought is like a

train you can watch it coming to the

platform and you can watch it leave you

don't have to get on board that train

and even if you do get on board that

train you can decide to get off again so

we want to start thinking about you are

the person who gets to decide

whether or not you think about the

thoughts you get to decide whether you

board the train okay so it's about them

coming and going letting them you can

watch them come in watch them go out

without engaging on them so it become

just like passing traffic on a motorway

okay some people like the idea of

thinking of them as the sort of um you

know who using twigs and things that are

floating down a river and you just watch

it float on by you're not waiting into

the river and trying to pull this stuff

out it's just there and that's how I

want to get you to start thinking about

this you can't control them you can't

control the weather or it comes into

your mind but you can control what you

decide to do with it then