Tag Archives: Life is Good

How to Overcome Your #1 Challenge

It can be very overwhelming to confront your fears and defy OCD. This feeling of being overwhelmed is likely to lead to an “I can’t do it” mentality. Your #1 challenge is to overcome this belief.

I was so happy this morning to take a long walk and find a beach before the start of the OCD conference.  I think I’d walk on fire to get to a body of water.

Breathing in dirt and whatever else
Breathing in dirt and whatever else

That’s sort of what I had to do this morning to get to the beach. I walked by a lot of noisy dirty construction sites and very smelly dumpsters. It was a very unpleasant toxic walk.

I held my breath and walked fast. It was disgustingly unpleasant. What have I gotten myself into?

Finally I found the beach! There were dogs frolicking in the water. Everyone had a smile.

image

It was a little piece of heaven.

And then the wasps came. I’m terrified of insects, especially ones with stingers. I sound like I’m singing opera whenever a bee comes near me. When the wasp landed on my backpack, I started singing. The couple next to me laughed. I thought, “I gotta get outta here!”

I asked myself, “Tammy, you worked so hard to get here. Are you going to focus on what’s unpleasant (what feels even dangerous) or soak in the sun and gaze lovingly at these happy dogs smiling ear-to-ear?”

I thought about returning to the hotel just to feel safer (just a little safer since I have a bed bug phobia) or did I want to sit in the sand and breathe in all that is warm and good?

I focused on the moment. Right here, right now I’m pretty okay. I breathed deep and smiled at the scraggiest wet dog I’ve ever seen. 

So smelly
So smelly

 

Then it occurred to me what I was going to have to do to get back to the hotel. OMG. Could I do it? Could I walk through Toxic Lane again?

Suddenly I was bathed in kisses by a very wet white poodle. He slathered my face in sloppy kisses. In this moment, right here, right now, I’m pretty okay.

There’s a Bible verse, Matthew 7:7, “Seek and ye shall find.” What you look for you’ll find. So I focused my energy on what I want and why I want it. I didn’t focus on what I had to do to get it.

I want to enjoy this moment. I need this for my soul. If I focus on what I have to do to get it, I’m  bound to say, “I can’t do it.” I can’t stay at a hotel where there might be bed bugs. I can’t walk on a smelly gross toxic street. I can’t be on a beach where there are wasps.

“I can’t do it” isn’t true. It’s nothing more than a limiting belief. Can I say with 100% certainty that I can’t do it? If not, what then is possible?

As I sat on the beach a woman and her son spoke to me. She said, “This is so beautiful.” She told me she had MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and had just walked all the way from a far and

Son helping Mom
Son helping Mom

distant street. Her gait was significantly impaired. She leaned on her son as he led her to the shore.  Now that’s a woman without a limiting belief.

The belief you subscribe to is the life you live.

Focus your energy on what you want, and why you want it. Don’t focus on the path you’re going to have to take to get it. Put one foot in front of the other and get what you want.

Believe you can and this is the life you will live. If you say, “This is hard. Unpleasant. But I can do it. I know what I want. I know why I want it. I’m doing it.” This is the life you’ll live.

Your #1 challenge isn’t OCD. It’s thinking “I can’t” when feeling overwhelmed. That’s the challenge. Pushing through that limiting belief, feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

“I can. It’s hard. But, here I go.”

12 Ways to Calm Down When Anxiety is High

Bella's Advice
Bella’s Advice

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with anxiety? Now that’s a silly question! Of course you have! If you’ve been reading my blog then you know my response is: “Good! You want that anxiety!” (It’s hard to be anxious when you want to be anxious.)

But, let’s be honest, white knuckling through a terrifying moment can be easier said than done. Sometimes the anxiety takes over and wins. What can be done when that happens? When the anxiety is so overwhelmingly unbearable and you can’t take the next right step. You’re paralyzed.

What can be done? Follow these steps in sequential order:

  1. Always be proactive by eating well with lots of protein and low carbs. Stay off sugar, caffeine and possibly even gluten. Drink lots of water, go to yoga and exercise 10-30 minutes a day. This regime of FITNESS gives you a fighting chance against anxiety. Balancing the interaction between oxygen and glucose is critical!
  2. Remember what you’re fighting for. Don’t go down the rabbit hole. Don’t use any compulsion to try and get relief. Stop yourself and ask, “Will it be worth it? Once I unravel, it’s going to be hard to get my act together. Do I really want this?” There’s a good wolf and a bad wolf. Which one wins? The one you feed.
  3. Remember to thank the anxiety. Sounds weird, I know. But gratitude can wash away a lot of problems. Make a list of 5 reasons you are grateful for anxiety. Do something nice for someone else.
  4. Manage your energy from negative to positive by asking, “What does this make possible?” Nothing has meaning except the meaning you give it!
  5. Consider an exposure exercise. Try to get as close to the fear as you can. Facing a fear can be scary at first but after you do it, it’s so empowering and it feels like a load has been lifted.
  6. Visualize an image of what you’d look like if you weren’t resisting. I like to picture being in the pool pushing down on a beach ball. I’m pushing hard, trying to keep it under the water. It takes a lot of energy. It’s not fun. And then, finally I let go of the ball and it floats to the surface. It’s still near me but I don’t care. My arms are free and I’m not wasting my energy. It feels good.
  7. Take deep breaths and exhale by whistling. Pace yourself and slowly breathe in and out. On the inhale reach for the air in your belly, past your lungs. On the exhale try to whistle your ABC’s otherwise known as twinkle, twinkle little star….If you can’t whistle it’s okay. Just deeply exhale.
  8. Picture in your mind and in this order: an old house, a river with trees along the bank, a blue circle and a red triangle. Close your eyes and literally picture these items. This exercise wakes up other parts of your mind.
  9. Put your thoughts where they belong. If there’s no action to take on something you’re worrying about then it doesn’t belong in today’s door. Put it in tomorrow’s door. If you’re rewinding and replaying something from the past it goes in yesterday’s door. Stay in today’s door. Better yet, stay in the moment. Repeat this mantra, “In this moment, right here, right now I am safe and I am pretty okay.”
  10. Position your body in a relaxed manner. Hold your hands palm up in your lap. Let all the nervous energy leave your body. Don’t rock your body back-n-forth or rub your hands or feet together, or rub your legs or head. That’s just igniting your alarm system (the amygdala.)
  11. Go outside for earth time. Sit or lie on the grass. Walk. The earth gives off a vibration that is indisputably invigorating.. Everything we need can be found in nature.
  12. Listen to relaxing music or find a calming YouTube meditation. Not to get rid of anxiety but to just let it be.

This is day 21 of a 30 day challenge. To defy OCD your brain needs to be a lean mean fighting machine. Softening into the anxiety is your challenge. Do you have a step 13 to share?

 

 

 

Gratitude: The Great Sanitizer

160_F_71267059_mrswxnfs7P5YnpSTJ7iTBjih1iou0UkdI recently read a blog titled, “The Ten Worst Things to Say to Someone With Anxiety.” I disagreed with mostly everything. The list included: “Don’t tell someone with anxiety to be grateful.” I get that the last thing someone in pain wants to hear is, “Suck it up and count your blessings.” And honestly, I’d never say it like that! But, I strongly believe gratitude can wash away pain and anxiety. I feel strongly about this because I’ve witnessed the benefits of it in my own life. I even thank my refrigerator for keeping my food cold! I also see how gratitude helps so many people manage their emotional energy from negative to positive. There are plenty of studies to prove how much it helps to express gratitude.

Expressing gratitude is very powerful, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do when facing adversity. So maybe that’s why the person who wrote that blog says it’s the worst thing to tell someone with anxiety. Maybe the author of that blog is looking for an easier way out. Just because you don’t like something you hear, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. If you know me then you know I’d love to ask the author, “You don’t express gratitude? How’s that working out for you?”

In the face of adversity you may not feel like expressing gratitude. You feel like crawling into a hole and never coming out. But, staying in that hole isn’t easy either. No matter what you do, it’s going to be hard. 160_F_106049106_kGUeuqhtWYLpfNtJIDnNjCggu3P0hYMIBut, if you make a plan to express gratitude even in the face of adversity, and you stick to that plan no matter how you feel, it actually will be easier than you think. Because the plan is already made. Less energy is required to follow a plan already made.

This is day 4 of a 30 day challenge. Here it is: Make a plan to express gratitude at least once a day, no matter how you feel. You can thank a person for the smallest little gesture. You can thank any object that has energy. Just do it no matter how you feel. (By the way, the author of that blog also hates to be told, “Just do it.”)
It might even help to sit down and make a schedule of who or what you’re going to appreciate each day for the month of April. Then stick to the plan! Have your phone remind you to “just do it.”

I love all the comments so keep them coming!

Use These 10 Superpowers to Cripple OCD

If you’re like most people you probably have a “Life is Good” T-Shirt. The brand features a character named Jake and he seems like he’s always having fun. I never realized what the “Life is Good” saying really means! Bert and John Jacobs are the developers of this brand and recently came out with a book. It’s called, “Life is Good: The Book.” In this book they talk about their hardships and even tragedies. So it’s not as if life has always been good to them. Bert asks, “How could anyone wear one of our shirts after 9/11 happened?” But, it was shortly after 9/11 that their company experienced a huge growth spurt. It’s because “Life is Good” is really about optimism. In their book they talk about 10 superpowers that we all possess to help us be optimistic, no matter what adversity we face.

Here are the superpowers you already possess that can cripple OCD:

  1. Openness (to learning a different way of handling OCD.)
  2. Courage (to be anxious without fixing it).
  3. Simplicity (shed the complicated compulsions.)
  4. Humor (OCD crumbles with laughter.)
  5. Gratitude for the many things in life that are good and working well.
  6. Compassion towards others and oneself. (Don’t be a self-hater!)
  7. Fun-seeking. (It gets you out of “threat and protect” mode.)
  8. Creativity (allows you to outsmart OCD.)
  9. Authenticity is being who you really want to be. Do what you love and love what you do! (That’s the Life is Good tagline.)
  10. Love (is so powerful and it’s impossible to be in threat and protect mode when you are truly appreciating someone.)

I encourage you to get the “Life is Good” book because it shows you how to be optimistic in the face of adversity.  But, even if you don’t get the book you can still access your 10 SUPERPOWERS to help you BOSS it BACK!

I send out weekly tips to help you Boss OCD Back! The above is based on the tip sent this past week. If you’d like to receive weekly tips send me your email and I’ll help you be a lean mean fighting machine against OCD!