Have you ever found yourself in a room full of people but feeling like you can’t connect with anyone or almost like you’re seeing the world from behind glass? You’re there but not there, so to speak. This happens quite often for me, dissolving into your own mind is incredibly common with OCD, especially when you’re trying to ‘reason’ with an OCD thought – like you even could (I laugh). In fact I often find I miss parts of or sometimes complete conversations because I am so absorbed in my own thoughts, very annoying for the person I am speaking to I expect. I often wonder if people just think I’m being rude.
It can sometimes happen so naturally that I don’t even realise I am doing it straight away, but when I do realise the resource I always go to is Mindfulness, it’s so simple and completely amazing.
Mindfulness is all about the here and now, it’s about being in the present moment fully, 100%. You are not thinking about what happened yesterday, this morning or even 30 seconds ago, you’re also not thinking about what could happen tomorrow, tonight or in the next 30 seconds. You are living in the moment, enjoying each one for what it is.
So how to do this when you have an OCD thought badgering away at you?
The trick is to simplify your surroundings, pick something, anything to focus on and then really focus on it. It could be your breathing, your clothing, the person who’s speaking to you. Then start to notice all the things you would normally just take for granted about that item.
So for example if you were to pick your breathing you could notice the air coming in and out of your nose/mouth, focus on how it makes you feel, if you can smell anything, what that smell reminds you of, notice how your chest moves when you inhale/exhale. By refocusing your mind on something you should be able to break away from the inner thoughts. Now I feel a bit hypocritical writing this example, as personally for me I have to focus on something external for mindfulness to work, something such as the sky, the trees, my pet dogs, the grass, someone else’s face, the list probably is endless. Focusing on something internal isn’t a big enough break away from my thoughts but I guess that’s the beauty of mindfulness, it’s a tool for you to use how you wish, to make it work for you.
So I think I’ve just proven that I’m definitely not an expert at this yet and so here’s a link to a really great resource which explains it better than I ever could. I hope it helps.