Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit. This week’s episode was exactly what I needed and I wondered if it was what you needed too. In today’s episode, I am going to share with you my favorite self-compassion tool, giving and receiving.
This is a meditation that I learned from Christopher Germer himself. Christopher Germer is the co-founder of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion and the genius behind many of my favorite self-compassion exercises.
In today’s episode, we are going to learn the art of giving and receiving. No, not gifts. We are going to learn the art of giving and receiving self-compassion. I often use this meditation after a long day in the office or after a hard day, so I hope it helps you too.
This is the 3rd core meditation of the MSC course. Giving and Receiving Compassion builds on the previous two core meditations: Affectionate Breathing which focuses on the breath and Loving-Kindness for Ourselves which focuses on the layering of compassionate words or images onto the breath. The new element of breathing in for oneself and out for others helps the practitioner to practice compassion through connection by loving others without losing oneself. Students tend to find this meditation both easy and enjoyable. Thank you, Christopher Germer, for this wonderful meditation.
Instructions for Giving and Receiving Meditation:
Please sit comfortably, closing your eyes, and if you like, putting a hand over your heart or another soothing place as a reminder to bring not just awareness, but loving awareness, to your experience and to yourself.
Taking a few deep, relaxing breaths, notice how your breath nourishes your body as you inhale and soothes your body as you exhale.
Now, letting your breathing find its own natural rhythm, continue feeling the sensation of breathing in and breathing out. If you like, allow yourself to be gently rocked and caressed by the rhythm of your breathing.
Now, focusing your attention on your in-breath, let yourself savor the sensation of breathing in, noticing how your in-breath nourishes your body, breath after breath….and then releasing your breath.
As you breathe, breathing in something good for yourself…whatever you need. Perhaps a quality of warmth, kindness, compassion, or love? Just feel it, or you can use a word or image if you like.
Now, shifting your focus to your out-breath, feeling your body breathe out, feeling the ease of exhalation.
Please call to mind someone whom you love or someone who is struggling and needs compassion. Visualize that person clearly in your mind. Begin directing your out-breath to this person, offering the ease of breathing out. If you wish, intentionally send warmth and kindness - something good -to this person with each out-breath.
Now letting go of what you or the other person may need, and just focusing on the sensation of breathing compassion in and out and sending something good. “In for me and out for you.” “One for me and one for you.”
If you wish, you can focus a little more on yourself, or the other person, or just let it be an equal flow—whatever feels right in the moment. Or you can send something good to more than one person.
Allowing your breath to flow in and out, like the gentle movement of the sea - a limitless, boundless flow - flowing in and flowing out. Letting yourself be a part of this limitless, boundless flow. An ocean of compassion. Gently opening your eyes.
OCD Gamechangers – Annual Conference
March 7 @ 10:00 am - 6:00 pm MST
Denver Turnverein, 1570 N Clarkson St
Denver, CO 80218 United States
I strongly encourage you all to read Shala Nicely's amazing blog post about the misuse of the term, “I am so OCD.”
In this beautiful episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit, I speak with the amazing Andrea Barber about her new book, Full Circle: From Hollywood to Real Life and Back Again. In this interview, Andrea shares her experience with anxiety, panic and mental wellness. She shares
why she wrote this book and her hopes for this memoir.
In her book, Andrea Barber shares, “To fans, I’ve always been synonymous with my character, since most people don’t know me in any other role. But now, I want you to accept the real me . . . and the fact that I’m nothing like I appear on TV. To know me is to realize that I am very flawed, and I have many shortcomings and insecurities. By sharing them with you, you may recognize things in yourself, and discover that you and I are not so unalike after all. For once, it will be nice to share Andrea with the world.”
Andrea shared what it was like having a huge support system, but still feeling completely alone with her anxiety, panic and depression. Andrea spends some time talking about how her anxiety manifests in stomach related symptoms. She also tells us about the process of accepting the application of medication in her wellness journey and her experience with the side effects of medications.
I just adored when Andrea shared what she learned about herself since going through her mental health journey and her new reflection on mental illness and mental wellness. One of my favorite lines from her book, she shared “It’s actually very empowering to think about: I have the power to change my life”.
One of the coolest things about Andrea Barber is her passion for speaking about suicide prevention and awareness. You will just adore the advice she gives. And finally, her most impactful message is this: "The most important thing perspective has taught me, and what I want to tell anyone out there who has been made to feel too broken to love, is that your illness does not define you.”
Isn’t she just incredible?!
Follow Andrea on social media @andreabarber
If you would like to apply for the 3rd annual UK OCD Camp please visit theocdcamp.com
• Applications close 19th January
• Interviews (15 mins) – W/C 27th January
• If selected payment due by 1st March
Welcome to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast. There has been a lot of talk lately in the OCD Community surrounding this big question “Does Khloe Kardashian have OCD?” I know a lot of you are really struggling with this topic, feeling unseen, unheard and misunderstood.
In a recent episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Khloe’s mom, Kris Jenner discussed her daughter Khloe’s overwhelming need to be organized. She shared, “Khloe is the most organized, cleanest, most obsessive person I know in her own home. But lately, she’s on another level.”
In response, Khloe explained: "Being the control freak that I am, this experience is torture”. However, she also has been known to explain her need to be organized as “a good thing” and something that “helps” her in her life.
This brings us to the big question: Does Khloe Kardashian have OCD?
Well, the most important thing to remember in this podcast episode is that we cannot diagnose someone we haven’t met. Please keep this in mind as we address this very important topic.
In an effort to do my due diligence, I consulted with an attorney on this and he confirmed that it is not appropriate to diagnose someone you haven’t met. He reported that this is an ethical issue, not a legal issue.
One of the big questions that arose after this recent Kardashian episode was, “Can you treat someone you haven’t diagnosed?”
Again, when consulting with an attorney, we revealed that a therapist technically can in situations where it is not necessary to diagnose someone. However, in order to implement a treatment tool, it is a good standard of care to do a full assessment to be sure the treatment modality and related tools are appropriate for the person we are meeting with.
In an effort to discuss if Khloe Kardashian has OCD and if her description of symptoms and presentation of symptoms meets criteria to be OCD, we would first need to have a good understanding of what OCD is diagnostically.
In the episode, we discuss in depth the Diagnostic Criteria for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, in an effort to thoroughly educate and advocate for those who have OCD and who are struggling to ask for help.
Diagnostic Criteria (Directly from the DMS 5)
A. Presence of obsessions, compulsions, or both:
Obsessions are defined by (1) and (2):
Recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or images that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and unwanted, and that in most individuals cause marked anxiety or distress.
The individual attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, urges, or images, or to neutralize them with some other thought or action (i.e., by performing a compulsion).
Compulsions are defined by (1) and (2):
Repetitive behaviors (e.g., hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (e.g., praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the individual feels driven to perform in response to an obsession or according to rules that must be applied rigidly.
The behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing anxiety or distress, or preventing some dreaded event or situation; however, these behaviors or mental acts are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralize or prevent, or are clearly excessive.
Note: Young children may not be able to articulate the aims of these behaviors or mental acts.
B. The obsessions or compulsions are time-consuming (e.g., take more than 1 hour per day) or cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
C. The obsessive-compulsive symptoms are not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or another medical condition.
It is important that we specify if the symptoms are accompanied by good, fair or poor insight, as this can help us differentiate between the diagnosis of OCD and other mental illnesses that may look the same.
With good or fair insight: The individual recognizes that obsessive-compulsive disorder beliefs are definitely or probably not true or that they may or may not be true.
With poor insight: The individual thinks obsessive-compulsive disorder beliefs are probably true.
With absent insight/delusional beliefs: The individual is completely convinced that obsessive-compulsive disorder beliefs are true.
D. The disturbance is not better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder, differential diagnosis or set of symptoms
In an effort to really give you a good understanding of other diagnostic possibilities for someone showing similar, but not exact symptoms, I wanted to address some symptoms and disorders that would need to be RULED OUT before treatment. The reason for this is that small differences in the symptoms may drastically change the course of correct treatment. This is a crucial part of the assessment process, done by a therapist, psychiatrist, medical doctor or psychiatric nurse.
The first is perfectionism which can be divided into two categories, adaptive and maladaptive. Adaptive perfectionism is a type of perfectionism that improves the quality of someone’s life while
maladaptive perfectionism negatively impacts a person's life. Research has shown that both adaptive and maladaptive perfectionists have high personal standards, but failing to meet those standards can have a negative impact.
Perfectionism can also be categorized by orientation. Self-oriented perfectionism is perfectionism that is pushed by the individual person. Self-oriented perfectionists are very hard on themselves, set very high standards for themselves and have rules and expectations that are often unreasonable. Socially prescribed perfectionism is perfectionism that occurs due to societal expectations. This might include the expectation to get good grades in order to have a good life or having to have the “perfect” body to be loved.
It is also important that we address the similarities and differences between OCD and OCPD. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5), OCPD is explained as "a pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control, at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency." People with OCPD have an unhealthy expectation of achieving perfection and have an excessive devotion to work at the expense of leisure time and close personal relationships. They are often inflexible with issues related to ethics and morality and can be seen as judgmental and expect others to live to the same standard.
So, when answering the question, “Does Khloe Kardashian have OCD?” I encourage us all to do our best to continue to educate others on the differences between OCD, levels of insight related to OCD, perfectionism, and OCPD.
I strongly encourage you all to read Shala Nicely's amazing blog post about this exact issue, mostly addressing the misuse of the term, “I am so OCD”
Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit. Today I talk about how "you cannot skip the line." This podcast episode is about an event that happened to me a few weeks ago that blew my mind. It pretty much punched me in the gut. Yes, you read that right. It was a hard, hard day. In this episode, I speak about attending a meditation class and being given a very hard lesson. The lesson was, “You cannot skip the line”. Let me tell you more.
In this class, I asked what I thought was a simple question. Without expecting it, the teacher taught me a very important lesson that I think will impact me for quite some time.
She responded with “There is a lesson for everyone here. It is important that you do not skip the line here. You must do the work. If you haven’t wrestled with this practice over and over, do not come to me for the answers.”
I was embarrassed. I felt ashamed. I felt called out. I felt anger.
But, after some time and contemplation, I asked myself, “Is there a pattern here?” And guess what?! There was. The lesson was that you cannot skip the line to the “know” the answer. When you “skip the line”, you prevent yourself from learning the real process. Knowing will only help for the first time or two. After that, it takes practice and patience.
In this episode, I will walk you through a 4 step process to help you lean in and do the work instead of just asking questions.
These steps include being aware that you cannot skip the line and then catching yourself when you are doing such behavior. The steps also involve being honest with yourself when you are engaging in such behavior instead of staying in the unknown. The goal is to be as patient as you can along the way. And lastly, the most important step involves Compassion, Compassion, Compassion.
I hope this helps you in some way to notice when you are “skipping the line."
Sign up for our FREE weekly newsletter. Incredible tools, tips, and mental health resources! Click here for more information.
Please check out this excellent blog post by the amazing Shala Nicely, LPC on the problem with saying "I'm so OCD."