Help, I can’t stop thinking!

January 4, 2013

rb-calm-woman-eyes-closed-0809-mdnMany of us feel that our thoughts are out of our control. We think about work long after we have left, we worry about the future and keep going over things that have gone wrong in the past. Meanwhile, life seems to be slipping by.

Modern psychology also recognises that compulsive thinking can lead us into stress, anxiety and depression. Worrying about our problems seems important, but it leaves us feeling worse and believing we have less power to change things.

Mindfulness helps by giving us the mental space to stand back, recognise what’s happening and explore alternatives. Here are some helpful approaches associated with mindfulness and meditation.

1. Learning to let go of thoughtsRead more »

Researchers teaching subjects to control brains with MRI scans

April 13, 2011

Tiffany Crawford: For centuries, yogis have imparted the secrets of healing through meditation and self-awareness.

Now researchers at the University of British Columbia say they’ve found a way to eventually help people combat depression or obsessive-compulsive disorders through similar methods using MRI technology.

In this first-of-its-kind study, published in the April edition of NeuroImage, researchers say participants were able to control their thoughts better when they watched their brain activity on a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) screen.

The research suggests that awareness of negative or detrimental thoughts — made possible by seeing them on a screen — allows research subjects to control those thoughts.

Many patients who suffer from depression, anxiety or obsessive-compulsive behaviour … Read more »

“When In Doubt, Make Belief,” by Jeff Bell

August 22, 2010

When In Doubt, Make Belief, by Jeff BellHave you ever driven away from your house and found yourself wondering whether you’d remembered to close the garage door? Probably.

Have you ever gone back, checked to make sure that the door was closed, driven away, and then had to come back yet again to make doubly sure? And then repeated the entire exercise again? Probably not, but if you have, then you may be one of the millions of people who struggle with obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD.

Jeff Bell is a well-known author, speaker, and radio news anchor. He’s found himself checking the garage door not once, but twice, or three, or more times, on each occasion driving away with less, not … Read more »

Living with uncertainty

November 16, 2009

When in Doubt. Jeff BellJeff Bell is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and radio news anchor. His first book, Rewind, Replay, Repeat: A Memoir of OCD, was published in 2007 and quickly established Bell as a leading voice in the mental health community. In this interview he talks about his new book: When in Doubt, Make Belief.

You describe this book as “an OCD-inspired approach to living with uncertainty.” What do you mean by OCD-inspired?

As I recount in my first book (“Rewind, Replay, Repeat”), I spent years battling severe obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), learning firsthand what the extremes of uncertainty can do to one’s life — in my case, leading me to endless cycles of “checking,” washing, … Read more »

Allow for bigger plans than your own to unfold

November 10, 2009

When in Doubt. Jeff BellIn When in Doubt, Make Belief, author Jeff Bell uses his personal experience living with severe OCD to offer a practical guide for the uncertainty that has become an inherent part of life in the 21st century, whether we have OCD or not. In this excerpt, he shares step number 10 from the book’s “10 Steps Out When Stuck in Doubt.”

So here we are at the edge of the Shadow, just one step shy of breaking out, one step away from the freedom we’ve been seeking. Are you ready to take this final step?

Before you answer, let’s look back at the nine steps we’ve already taken. And if you’ll indulge me, I’d … Read more »