Calming the Obsessions and Compulsions: Mindfulness and OCD

Practicing mindfulness is gaining ground in treating many types of mental illnesses, but mindfulness and OCD is rarely talked about. Those with OCD often cannot control their thoughts or quiet their minds, leading to compulsive behaviors. That’s where the connection between mindfulness and OCD becomes clear. Mindfulness practice is used for this purpose: to control thoughts and be aware of one’s actions.

Practicing mindfulness and OCD

As defined by the National Institute of Mental Health, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a “chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccuring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.” OCD isn’t uncommon, either; it’s estimated that around 2.2 million American adults deal with OCD. This disorder is generally treated with medication and psychotherapy, but as the benefits of mindfulness become more uncovered, the connection between mindfulness and OCD has become more visible.

Mindfulness meditation–the most popular form of mindfulness practice–includes sitting somewhere comfortable and quiet, focusing on your breathing, and bringing your attention to the present moment. Many studies have shown that this type of practice helps people deal with anxiety, depression, and other psychological pains; some even focused specifically on the improvement in OCD patients.

It makes perfect sense as to why mindfulness and OCD are connected. OCD is considered related to anxiety disorder because much of it is rooted in anxiety. Anxiety makes it so thoughts have more control over you than they should. Those suffering from OCD have immense difficulty in maintaining order over their own thoughts, thus leading to compulsive behaviors, such as compulsively cleaning or counting. Mindfulness practice allows you to recognize thoughts, but not let them overwhelm you. By learning to identify triggers and harmful thoughts, you gain a greater sense of control, making it easier to build a barrier between what you think and what you do.

Asheville Academy can help

Asheville Academy is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 10-14, struggling with issues like depression, anxiety, ADHD, OCD, and more. We will strive to help your family work through this difficult period and move your daughter towards a healthier future.

For more information about how Asheville Academy can help your daughter, call 800-264-8709 today!