20 years of OCD cured in 2 days!

© Mathowie

I often write about my friend who has “OCD” — obsessive compulsive disorder. Because the issues he faces are the same ones we all face.

His are just more extreme, more obsessive but they’re the same. Just two days after giving his full effort to just one simple technique he called me…

“I’m cured,” he said.

This was after months of severe anxiety states. He was shaking a lot of the time, sweating heavily at night. His thoughts were racing constantly and he couldn’t control them.

He had to stop work several times and his life was grinding to a halt as he avoided as much as he could and withdrew into his private world of pain.

The reason I’m telling you all this is to show you the amazing power of attention. The technique is simple — distraction…

Attention is where your power is. Attention is the volume control for thoughts — as I’ve told him a thousand times.

The “cure” lasted ten days. Ten days of almost complete normality with no sign of OCD. And it took only two days to go from gibbering wreck to happy and enthusiastic using only distraction. Amazing!

Old habits die hard

And his cure would have been permanent but for the fact that ten days later after burning the candle at both ends, he had some little twinges of anxiety that triggered the old way of thinking. Slowly for a further 4 days, he ramped the whole thing back up again.

Again, this has powerful lessons for all of us. “Old habits die hard” as the saying goes. After making changes, we need to be sure to bed them in well.

It’s like riding a bike

“This OCD” I tell him, “is just like riding a bike. You’ll always be able to do it. Just DON’T GET ON THE BIKE.” Unfortunately he did — despite the most severe warnings. I talk to him for hours and hours and hours. “I can’t do this without you,” he says.

The truth is that all this talking is really unnecessary in the sense that it has only one purpose. To convince him that distraction IS the answer — to explain to him that his way can never work, and to get him to commit 100% to the simple method of distraction. Once he commits; two days. He is normal after two days. Twenty years of OCD gone.

If you stick your hand in the fire… it ALWAYS burns

So… round and round we go. As I speak he’s fallen back into the old way. Now he needs me to talk him out because it’s very foggy in there. He can’t see his own way out. I hope and pray that this time he’s learned and he won’t need to stick his hand in the fire one more time to realize… IT ALWAYS BURNS!

Thoughts are… just thoughts

The lesson for you and me is that thoughts aren’t us. They are for the most part conditioned reactions that we believe in and identify with. Once you can see thoughts as just thoughts, you have the power to remove your attention from unwanted ones.

Now you have a choice — to pay attention or not. Whether it’s because you want to stop a bad habit or stop a thought loop about a girlfriend that just dumped you, the process is the same. Distract from thoughts you don’t want (ie. ignore them) and their power is gone.

The amazing power of attention

Once you know this simple process, you’ll find a thousand ways it can serve you. Someone says something hurtful? Distract. Worried about tomorrow? Distract. Craving unhealthy food? Distract.

This one simple technique ALONE can have a massive impact on your health and happiness because you always have choice. There is always a choice of where to put your attention. You can stop reacting to everything in the same old conditioned way — the way everyone else reacts — predictably.

Master the process

Now you make your decisions consciously. You are in charge — not old habits, old ways and the same old reactions. If distraction can end 20 years of misery in only 2 days, what can it do for you?

Learn and master the incredible power of attention and you’re going to get happier and happier.

It’s been 8 years I am searching for a cure. Just to tell you thank you so much, I started the attention (distraction) method and my OCD is fading away. Many thanks!!— Jad, Canada

Update: I received this feedback from the friend I talked about in the article:

Sometimes there’s things you don’t want but it’s a reality. But I now know thinking can bring nothing but more suffering. I don’t do OCD anymore. Thanks to you. Love you brother x— Paul Attwell, UK

Best wishes,
Michael Kinnaird

One to one help — personal coaching

The answer is always distraction but it can be hard to reach “the point of letting go” as I call it. Thoughts can take us over rapidly and can seem incredibly urgent and meaningful.

This is where some personal coaching can help. If you’re interested in the idea, you can let me know using this form. All details are kept strictly confidential.

249 thoughts on “20 years of OCD cured in 2 days!

  1. I suffer with severe anxiety and ocd (intrusive thoughts) and like you i feel distraction is the best way to deal with it, but for the life of me i can never distract myself enough and seem able to constantly think about it no matter what i do!

    1. Hi Emma,

      Are the intrusive thoughts important? Do you see them as important? That’s the first question.

      You do need to see thoughts you want to let go of as unimportant and you can use reason, talk to friends etc to get to the place where you’re ready to let go. Then make a clear and unshakable decision — a pact with yourself not to pay attention any more. When the unwanted thoughts come, give them no importance, just have the attitude of indifference and then RIVET attention onto something else… like what you are doing, or some object… or you can intensely rivet attention onto the space in which thoughts happen… your mental “field.” This stops thoughts.

      Your ABILITY to do all this can gradually be improved by regular meditation. And the functioning of your brain can be improved by lifestyle… there are many lifestyle factors that can severely affect your ability to control anxiety.

      If you’re interested in exploring all this in more detail, I would recommend reading Happy Guide.

      In my friends case, distraction alone was powerful enough WHEN he gave it 100% effort and a clear unshakable decision not to pay attention. The article shows the incredible power of attention alone but in other people there maybe other contributing factors as I mentioned. It was only after the “2 day” turnaround that we could be sure that other factors weren’t playing a big part in his case — in his case, thought habits alone were 99% of it.

  2. Great article. This is absolutely correct.

    Focus attention always on that which is good for you. Worry, anger, jealousy, pain, fear, sadness, etc all come from a lack of control and focusing on them will lead you to feel helpless.

    There are things we cannot change, so concern yourself with what you can, or with what you have a passion for and enjoy greatly.

    You’ll get alot more done that way.

  3. I always find your articles very helpful. I have anxiety – the doctors have put me on medication but it doesnt work. Thanks very much

  4. Very helpful. Will try these beautiful suggestions today. Hope it helps. Thanks Mike for replying to all the comments by users, on everybody’s behalf! May God bless you always.

  5. Madam i am suffering with similar problem from 8years its a big story read with patience and tel me the solution.from my childhood iam very active and wel in studies my sir is so confident on me that when he is not there i used to tel clases.some of my friends are not reading wel and i tel them to read wel but they dont care and suddenly i got a heavy feeling in the chest and i think why these people are not reading wel they said their own reasons and suddenly i got reverse thinking why i am reading why i dont have such thougts slowly i think much about that and always getting a heavy feeling in the chest while reading from then onwards i developed a feeling that when ever i start reading i am getting heavy feeling so i cant read properly i got good marks but i should have got much good marks than that if i dont have that i entered plus 2 i have the problem continued and slowly developed a thought that mind always tels against my good future i got above 90percent marks in theory exam but in medicalentrance i dont got seat i prepared for one more year by taking coaching where one physics lecturer always tels about mind and positive thoughts but my mind used to take them reversly wht ever he told not todo my mind thinking to them and there went dispute between me and my thoughts and i am always arguing with the thoughts and cant study wel and depressed one day i saw a movie in which there is a saying that while arrowing out looks should be always on target but my worst mind think it reversly from then i cant concentrate on visual goles and not even in sentences of the book from then onwards my educational life become miserable i am getting irritation while reading with great difficulty i read and secured mbbs seat in government but the problem haunted me i ran away from the house in the first year but come back again and not attended the exam of first year and failed from then onwards i strugled very much to read and completed mbbs with 64percent not failing any where i never read with ful concentration always the problem haunted me for al my friends and family members this is a stupid and not at al a problem but for me it is a mega problem and now i am in my pg medical entrance preparation i getting al these negative thoughts and suicidal ideas as im not reaching my goal what to do???

    1. Hi Raghu,

      Reading/studying has become associated with fear and anxiety. And you continue to build more and more thought-habits around this subject. And then the more you try to hold it off, push it away, give it meaning, the bigger it gets, because attention is the volume control for thoughts.

      If you pondered other students problems with reading, and considered “OMG what if that was me?” And then you have a mini shock, a fear, a mini trauma, then the idea goes deep and becomes associated everywhere. This happens with lots of other thoughts too if they cause a shock.

      What you need to do is rediscover your enjoyment of reading and studying, and ignore all these “reverse” thoughts — see them as garbage, useless, just there because you feared an idea and it got lodged in your mind.

      So… you’ll need to practice. Go to a quiet place where you can be alone and relax. Now use a guided relaxation CD, MP3 or a simple relaxation method to get into a really calm state, and have a book next to you to pick up, when you’re calm. When you’re really calm, press your middle finger and thumb together to anchor or associate this state.

      Now… pick up the book and read really, really, slowly, stopping at the end of each sentence to make sure you understood what it said and you’re not just reading it without understanding. If tension/anxiety comes in, put the book down and relax some more, take some deep breaths and be sure to see any reverse thoughts as just garbage and ignore them. Anchor you relaxed state again.

      Then read some more, and repeat like this for as long as you want to.

      Keep practicing and keep anchoring. Then when you’re in class or whatever, if you feel tension coming, take a big deep breath and press your fingers together to recall your state.

      Please persist in practicing this and if tension comes, stop, and relax again.

      As you start to get “wins” and your concentration comes back, you’ll get more and more confident and the whole thing will become a distant memory.

  6. My husband had OCD ever since he met up with a Thai girl at massage parlour. He said, initially he just take her as a normal massure lady & normal chat…and after couple of months knowing & understanding her he eventually fond of her and starting to date her even knowing its not right of doing so. He found that the lady is a nice person & feel comfortable being with her. He knows he couldn’t be any more wrong so they control it well, he didn’t have sex with her.

    During the 4 months of affairs…he eventually mind of the Thai girl job as a massure lady that does to many man customers and because of ego & jealousy he then had assesive thoughts & unwanted imaginations that had given him restless nights & losing appetite. He didn’t know it was OCD then and thought it was just depression, due to the suffer he consult doctor and got to know been diagnosed with OCD. So he constantly had multiple unwanted images looping in his mind & even voices when he’s eating. When I got to know he had OCD I did many research online about the symptoms & illness and find ways to help him. Even asked from friends recommendation on any doctors. He was touched by my concern & effort then one fine day he confessed to me about him got to know of the Thai girl & had fallen for her, because of ego & jealousy in him, he soon developed all kinds of images about this girl massaging all kinds of man. He feel the hurt so much & pain due to his brain haven’t been resting…at certain point he felt of committing suicide.

    I was truly sad when I got to know the true story..but I love my husband very much & I want to help him recover to what he is before, happy life. Since the day he confessed to me..he had stop seeing the Thai girl until now has been a month but he still feel the miss very much & the images is still with him. He is really suffering now & wanted to get rid of all the images in his brain & voices. He can’t hold on to it any longer he said he’s afraid he’ll soon die. Everytime when he try to eat anything there’s a voices telling him that its sperm and its rubbish. He feel meaningless and he can’t enjoy his meals. He had lost 6kg in a month.

      1. Thanks mike… My husband seem to be able to control the looping images in his brain right now by not analysing or focusing on it, the image still remains at his left brain with a blurry blue or black image.
        The issue he is having now is he has repeating words (same word) uncontrollable in his brain & keeps repeating until he feels very annoyed & unbearable. He wants to know what is the most effective ways to eliminate repeating words in his brain so he can be at focus in things that he’s doing?

        Appreciate your advice soonest possible. I need to help him.

        Regards
        Cat

      2. Hi Cat, well, as well as the methods in the “unwanted thoughts” article, he needs to address the lifestyle factors that affect brain chemistry — everything affects everything else. The best thing he can do right now is read Happy Guide. It only takes an hour to read. It will give him the right mindset and shows the 6 powerful habits that act together to make sure he is physically, mentally and emotionally in top form. In the moment, he should always continue to not care about unwanted thoughts and remove attention from them. But he should also correct all lifestyle factors that may be creating a dysfunctional brain chemistry.

  7. Hello ()
    – Just reading this and i was wondering if you know anything about harm OCD and if all this still applies in the helping to someone who has harm ocd. It all started when my little sister watched a “most wanted serial killer show” and she started having scary thoughts and images which(she knows its not real) but she says sometimes feel real about about harming herself or others. These thoughts bother her and she doesn’t know how to overcome them. She was never fully confident before this started but know its even more so. She suffered from this for three years without saying anything because she didn’t understand what was wrong with her and didn’t want to be shunned. Shes a very sweet, kind, lovely and caring person it just seems shes letting these thoughts get the best of her. Shes NEVER EVER acted on her thoughts but they have really taken over her life. Constant anxiety and of course having these thoughts and really being a caring person it is very hard to understand. I want to help her because i love her so much but i need some advice on just how to go about doing that. I already ordered the book and im waiting for it in the mail, but i have had anxiety so i can understand how thoughts can be overwhelming, but not these types of thoughts. After reading your website i have improved more then i have in two years (and i was constantly searching) TRUST ME. =-) Anyways, she st times feels so overwhelmed she says she feels like she gave up and she has thoghts that run along the lines of ” I dont want to get better” even though she does want to get better, so then she is confused because it’s like she does want to get better but theres a part of her that doesn’t. Its thoughts that are NOT serving her in ANYWAY. She is an amazing person and i know she is beautiful on the inside but what would be your advice on this..Is there hope with your book? Is that the right route? please help….Life is so short and i want her to get to her true potential…also if anybody else here had any harm ocd knowlegde that will HELP!! that would be great…thank you kindly and i am sending everyone out there lots of love and good energy to make it through there hardtimes….

    “This too shall pass”

    1. Hi Sarah-Lee, yes the book is the full answer because everything affects everything else. For example, organization is one of the six lifestyle elements and so if our lives are chaotic, that causes stress and will make your sisters problem worse.

      Harm thoughts happen when we feel chronic physical and mental threat. Stress also plays its part but yes, these techniques have been used successfully to get rid of harm thoughts — either harm to oneself or another.

      I see this pattern as somewhat instinctive, similar to the way we react to fear say. Harm thoughts are the result of chronic stress where one feels under attack.

      So the answer is to look after all the six lifestyle elements which put us in the best place physically and mentally, and then distract the mind from attention to the unwanted thoughts, having a “don’t care” attitude.

      So in the moment, the right response is to not care and distract. Also correct the causes of chronic stress by the 6 lifestyle elements.

      Sensitive people suffer more from these kinds of problems. See this article about sensitive people for more info:

      https://happy.guide/2012/02/07/intelligence-depression

  8. Thanks for responding, I appreciate it and ur insight… so just read the book, create a new lifestyle plan containing the six needed lifestyle changes and ignore/don’t care attitude… is the way to go?!!

    1. Yes, absolutely. The truth is always SIMPLE, and the truth is that the meaning we give to thoughts, the attention we give, is very powerful. If you look at the root causes of this issue, you have a sensitive person, a trauma (watching horror on TV), incorrect meaning given, attention and problem solving making it worse (attention is the volume control for thoughts).

      To see harm thoughts as an instinctive mechanism that is quite primitive and operates when we feel under attack is the way to go. Then you can see “it’s not me” and not attach unwarranted meaning, or identification.

      As you found yourself, simply CONSISTENTLY removing attention is AMAZING. Add to that lifestyle factors to put you in the best STATE, and you have a winning system.

      1. Okay thank u so much…I just want to be clear about exactly what u mean when u say to think of the thoughts as instinctual…and when under attack…once again I can’t thank u enough

      2. I mean they don’t mean your sister is a bad person etc. Harm thoughts are VERY common in new mothers for example, and they can be horrified that they are having these terrible thoughts about the baby they love! But it’s a primitive reaction to trauma/psychological stress. We resolve the stress, and then see it for what it is, which allows us to let it go… remove meaning and attention in every case.

  9. Michael, do you believe that ocd can be 100% completely cured this way? For instance, if a person used this distraction method he would be fine, but will he ever be able to think of it again and not have to distract himself and just know that he wouldn’t do that? Could you be completely 100% cured of this after you keep up the distraction for awhile or will you always be able to relapse?

    1. Hi Teddy, people are complex, the mind is complex, so though I believe that a cure is almost always possible, the number of interacting factor is big, that’s why it’s always a multi-pronged strategy. For example, nutrition affects how the brain functions, so vitamin deficiencies are a potential factor. That’s just one example… sleep, drug use, exercise habits, thought-habits in general, beliefs, etc all play their part. WHEN the only factor IS the dysfunctional thoughts, THEN correcting just that will effect the cure, as in this case. AND since this dysfunction is generally the massive factor in relation to other factors, correcting it alone, will bring massive relief, where then it is possible to make improvements in other areas.

      The difficulty with OCD is getting the sufferer to the point of letting go, to the point of being UTTERLY crystal clear about how their dysfunction is self-perpetuating though thoughts/perceptions triggering biochemical responses and mind responses, and their corresponding behavior. As as we give more and more attention to a deepening problem, which is the instinctive thing to do, it worsens, we dig ourselves deeper and deeper. So all this needs to be clearly understood, and then HOW simple distraction cures it, how removal of attention cures it. So it helps if at first there is a seeing into the problem although it’s not strictly necessary if you go on faith, i.e. just do it, because someone else can see it clearly and you trust them.

      From your brief question it seems as though your situation is a lot simpler than most so in that case, I would expect it to be a simple matter of removing attention from it. Imagine if I could wave a magic wand and it wasn’t there, you couldn’t think it. If that is what you want, you can make it happen by simply removing attention and not caring about it.

      See here for more details: https://happy.guide/2013/12/11/big-picture-unwanted-thoughts

      If you want to think about a subject again and not trigger the old stuff, then you must think different thoughts about it (thoughts that feel good) and not let your mind go to the old thoughts. So after a period of complete abstinence, you could try applying attention to the subject but in a new way. If it brings back old stuff, then you can either leave it alone again, or divert attention to your choice of thoughts about it and stay pure to that. Doing this is easier if you can control your thought, to know how to think or stop… regular meditation and no-mind practice are good for improving your ability.

      1. Thank you. I am currently suffering with HOCD. But my questions to you michael would be the following

        1. How can I 100% cure my ocd completely? Like I don’t want to have to “manage” or “control” or “cope” or “treat” my ocd. How do I cure this 100% just like once u cure cancer u are 100% cured of cancer and just can’t possibly get it again like you ABSOLUTELY are COMPLETELY 100% not with cancer and can NEVER get it again and you don’t have to cope with or treat or control it you just ARE COMPLETELY CURED OF CANCER. How do I do this for all my ocd? Not just hocd, but how do I do this so just like a person with cancer is cured AND CAN NEVER GET IT AGAIN NO MATTER WHAT. I would be able to do the same thing with my ocd.

        2. When I get an HOCD thought, what should I do?

        3. How long would the method u suggest take?

        4. Will I be able to say “I don’t have ocd anymore, am completely 100% cured and free, and will never be able to get it again” after I use this technique?

        Please answer the 4 questions seperately

        Thank you very much!

  10. 1, As I said, first you need to reach the point of letting go, if you understand these thoughts are not true, just thoughts you feared and so, created a web of interrelated thoughts about, if you can see clearly that if it all just wasn’t there, you’d be fine, then you’re at that point. Now, understand that for something to NOT be there, you have to remove MEANING and attention from all related thoughts. That means “don’t care” and “attention elsewhere. This tells your mind to stop giving you the thoughts. 100% cure means it’s not there, and you’re not even aware it’s not there, you’ve FORGOTTEN. You can’t forget by giving ANY attention whatsoever.
    I’ve written more about your issue here: https://happy.guide/2012/02/06/am-i-gay/ and be sure to fully read the last link I gave you to get clear about how to run your brain.

    2. You should shrug it off, ignore it, not caring, and put attention somewhere else. You should not fear the thoughts, because fear guarantees repeats. You should not care, always.

    3. If you are totally clear about what to do, totally consistent, it will be fast, usually gone within days. Your mind gives you what you said was important by your ATTITUDE. So fear brings repeats, and you see it everywhere because THAT’S WHAT FEAR DOES.

    4. I don’t know enough about you or your situation to say. If you are at the point of letting go, if you are clear and consistent, then yes, it will go. Get crystal clear…. if you don’t want something on your mind, quickly distract from any thought about it with a don’t care attitude, WHENEVER it comes, tomorrow, a week, a year, WHENEVER. It DIES AWAY, but that doesn’t mean you will NEVER have a thought EVER again, you simply remain clear and consistent, that whatever comes, and whenever it comes you simply ignore it.

    WANTING A GUARANTEE is in itself, holding on to it, making it important. What you need to do is just be clear about what you will do, and then let it go, stop caring. Stop caring even whether a thought lingers. IF YOU FIGHT, you make it IMPORTANT and then you GROW it.

    Make sure you fully understand the 2 links I gave you, get really clear and then do it. To keep your mind off, you must mentally let it go and DO NOTHING about it at all, UNLESS a thought comes, then you ignore it. Anything else is attention.

    Once you are clear that it dies away, and eventually stops coming, you need to trust the process, and have that indifference that is needed, and keep attention off, just in the same way you would naturally do with anything you don’t care about… you simply see you’re not interested, and then naturally put attention elsewhere.

      1. In my experience, OCD is usually very easily cured. The difficulty is getting the sufferer to see clearly and commit 100% to the method. This usually involves showing the sufferer a bird’s-eye view of their problem so they see the dysfunction clearly and so reach the point of letting go. A good example is the article above… it took many hours of explaining the WHAT and WHY before he would commit to HOW. Once the commitment is there…. 2 days, OCD gone. A cure is easier if you go on faith and just do it, in other words, give up trying to unravel it yourself, and just follow the instructions 100%. Then, you let go of the need for explanations, just trust the clarity of someone else. THEN, trust is rewarded with EXPERIENCE, i.e. you see it working.

  11. Get CLEAR: Your aim is to disappear these thoughts, in that state, they are just NOT THERE. So you make that happen by giving NO ATTENTION whatsoever and having an indifferent attitude, not caring, consistently.

    The problem is that you REALLY REALLY don’t want these thoughts, but that doesn’t work, that means CARING a LOT, it means you made it the center of your world. And the mind operates on your caring about a thing, so it gives you back what you cared about, and since you care so much, it shows you it 24/7.

    1. Thanks for all your help. It was working at first, and then (sorry if this is to sexual but I need to otherwise I’m never gonna get my point across) I got a sort of random boner and at first I was fine but then I imagined having sex with a man and for a brief milasecond i kinda briefly enjoyed it but then right after my mind spiraled and went back into anxiety. But before that I was almost starting to return to no hocd and moving back towards no more questioning of heterosexuality. Right now as I write this I am not aroused and would never want to do what I imagined for a brief second there and it makes me sick thinking about it (it doesn’t though when I think of a woman). What do i do now because the anxiety level is worse and no matter what I tell myself my mind is just frieking out. So

      1. What do I do now?

      2. How do I prevent this in the future?

      1. Also I think i should specify more on when I imagined it. I enjoyed it for a brief milasecond and then found anxiety and felt sick and didnt enjoy it. But my ocd mind will tell me “you enjoyed it” when I really didn’t. Still answer the two questions above with this in mind also

        Thanks

      2. And also some more questions about anther incident. So I was doing better, ignoring it. But then I saw a picture of one of my friends shirtless and freaked out. Or my ocd mind freaked out I should say. I stupidly checked to see if i would get aroused by testing and I got this weird tingling feeling which I have gotten before and a kinda 1/12 erection. I also felt wrong and sick

        This freaked me out more so I went and stupidly watched gay porn. I got the same thing as before. Tingling, 1/12 erection and feeling wrong and sick. Then I watched lesbian porn and got a full scale boner, felt great and horny and really a massive to the max boner.

        But my ocd mind won’t stop telling me that I still DID feel that tingling and that 1/12 arousal. What I mean by that is that it moved like a tiny bit. But my ocd mind won’t stop telling that it still DID move (but remember, full scale awesome feeling erection with lesbo porn)

        So more questions are:

        4. What the hell does this mean?

        5. Why did this happen?

        6. Am I gay, bi or 1/12 bi? (just thinking about this question makes me sick)

        7. How do i prevent this?

        8. How do i stop this once and for all, so it never happens again, and I can go and live my life happily with my girlfriend

        I just don’t get it, i used to be nuts for girls and absolutely certain about my sexuality now this thing is f*cking me up.

        So if u could answer all these questions i have given you seperately, I would be very thankful.

        Thanks,

        Teddy

  12. “I was almost starting to return to no hocd and moving back towards no more questioning of heterosexuality.”

    Right, after only a few hours right? You just weren’t consistent. Consistently ignore. Now, next week, between now and when you die!

    1. What do I do now? Consistently ignore all thoughts about it.

    2. How do I prevent this in the future. By being clear that ignoring and not caring are always the thing to do.

    3. Was this experience (imagining this all) made by ocd? OCD is just a label for a common dysfunction, images are created through imagination. Attention is the volume control for thoughts.

    4. What the hell does this mean? It means you’ve given lots of attention and meaning to an idea.

    5. Why did this happen? See 4.

    6. Am I gay, bi or 1/12 bi? (just thinking about this question makes me sick). No, you are a straight guy who has started questioning, and then created a lot of anxiety and confusion around it.

    7. How do i prevent this? DECIDE you don’t want it, and then make it not there by ignoring every occurrence consistently. Stop TESTING, thinking, questioning.

    8. How do i stop this once and for all, so it never happens again, and I can go and live my life happily with my girlfriend. See 7.

    We are going around in circles, as ALWAYS happens with OCD, because you didn’t get CLEAR. And how can it be simpler? Decide you don’t want it, (you know what you want, see Q8), and then ignore every thought about it between now and when you die, no questioning, no testing.

  13. Ok, thanks very much. I have one more set of questions and I’m sorry if I am being a pain but thanks for all you help.

    So today when I woke and saw what you wrote, I thought, OK, I am gonna do this and stick to it no matter what. I went to school, was ignoring and doing better.

    When I arrived in my class I sat next to a friend. This friend of mine is generally known by girls to be really good looking. So I gave in. Sadly I had to imagine having sex and whatever with him. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I stuck my hand back in the fire. The problem is, when doing so I got like a half boner, and this really really REALLY freaked me out. The “what if I am gay” thoughts stormed back in because of the half boner. So after that I didn’t know what to do. I tried to just get on with my day, and I thought I would imagine having sex with him again when I got home JUST TO MAKE SURE I WASN’T GAY and to find out what the hell that half boner meant.

    So when I got home I imagined having sex with him, sucking his d*ck, all stupid things but I felt like I had to because I was so worried about why I got that half boner. And when I imagined this at home I got practically no erection. Maybe a 1/12 boner or a 1/10 boner like before but MINIMAL movement, and I didn’t really feel aroused: It was practically no movement at all. I found relief here, but then ocd pulled the trick “well you still got a half boner before!” That killed me. This thought still kills me. But I couldn’t get it the second time, I wouldn’t be able to now either. So I thought “Ignore the ocd, and ask michael what this all means” so that’s what I am doing now.

    And another problem is whenever I see that friend now, which I NEVER had gay thoughts with before all this ocd crap, whenever I see or even hear his name, the ocd attacks me. I really don’t know what to do. Do I stay away from him? I know I can’t do that.

    And then I thought also: “why does this keep happening?” And the answer came. I am not crystal clear. That is what I need to get to. That is how I will be able to cure my ocd, like you said.

    So my questions for you are:

    1. What does that half boner mean?

    2. Am I really gay or bi because of that half boner?

    3. Why did I get this half boner?

    4. What do I do with this situation with my friend?

    5. How do I get crystal clear?

    6. How do I stop these thoughts and the inconsistency?

    7. What caused all this that I experienced today? Why did it happen?

    Michael, many thanks for you taking your time to answer these questions. Sorry if I am being annoying as I keep on asking but it is helping.

    Thanks,

    Teddy

  14. OK so all that is attention and caring, the OPPOSITE of what you’re supposed to be doing. Why won’t you leave it alone? Because you think it means something, you question your sexuality, so you keep testing yourself. You mentioned RELIEF, and so that’s what you need. You need the point of letting go. That point is when you understand that this does not change your sexual orientation unless you want it to, you are straight, by nature, this is because of attention and thoughts, not nature.

    So… remember before all this, how clear you were about your sexuality, never a question about it, REALLY get INTO that feeling of clarity. Now say to yourself “It’s fine, I know who I am.” This will anchor the STATE to the words. NOW whenever a thought comes, recall your clarity “It’s fine, I know who I am” and then remove attention.

    You got confused, now you recall your truth, and REINFORCE your truth whenever a thought about it comes.

    If you are CLEAR, then you won’t TEST, why would you?

    Be sure to really get into that feeling of clarity you have before all this and that is your truth.

    NOW, as you apply this, it becomes a “clear and bright thought-feeling” and also a habit, so after only a little time, it just becomes automatic, you will find that you won’t say the words, you instantly just recall the clear and bright thought-feeling, and remove attention.

    NOW your mind stops telling you about it, because you are clear, because you stopped CARING, stopped giving it MEANING.

    1. What does that half boner mean? Arousal is complex, just by paying attention to arousing qualities, it happens. Most would be able to find qualities in the same sex if they started looking. Most men would deny it fiercely of course, but it’s true, and many men have feminine qualities, and some may be qualities you really like in women. So what I’m basically saying is that sexuality has some leeway, you could change it by thoughts and attention, as you have started to, but anybody can, even someone who was totally disgusted by the idea, if the idea and attention persists, the shift will happen. Short answer: it means nothing, it means you became confused.

    2. Am I really gay or bi because of that half boner? Nope.

    3. Why did I get this half boner? See 1.

    4. What do I do with this situation with my friend? Let go of the problem which keeps in on your radar and just be his friend, if a thought comes when you are with him ignore it. Remember, thoughts come back with the meaning you previously gave, so don’t question the meaning of anything “it’s fine, I know who I am.”

    5. How do I get crystal clear? By 1. reaching the point of letting go, then 2. letting go. 1. You are not gay or bi, this is about attention to an idea. Something happened, you thought it meant something, it doesn’t, when you feel that relief…. 2. ignore all thoughts about it consistently.

    6. How do I stop these thoughts and the inconsistency? Covered that, many times.

    7. What caused all this that I experienced today? Why did it happen? Covered that.

    1. Ok thanks but in your answer to question one, do you mean to say that anyone can just change their sexuality by attenention?

      Do you also mean that I am changing it slowly with the attention?

      And lastly, I though sexuality was a biological fact, so how could one change it with attention?

      1. I mean I don’t think that I am changing mine slowly with attention. I think the half boner is just because I got confused, not because I am slowly turning gay because of thoughts. And that I was biologically born straight.

        Is this true? And could you also answer my other questions?

        Thanks

        Teddy

      2. What you pay attention to GROWS, and attention is given because it has meaning for you, both these things are your choices. One could certainly highlight same sex preferences by giving attention but why would you? Personally, the idea of strict straight/gay/bi categories doesn’t gel. We are all somewhere on a continuum.

        My wife just told me that people with learning difficulties are “not fussy.” So this suggests much conditioning in the general population… someone shows disgust at the idea, you take that on board and call it self.

        You are always at choice, even now, by questioning it, you are choosing to explore the idea of it and thus grow it. Why not simply choose, it isn’t hard, you said you wanted this gone and to live happily with your girlfriend, so do that, why GIVE IT ANOTHER THOUGHT?

        Why make it an issue? Something curious happened, don’t really know why, maybe you were just ultra horny that day, who knows, who cares, the mind is a complex thing. Stay in your power, which is to CHOOSE. What do you WANT to be, what do you WANT to give attention to.

        Things MEAN what you say they mean, nothing has meaning built in.

        In your situation I would just smile at the curious and strange event where I was for a moment attracted to my friend, and just let it go, and then see what life brings, just relax and go with the flow.

        Choices: Imagining having sex with your friend, is not moving you in the direction you say you want :-)

        The SOONER you decide to let it go, the sooner it will let YOU go. If you tell your mind something is important, you get repeats. The clearer you are about the “new way,” what you choose, the FASTER your mind will line up.

        Fast route… decide clearly you don’t want to think about it any more, then ignore every single thought. If you want what you say you want, this is the path.

        The search for MEANING to this will just grow the problem.

  15. So then as you said, people can eventually become gay if they keep on putting attention to this thought. I have stopped doing so, and it feels great so far. But my question is, and this is probably the last one, if before all this OCD crap happened, I never questioned, was 100% straight wouldn’t even THINK about it. Then as the ocd took over I started to look at gay qualities and became a little more attracted to men then before, as you said what happens with all the attention and thoughts. If I keep this up until I die, will I soon revert to my original self where I was 100% straight and never questioned it or will I stay here, a little more attracted to men than before? Or will I go back to my old self where I wasn’t like that and not attracted to men at all, being back to my old 100% straight self?

    Thanks for your help, I am feeling much better. I just said I wasn’t gonna care about the OCD at all no matter what crap it told me. I can see it was all in my head, and that it was actually the OCD itself that caused the half boner. But now when I look at that, I tried to remember what actually happened.

    And believe it or not Michael, this is what happened.

    OCD will take whatever you give it, no matter if it is ACTUALLY true or not. Looking back on the moment, I have this crazy memory where I can completely remember a moment. And what really happened is that I got a spontanious boner, as we all do sometimes and then the OCD capitilized on the moment and GAVE me the thought with my friend. BUT I WAS ALREADY AROUSED, AND THAT DIDN’T AROUSE ME AT ALL. But the OCD mind will just lie and make it very easy to believe. And until looking back on it, I thought what the OCD told me was true. It told me that it was the thought of me and my friend that aroused me, and I believed it at first. Now looking back, I see that this wasn’t the case. When I figured it out, I started ignoring and BOOM results. But I can’t stop, and I won’t stop. I just realize it was all up in my head. I mean, sexuality is determined at birth, and you can’t change that. I like women, and I just simply don’t like men. I can’t change that even if I wanted to. Because when I was so worried that I thought I got a boner from imagining me and my friend, as I said, I checked at home but wasn’t aroused AT ALL. And I thought, WHY? If I was truly gay or bi or anything, I would get aroused at anytime. THIS WAS BECAUSE I NEVER WAS AROUSED. OCD JUST TOLD ME I WAS, BUT NOW I CLEARLY SEE THAT WAS WRONG, THAT IT WAS A LIE.

    But now I’m slowly but surely back to my old self, or well, I think. But just please answer this last question that I wrote before my somewhat “success” story of OCD. AND ANYONE ELSE WHO READS THIS,
    LET IT BE KNOWN THAT OCD IS COMPLETELY CURABLE ITS ALL IN YOUR HEAD, JUST DO WHAT MICHAEL SAYS AND DON’T THINK, THINKING IS THE FUEL FOR OCD AND ONCE YOU STOP OCD WILL BE GONE

    Please answer that last question

    thanks for all the help.

    But please answer

  16. “If before all this OCD crap happened, I never questioned, was 100% straight wouldn’t even THINK about it. Then as the ocd took over I started to look at gay qualities and became a little more attracted to men then before, as you said what happens with all the attention and thoughts. If I keep this up until I die, will I soon revert to my original self where I was 100% straight and never questioned it or will I stay here, a little more attracted to men than before? Or will I go back to my old self where I wasn’t like that and not attracted to men at all, being back to my old 100% straight self?”

    Well, you know that if anything DOES occur in future, that it’s only because you confused your mind by attaching an aroused state accidentally to a different IDEA or image, and it’s great you remembered that, because you see, it’s all on the level of mind, of a strange association that happened, not natural arousal from the same sex.

    Now the mind works by meaning and attention, so if you like, you threw a spanner in the works, got all worked up about something because it confused you. So that “spanner” may or may not affect things in future. When something is given SOOOOO much meaning, its effect tends to die away, because the mind works quite primitively in this way. It keeps checking that the thing you FEARED, is now gone, so an occasional repeat may happen. That’s why you simply stay in your truth, and that appeases the primitive part that all is well and it can stop the repeats.

    As you think, you lay down new tracks. So, the mind wants to make things easy, it keeps us running on these tracks, so if it ever happens again, it’s because of these factors… the way the mind responds to fear, and thought-habits.

    If you “put something on your RADAR” it generally slowly disappears off it. The SPEED that it does so depends on the clarity and RELIEF you feel about your truth. That’s why the process is always to reach the point of letting go FIRST, either by understanding, or if that isn’t possible, FAITH. Sometimes the web of madness is so great, faith is the best route IF a person will do it.

    So… understand that any future repeats, even if you find yourself attracted or whatever, is due to this spanner in the works, habits, radars, fear responses. It MEANS NOTHING.

    NOW always your response to an event determines what happens next. If it happens and you give MEANING again, you QUESTION it, you FEAR it, you get FRUSTRATED, ANY MEANING WHATSOEVER, you will grow it rapidly again.

    You now have experience of the amazing power of attention and MEANING, you now have CLARITY about your sexuality, and how this spanner in the works happened. So now, the appropriate response if you caught yourself repeating a habit, is TO LAUGH, no? It’s FUNNY NOW??? Isn’t it? It should be if you see it right.

    Now all the meaning has gone, you simply, genuinely DON’T CARE…. whatever happens, so what? Who cares? put attention somewhere else quite naturally.

    Because you turned it around so fast, I would EXPECT you to rapidly return to your normal state, but who cares!? You are clear, if it comes, you know it’s just mind tricks, habits, radars, fear responses. Smile… it’s been amusing, and gently ignore, just indifferent.

    It’s actually VERY simple for you now… DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, because anything else is ATTENTION. Now, if some thought comes, or you catch yourself in a habit, immediately recall your clarity, your truth, just as a feeling, a split second remembering and let it go, put attention somewhere else. AND this we naturally do for stuff we don’t care about. “DON’T CARE” indifference, is the only attitude that does not have meaning. You see? CLEAR?

  17. “LET IT BE KNOWN THAT OCD IS COMPLETELY CURABLE ITS ALL IN YOUR HEAD, JUST DO WHAT MICHAEL SAYS AND DON’T THINK, THINKING IS THE FUEL FOR OCD AND ONCE YOU STOP OCD WILL BE GONE.”

    Well put! :-) Hear ye, hear ye!!!!

    1. Hi mike I have 2 questions. I recently met an hocd sufferer who used to suffer what I suffered with. But he has 2 big problems. I tell him what you told me, but he keeps on watching gay porn and then switching to girl on girl. He used to be completely sure of his sexuality, but now he questions if he really even has hocd. He does this because he gets groinal responses. This as he describes is a tingling feeling and some swelling. The penis may grow an inch or so. I try to tell him this is a symptom of the hocd but I just say that to make him feel better. He also gets homosexual wet dreams sometimes like once about every week. I try to tell him this is the hocd again but I don’t really know.

      So my questions are

      1. What do those groinal responses mean?

      2. What do those wet dreams mean?

      3. Why does he get these?

      4. How do I help him?

      Thanks

      Teddy

  18. Teddy, sexual arousal is either caused by natural preferences, or by attention, thus changing your preferences by choice. It’s really that simple.

    Does your friend want help? I find it is best to only offer ideas gently to people if they haven’t asked for your help. Dip a toe in the water, see what bites.

    For arousal created by choice, the answer is to consciously choose. If one does not choose it, then remove all attention from it, as discussed at length already.

    Dreams can happen as a result of ignoring ideas that one previously marked as highly important or even feared. The mind wants you to pay attention because of your previous meaning, so it comes in dreams. This is the norm when one begins to change the meaning quickly to “don’t care.”

    What we do is the same, we give no meaning to the dream, we don’t ponder it, we shrug it off like it was nothing, because that is staying consistent with our new understanding, and choice.

    1. 1. If you mean wet dreams are the norm after you start ignoring, do they eventually go away?

      And yes he does want my help and he’s recently got into another mess. What happened to him is that he and his girlfriend had a fight twice in a week. Both of those fights ended with him saying an extremely long apology and sorting everything out, and telling her its not her fault. Then he told me he searched up: “how to repair a relationship after a fight” one of the site he saw said that generally the girl is the one who says the long apology and sorts everything out, and the girl is the one who tell the guy it’s not his fault. When he read this, he started freaking out that he was more feminine then his girlfriend, which is ridiculous. But he can’t get it out’ve his mind. So what should he do? And also was that website right?

      Thanks, your other info helped him with hocd a lot, now there’s this mess

      Teddy

  19. Ok I really need help here mike

    So I was happy and free of hocd and everything and then this friend (not the guy we were talking about before) of mine who isn’t gay started doing gay things to me like holding my hand and stuff. I would flip because I’m not gay but he just did it as a joke and thought my reaction was funny. He kept on doing it and then one class I asked a friend how to make him stop because I think it’s weird that he’s doing it to me and said that I’m a homophobe and the whole class started calling me a homophobe and its made me freak out because I’m not! I’m fine with other people being gay but just you know…don’t be gay with me because I’m straight!

    And then someone said (who people think is really gay) “maybe he’s doing it because he think you are gay”

    And this caused me immnense anxiety. It still does.

    The whole class went “oooh” and it made me freak out. It causes me so much anxiety because I’m afraid people think I’m gay. But they don’t! I’m pretty sure it was just a joke and people know I date and kiss girls and am not gay at all. I don’t even have gay tendencies. So no one thinks that but still what he said makes me freak out with immense anxiety and its making my life spin and crash and please mike I reallllly need your help badly please help me PLEASE! It’s driving me nuts!!!

    1. Oh how they will love to wind you up, just laugh along, don’t care about it, shrug it off, show then you ain’t bothered and JOG ON.

      “Hmmm yeah I don’t like men holding my hand so I’m a homophobe, yeah right.”

      Whatever, keep the mood light, or it’s just fuel for them to wind you up.

      1. No it’s just that it puts extreme anxiety into me and makes me worry if people think I’m gay BUT THEY DONT but its making me freak out and I’m not sure what they think anymore and it’s just causing extreme anxiety and I need it to stop but how do I do this? It’s terrible!

      2. It’s the same method for whatever you don’t want on your mind, you ignore and have a don’t care attitude, and you ignore the anxiety too because you know why it’s there. It’s good to exercise if you’re anxious, to get rid of the adrenaline. They don’t think you’re gay, so there is no action needed, just forgetting.

  20. answer these questions because it is still torturing me

    1. does this mean now that whenever the word or concept “gay” is brought up by someone I will have to go to my HOCD thoughts and this other thing that we are talking about and have to ignore them? Or will there be a day when I won’t have to ignore them anymore?

    2. Why did the thing that happened today happen?

    3. Still, for some reason I freak out about this that my whole grade thinks that I could be gay. It’s just so annoying because even after I stopped or cured or whatevered my HOCD thoughts I would still obsess about other things. Will the obessions ever stop? Just I don’t know what to do with this whole “the grade thinks I’m gay” problem and the other obessesions please how do I stop it once and for all so I will never have to go back to this state of extreme anxiety? I just don’t know why this is happening and I don’t know what’s going on in my head it makes me think I’m crazy and I just don’t know what to do. ugh I just need this to go forever and I feel like I just can’t ignore it. I am afraid that that one guy who said “well maybe he thinks you are gay” maybe he thinks I am gay and then maybe that whole class thinks I am gay and ugh. I hate this it drives me nuts. please help as quickly as possible

    1. and then also a fourth question, why did I get this anxiety in the first place?

      respond asap because this is really killing me

      thanks

      teddy

      1. just to define the fourth question further, why do i get this anxiety when other people don’t? what causes it? why does it happen to me not other people? why?

        thanks

    2. 1. If you stop caring, and keep ignoring, then you will forget.

      2. Who can say for sure… I am of the belief that we attract circumstances according to our dominant thoughts, the so-called “law of attraction.” So perhaps it’s that. If you think about it, we are giving off a “vibe” and that vibe is the sum of our feelings about our beliefs… essentially, who we think we are and our “truth.” This is why birds of a feather flock together, and if you are aggressive, you will attract trouble. It’s the vibe.

      3. If you are “the kind of person who” and you don’t like it, you need to change… e.g. to a person who doesn’t care what other people think, who is secure in who he is, and as previously mentioned, this changes your vibe, and hence, how people respond to you. It’s like people reflect back who you are. For example, someone who is very open and honest… people will find they open up to them, tell their innermost secrets. People who are very confident will get a different response to those who are shy etc. What are the roots of your behavior? Caring what others think? Lack of confidence? Feeling out of control in your mind? All these things can be changed by learning to run your brain, changing physiology so that your mind is working correctly, e.g. you have the right nutrition etc, and by making new decisions about yourself and your life, e.g. “I will stop caring what others think about me.” If you ponder the last one, you may find it is a better way to be. Of course, there are some things you might not want others to think if it is not true, so you can simply put them straight, at the opportune moment. I find that most often it’s best to wait and not just dive right in… set the intention in your mind, e.g. to set people straight about your sexuality, and then wait for the right moment. It will come.

      If you have a habit of obsessing, then stop it. If you understand deeply that attention is the volume control for thoughts, and you have control over what you think, you can change your behavior around it. You might find it a much better way to be, to let go rather than control, once you try it out, and you’ll see that things work out better, you can just behave naturally, in the moment… respond to the moment from a deep connection to yourself, rather than trying to control life through ideas. If you’re ever worried, stop, think “what is the outcome I want?” “What can I DO?” Then you simply action what you’ve decided. A lot of worry happens because there hasn’t been a resolution to a perceived problem. Once you decide what you want and what you’re going to do, it’s resolved.

      4. The anxiety is about not being able to control outcomes, feeling out-of-control. Can you control what others think? Well… you can speak your truth, be yourself, take action, make decisions, run your own brain. All that is staying in your own power. I tend not to care at all what others think, generally, there are exceptions where I feel the need to correct something, but not often. The ego is heavily invested in others opinions, and the cure for ego is intense self-observation… i.e. WATCH how the ego operates, notice it, watch every thought and reaction. I think you should work on yourself, by following the 6 lifestyle elements, which work synergistically to make you happy and healthy, including overcoming mental issues, ego, confidence, etc. All dysfunctions have their roots in the same causes… not living right, not thinking right.

  21. Ok so

    1. What are the 6 lifestyle elements?

    And

    2. I think what made me cure my initial hocd was of course distraction. But it took me awhile to get into the distraction method and to fully use it. The time it clicked was when I saw how irrational my thoughts were and had no fear because I knew they were simply not true, stupid, and irrational. Thus I didn’t fear it and just kept on distracting and within about 2 days I was cured. But for this my problem is I can’t see that way, I can’t see it’s irrational. I have this huge fear that people think I’m gay and I fear it may be true but I can’t see this is irrational or stupid or simply not true. How do I get to the point where I can see that they are simply not true, stupid, irrational, etc.? Because once I get there i can distract and cure myself quickly, like hocd

    Thanks

    1. 1. https://happy.guide/2012/06/03/six-habits

      2. “But for this my problem is I can’t see that way, I can’t see it’s irrational.” You don’t NEED to see it as irrational, it helps certainly, but if you are in anxiety, logic is not going to be your strong point. Ignoring has don’t care built in. As I said before you need to…

      a) Be secure in your own mind about your sexuality, then, how can jokes others make have much effect?
      b) Lighten up, the mind runs on MEANING, you are telling your mind this has great meaning, whereas, if you want something to be off your mind, you need to not care.
      c) Keep ignoring thoughts about it, even if you feel anxious, distract the mind with movies, books, whatever, keep mind off it.
      d) If it comes up when you’re with friends, be cool, laugh, don’t care, be light-hearted “whatever.” If you get all antsy, then they know it has MEANING for you!! AND they will wind you up even more.

      MAINLY get your mind off it, stop caring. This is the SIMPLE HANDLE that will get you through…. “NO ATTENTION.” Attention is the volume control for thoughts.

      To allow you to let go now, you can also decide to SET IT FOR REVIEW, e.g. decide to forget about it until 1st April, until then, no thinking about it. This way you can forget about something you feel may be important. As you forget, you will quickly discover, it wasn’t.

  22. Teddy, your sexuality isn’t going anywhere. It’s determined at birth and hard-wired into your brain. You are straight, always have been, and always will be. That isn’t going to change. I’m currently coping with the same OCD problem. I know myself completely, and I know that my brain is fabricating lies into trying to trick me. I’m just living my life the way I used to and being confident in myself. Finding a wonderful woman in this world and settling down with her is one of my goals in life. That’s what I want, and it’s part of who I genuinely am. Meditation is something you should consider doing as well. It clears your mind of unwanted thoughts and gives you control of your thoughts. As Michael has said already, simply don’t care nor pay attention to these thoughts. They are NOT you.

    As for me, after taking Michael’s advice, I’ve made substantial progress. I really feel good and am enjoying life. I can sense that I’m almost at 100% of what I used to be. Now I’m just waiting for the Happy Guide to come in the mail. Once i read it and cure myself completely of this, I’ll be sure to share my success story with everyone here. I know I’ll overcome this, and I know you will too, Teddy. All the best.

    ———-

    So Michael, do you still to this day practice meditation on a daily basis? Has it become a part of your daily/life routine? You probably don’t suffer from unwanted thoughts whatsoever because your awareness is so strong it’s essentially become intuitive/natural, correct? I still have a ways to go before I get there.

    1. Hi Ending_OCD, I do like to meditate, because the depths one can reach from sit-down practice are far greater, easier to get into that place by making everything quiet, shutting down the senses and turning a big spotlight on the mind. I don’t need to as such, so I just do it when I feel like it. And sit-down practice isn’t necessary if we commit to listening, really commit and throw ourselves into it. It helps though, good to do if things have gotten bad, and the mind is stormy.

      Once you can make your mind utterly quiet at will, there’s no need for meditation as such, because everything becomes meditation, it becomes your way of being, of living, and you will have this deep peace that is always there for you to go to, utterly sane.

      Yes it’s true that I don’t have any unwanted thoughts, I know the power of attention. When you make no-mind your default, stay in it, you will see the power of it, a beautiful simplicity that makes everything shiny and new. Combine that with the best nutrition, sleep, organization etc, and you can reach a really wonderful state of mind, of being, happiness. It’s about getting into the right habits, making it all good habits, so that the causes are there every day, and it all compounds over the long-term.

      1. Hi Michael, because I’m new to meditation, right now it’s like I have to make a conscious effort to listen and focus on listening. But I’ve noticed that when doing so, random thoughts (including my unwanted ones) just disappear after a while, and it all happens naturally. It feels wonderful, indeed. And then when I try to focus on a desired thought, I can enjoy it without being hindered by any unwanted thoughts. The unwanted thoughts do still emerge from time to time, but not nearly as frequently. And when they do, they don’t bother me, because they’re meaningless and nothing. I will keep you posted on my progress. Thanks as always.

        Ending_OCD

      2. Ohhhhhh that makes me so happy… yes, isn’t it WONDERFUL? And very simple. So glad you have found the path :-)

        As you keep noticing “that is meaningless” then they will stop coming altogether. Direction is everything, if they are reducing, they are disappearing :-) So. now, how quickly you have moved into choiceful thinking! How I love it when someone “goes for it” and gets awesome results! Thanks for posting!

    2. Hi ending ocd can you tell me how you cured your ocd like I know I need to distract and I have done that and it’s much better but tell me exactly step by step how u did it I would be very thankful

      Thanks

      1. HI Teddy, I’m not entirely cured yet, but I’m almost there – say 90% of what I used to be. It’s that small 10% that’s still lingering there. But here’s what I’ve done so far:

        1) Realizing that my brain is lying to me, I just brush it off and think about other things. But here’s the trick, you shouldn’t think about the things that your unwanted thoughts are tied to. For example, whenever I fantasize about making out with a woman, there are some times when a man will be in her place. It’s disturbing, yes, but I’ve adopted a reaction where I’m indifferent/don’t care about that thought and just think of something else quickly. The longer you go on without thinking about your unwanted thoughts, you start to allow your brain to break thinking patterns that have become habitual. After a while, I’ll come back to my desired thought (i.e. making out with a beautiful woman), and voila, the unwanted thought doesn’t emerge. And this happens all naturally without having to consciously think about it. Essentially, you need to allow your brain to “reset” itself. It takes time and patience, but eventually your brain will “forget” those “thinking patterns that have become habitual”.

        2) Live your life how you used to. You KNOW better than anyone else who you are, so be confident in yourself. When you have doubt, you have insecurity. That insecurity leads to questioning, which in turn leads to OCD. Remember, your brain is fabricating false attractions and lies. Those unwanted thoughts you’re experiencing are NOT you; they don’t say anything about who you are. Laugh them off. That being said, you have nothing to worry about. Go on and enjoy life with all it has to offer, and don’t question yourself.

        3) OCD can be attributed to chemical inbalances in the brain, and that can be remedied through nutrition. I’m currently consuming fish oil and chamomile tea on a daily basis, and my mind feels clean and relaxed. I’m able to focus and concentrate better as well.

        4) As Michael and I have been discussing, meditation can be very effective. Every day, give yourself 30 minutes to sit down, close your eyes, relax, and just listen. You’ll be amazed at how long you’ll go on without experiencing those unwanted thoughts. And the more you do this, the more intuitive/natural it will become. You’ll be able to enjoy your desired thoughts in due time without interference.

        The last part is reading Michael’s Happy Guide book. I’m sure that sometime after I finish reading it, I’ll be cured 100%. Others have been cured, and no one is an exception. Everyone CAN be treated.

        If you have any more questions, just ask.

        Ending_OCD

    3. Ending ocd do you think that ocd can be 100% completely cured or do you think it can only be “managed” “coped with” or “treated”

      And a second questiob a lot of therapists say it can only be “treated” “managed” or “coped with” but mike says with this method it can be cured. What do you think about that?

      Thanks

      Teddy

      1. OCD most definitely can be 100% completely cured. I’ve seen other people cured, so it definitely works.

        I just finished reading Michael’s Happy Guide (fantastic book, by the way – I’ll post my thoughts on it later), and I already feel better. I don’t even question my sexuality anymore; it’s like my SO OCD is gone/never happened. The only thing that remains is my unwanted thoughts/images, and I’m following the principles of “don’t care/ignore” and “listening”. Eventually, I’ll get full control over my thoughts.

        So how are you doing right now? Let us know.

        Ending_OCD

  23. Mike I need your help ASAP.

    So I was texting my girlfriend tonight as things were going better. But she is too nervous to make out with me at the moment. Ah, we are young, and I am patient. But when I was trying to make her less nervous, she said “But what I love is just talking to you. Ik we can’t just talk forever and that’s why I’ve been trying to force hu upon myself ” and that immediately made me freak out thinking she doesn’t think I am physically attractive, and only like me because of my mental attractiveness, not bc of my physical attractiveness. This made me jump to the conclusion that why she doesn’t want to make out with me is because she doesn’t want to make out with me is because she doesn’t find me physically attractive. I then jumped to the conclusion that she is just trying to make out with me because she can be my friend because she likes talking to me. She told me that’s nuts and that she thinks I’m hot and that she is just not ready but I’m freaking out that she doesn’t really find me physically attractive. EVEN THOUGH SHE SAYS SHE FINDS ME HOT AND ISN’T READY. I’m really nervous and I need your help asap. Please help mike, please.

    Thanks

    1. She’s nervous, you jump to a lot of conclusions, she wants to talk, she thinks you’re hot, you freak out.

      You freak out a lot yes?

      Just relax dude, enjoy spending time, be natural, spontaneous, have no agenda, force isn’t good, to force her, OR YOURSELF. The best moments are the spontaneous, natural moments.

      Let it be whatever it is, whatever develops. Why force an idea into a situation? Let things happen naturally. A beautiful moment is not a forced moment. Enjoy.

      1. Ok mike my ocd has been going away recently but this new one came. But via distraction it has been getting better. I’m also going to start meditating because it seems that was the last push that cured
        Ending ocd’s ocd. But this new one that came, and the ocd is much better now and is starting to cure, but now this new one came.

        So I was taking a shower and I looked at my genitals and for some reason the thought
        Popped into my head “what if it was a vagina?”

        Ugh.

        Well I freaked out from there with some sort of transgender ocd or something, constantly worrying if I would rather be a girl, being a transgender or whatever.

        Ugh.

        I mean, this pisses me off. People at school consider me extremely masculine and just no of course not!!!! But it keeps on coming into my mind and then you know how ocd
        Plays out from there, giving you extreme anxiety.

        The worse part about this is it makes me sometimes imagine being a girl. This makes me have lots of anxiety and then I say “NO OF COURSE NOT WTF U IDIOT UR A HAPPY MAN” (no offense to transgenders or anything but I am JUST NOT ONE).

        And then it manifests itself from there by ocd saying “ohhhh u imagined yourself as a girl…you r a transgender” And I say “NONONO THAT MADE ME SICK I AM NOT
        ONE”

        Pleeeeeeaaaaaassssseee help me this is so
        Emberassing and awful and painful please tell me what to do to make this never happen again

        Thanks

        Teddy

      2. Teddy, I’m going to jump in here and say it’s really not fair to keep asking Mike to repeat himself. Basically, you’re giving meaning, importance and emotion to ideas that are really just curiosities, musings. The answer is always the same: remove attention from/ignore thoughts that you don’t want. Nothing has any meaning except the meaning that you give it, through your attention. If you’d like more details, please re-read Mike’s comments above — he’s laid it all out very clearly for you there. Thanks Teddy.

        Best wishes,
        James

      3. Hi Teddy, James is right, there’s a general trend here and the answers are the same aren’t they? The subject of the unwanted thought is irrelevant, the process is the same to get rid. The mind runs on meaning and attention… fear of a thought means you see it everywhere and get repeats because that’s what fear does.

        Never question unwanted thoughts…. it’s very simple, is it wanted or not? Be indifferent, any other reaction is meaning. These are the basics that I’ve been over and over with you. And yes, use the listening method and do meditation so that you disidentify with your thoughts. Thoughts aren’t you. So… you need to learn to stop thinking… read Ending_OCD’s feedback about meditation…. he explains how the thoughts disappear and he is FREE to think on purpose. That’s the main process you need is to stay with a quiet mind as your default, and think only when you want to think, you notice thoughts that pop, but give them no identity, you see they are just thoughts. Until you do this, the same pattern will simply repeat in a thousand ways.

        I say again, hopefully for the last time :-)… to get rid of unwanted thought you have to not care, and remove attention, did you do that? I understand why you didn’t, you are stuck believing thoughts have meaning, they don’t, they happen depending on the meaning and attention given previously. If you need reminders, then read the article “The big picture of unwanted thoughts” over and over until it has crystallized for you, because it’s not possible for me to keep giving the same answers over and over :-)

        https://happy.guide/2013/12/11/big-picture-unwanted-thoughts

        See how Ending_OCD has really committed to the listening method and got amazing results. I recommend you do the same, and as you become rooted in awareness, just notice what pops and shrug off, ignore, anything that you don’t want. Very, very, very, very simple. Be clear and do it.

        https://happy.guide/2011/10/27/start-meditating

  24. Hi Michael, I’m curious to know if you’ve heard about/read the book called “Release The White Bear” by Bradley Thompson? It also goes into how to stop unwanted thoughts for good, but I suspect it’s much like what you talk about with the pink elephant in Happy Guide. I’ve also read on forums pertaining to OCD that another way to treat OCD is through EX/RP (Exposure and Ritual Prevention). The logic behind this method is to eliminate all fear through the use of exposure (confrontation, if you will), and stopping mental/physical rituals that only serve as temporary relief. But again, Happy Guide addresses this also. For example, I know that my unwanted thoughts are completely meaningless and nonsensical, and thus I have nothing to fear whatsoever. Being indifferent to these thoughts shows that I’m not afraid because they have absolutely no bearing on me (nothing happens). I’d say that fits under the “Exposure” treatment – realizing that there’s nothing to worry about. And once the fear is gone, the mental/physical rituals stop as well (there’s no reason to seek relief – everything is fine).

    It’s funny how the simplest remedies to a problem are translated into a science by so-called experts. Sometimes, there’s no reason to complicate things when the solution is so simple and natural.

    1. Hiya, exposure can be part of letting go of OCD, but the main thing is to remove meaning and attention. So, often, a very long chat about the whole dysfunction will help the person to see clearly how the whole thing perpetuates and is rooted in thinking incorrectly, primitive ways in which the mind works, especially with fear etc.

      I say don’t expose to a stress which triggers fear and OCD until a WIN is likely. So as we move into changing perceptions of thoughts, releasing fear around it and so on, a time comes when a person actually feels able to be in a situation which previously would have create fear and anxiety. That is the time to do it.

      A similar thing with rituals… first show the person the ritual does nothing in reality, it’s a mechanism for finding relief, a belief in something, that if performed, will prevent something bad happening. It does work, even though it’s clearly illogical. So, can we get a WIN by stopping the ritual? Yes, after a person sees the whole dysfunction, and uses intellect in various ways to deconstruct the whole dysfunction, then we are ready to stop ritual. That point will come at various times depending on the individual case.

      So, the most effective strategy, is logic… see clearly how the OCD is dysfunctional, then break the cycle by removing attention, we have already removed meaning via logic. Then exposure can happen, dropping ritual can happen but I say don’t force it, don’t try it without a likely WIN, we want to go forward not backwards.

      Once a person sees clearly, the ritual can drop by itself. Once the anxiety is gone, meaning is reframed, then the ritual is unnecessary and would seem silly to do, as it does to someone outside of the whole dysfunction looking in.

      Often, these behaviors are not part of OCD, what people sometimes call “pure O,” Like in your case I think, it’s all based in belief, fear, mind-chatter, primitive reactions to fear, anxiety etc.

      Happy Guide is about removing all causes that feed into almost every problem out there. As you mentioned earlier, nutrition is a big factor in how the mind works, a much misunderstood thing… just how important nutrition is. Biochemistry is complex, but the things we need to do are simple, but we need to be clear about what those simple things are. For example eating oily fish a few times a week is massive… provision of long-chain omega and providing one side of the balance between omega-3 and -6. The fats are the precursors of powerful hormones in the body, master hormones called eicosanoids. B12 we know is needed for myelin sheath to protect nerves. So it all matters. The Happy Guide approach is to correct all factors.

      Each factor plays it’s part, nutrition, meditation, sleep, organization, relaxation, waking up to light, many factors which gives a synergistic total transformation and auto-correct all problems.

      You experienced the power of just listening to thoughts, simple things with powerful outcomes and we we add it all together…. !!! Happiness :-)

      While I’m writing I will touch on something Teddy said earlier, that psychologists and psychiatrists say OCD can’t be cured… they do say that, and what they are saying is “our ways don’t work” !!! Of course not, for MANY reasons… do they teach meditation, do they correct nutrition, do they explain the whole dysfunction and use logic to deconstruct belief and fear? Yes, OCD CAN be easily cured, IF all the causes are addressed. Often, as in your case, the causes are ALL mind-stuff, but this can never be 100% relied on. Even food intolerances can have a severe detrimental effect on the mind, so as always, it’s a multi-pronged strategy. Medicine is split into specialities… a way that is inherently NOT holistic.

      AND, to tell a patient that what they have cannot be cured is just not helping. Remove all hope? Seriously? And you are a psychologist? Hmmm. 20 years of meditation is a good grounding for understanding psychology, textbooks? I think not, in my experience, psychology as currently practiced is ineffective which is why OCD forums etc exist, they represent a failure of medicine to deal with the issues, as is the case with all chronic illnesses.

      I haven’t read the book you mentioned, no :-)

      1. Completely agreed on the “don’t expose to a stress which triggers fear and OCD until a WIN is likely” part. It’s important to build that confidence first. Then, the person can undergo exposure treatment. I used to perform mental rituals, until I realized they were silly and not doing anything (through the use of logic and intellect, as you said). When you say “pure O”, do you mean pure obsession? That’s essentially what happened to me initially. Constant thought and worry; looking for meaning in all of the nonsense. It was mentally exhausting.

        Yes, I now truly understand how several factors play a role in our overall health. And it’s all thanks to Happy Guide. Admittedly, there was a time when I was completely ignorant of some of these things, but it makes a lot of sense. Indeed, medicine doesn’t address the root of the problem. It only alleviates/mitigates it; we want to eliminate problems altogether. This is a serious issue in modern healthcare.

      2. Pure O, yes, obsession. Looking for meaning is probably the main reason why people get in a mess. Something happens, could be a trauma, or just a random thought, and people go looking for meaning. And because attention is the volume control for thoughts, it can start an avalanche, harder and harder to control. Exhausting yes, trying to solve it by unravelling all that complexity and confusion, while actually making it all worse. The trap is set because our minds naturally give MORE attention to problems… because in nature, our problems were more often stuff where more attention helps.

        “Admittedly, there was a time when I was completely ignorant of some of these things, but it makes a lot of sense.”

        We need these simple truth embedded into our culture, as the first things taught. So easy to go astray, with terrible consequences as a result of lack of simple knowledge.

        Indeed, medicine doesn’t address the root of the problem. It only alleviates/mitigates it; we want to eliminate problems altogether. This is a serious issue in modern healthcare.

        Yes, modern “healthcare” is an utter failure in any chronic disease, in fact they make it worse, by delaying, by masking, by misinformation, by their power structures that disempower. Don’t get me started :-)

    2. “It’s funny how the simplest remedies to a problem are translated into a science by so-called experts. Sometimes, there’s no reason to complicate things when the solution is so simple and natural.”

      There are some fundamental problems in our society… one of those is that the correct solutions, as you point out, make experts redundant, so then how are they to make a living? Their very livelihood depends on it being complex. And so the forces at work will unconsciously create complexity, confusion, in order to maintain the status quo.

      If a doctor was to get all his community healthy, he puts himself out of a job, as does the dentist and the psychologist. The fact is the system does not reward competence, it rewards subversion, elitism, confusion, scamming. No expert wants you to heal yourself. And often the solutions offered keep you trapped, perhaps temporarily relieved of symptoms but without addressing causes so you keep paying for drugs that never work, and actually make the problem worse over the long term.

      Much of what passes for medicine is nothing short of a scam. One has to wonder… when eating fish has a greater success than statins, why it isn’t illegal to give these drugs? And yet we are in a situation where people are mass-medicated. The roots of this insanity lie in society’s systems, where each person is solely responsible for earning a living. The best scam is the one nobody even questions, presented as help, backed by science (funded by drug companies).

      I remember a great quote by a cancer researcher. He said “I was amazed to discover that although cancer researchers want a cure, they do not want a cure that cannot be made into a patentable drug.” The powers that be are powerful indeed, and their goals are not health, they are profit.

      1. And this is why there’s the saying, “money is the root of all evil”. It’s so true. Humanity and integrity are thrown out the window as a result.

        As for my condition, I’d say that I’m at about 95% now. Almost there, guys :).

      2. Money itself is not evil, but the pursuit of money caused by the system in which we live. I totally agree about humanity and integrity, the system brings out the worst, dog-eat-eat, instead of aligning with the best of human nature, our desire to contribute and help.

        95%, rock on!

  25. Fair enough. You’re right. The system creates corruption and greed, which are the real culprits. So Mike, did you ever have OCD? I can see that you’ve been through a lot in your life. But I truly congratulate you for persevering through all your difficulties and making it through. You are an inspiration.

    1. Wow, thanks, no I didn’t have OCD, my interest in it initially came from my friend who turned to me for advice. I could easily see deeply into his issue which was very complex, I could easily see how all the factors created a self-perpetuating state… initial trauma, fear, anxiety, dysfunctional behavior, loss of coping, more anxiety, more dysfunctional behavior etc. Then when I blogged about it, I had a lot of people write in with similar issues. All differ in their manifestations but all have the same basic dysfunctions at their roots.

      Certainly with CFS, which is itself a complex condition with many interacting factors, I had many mental issues, depression, brain fog, disorientation, suicidal thoughts, orthostatic intolerance, low energy, poor memory etc.

      Yes, it’s been a journey, and really all my suffering could have been avoided. That’s the passion that drives me, to prevent unnecessary suffering for others. And 99.9% of it, has it’s roots in the way we live. All the suffering out there from depression, OCD, diabetes, cancer, even acne :-) None of it need be suffered. The vast resources that are pumped into dealing with the aftermath of all this, if one tenth were spent on education and empowerment to put these simple causes of health in place, and for decent studies to finally nail-down optimal diet etc, it would all go away very quickly. Luckily we have the internet, and people are doing it for themselves. Slowly but surely.

      1. I think part of the problem also lies with lack of motivation/commitment/consistency. The methods of healing prescribed in Happy Guide are all natural, but they do take some work and discipline to follow. However, once mastered, maintaining the benefits becomes so easy. A lot of people want a “quick fix” to solve their problems, but I see time and again that gets them nowhere.

        You remember how in the beginning I REALLY wanted my unwanted thoughts/images to go away. I found them incredibly irritating and annoying. It was as though I was shouting at them to get lost. But that only exacerbates the disorder. Honestly, it’s the beginning of the recovery/healing process that’s the most difficult. Building up that confidence, certainty, and understanding, that what you’re going through is unnecessary and stems from falsehood (in my case) is the challenge. People get stuck here, and feel despair as a result. But by getting those small “wins” gradually, and staying committed, results begin to show.

      2. Wow, you have a great way with words, are you are writer? Very insightful too.

        You have nailed a lot of the issues with getting started there, I definitely agree with all of that, and beautifully put!

        “Building up that confidence, certainty, and understanding, that what you’re going through is unnecessary and stems from falsehood (in my case) is the challenge. People get stuck here, and feel despair as a result. But by getting those small “wins” gradually, and staying committed, results begin to show.”

        Yes, and that’s one of the main aims of the book, to create understanding, absolute clarity and belief. Then we take steps, often feeling worse at first, so difficult as you say to get started. That’s why I always stress “have faith in the finish line, keep stepping.” But tough, very tough it can be.

        I just read recently about a woman who gave up wheat and had brain fog for 4 months. I was hyperventilating for 6 weeks after quitting wheat. Tough. But we lay it all out, the finish line, and give the way… baby steps. When we’re confused and hurting, we need a guiding light, one that is absolutely rock solid sure, with no doubt, that we can have faith, to lead us back to happiness. That’s what we aim for with the book “just tell me what to do and how to do it.”

    2. Like you, many people have written in, amazed by how quickly they could turn their situation around, when it seemed so desperate and unsolvable before.

      This is one of my favorites…

      “I just wanted to say that since I read this article I have had no issues at all. What you wrote cured me and I am totally amazed by it. I am so impressed with the results, I feel totally different and peaceful. I have seen so many health professionals over my problems, but none has ever come close to the advice that you give. Thanks Mike you have honestly changed my life.”

      “Seen so many professionals”… I mean, what are these people learning!?

  26. Thanks Mike. I appreciate the compliments. I’m not a writer, but English was most certainly one of my favorite subjects in school :).

    At first, the journey may seem arduous and overwhelming; but once you get some “wins” under your belt, it gets progressively easier and becomes intuitive. I definitely suffered from this OCD. But in hindsight, I think this experience has made me into a stronger person. I’ve learned a lot from this whole ordeal.

    I’ll be sure to write a nice piece for the feedback on Happy Guide :).

  27. Hey Mike, so do you follow the exact same diet prescribed in Happy Guide? I do tend to indulge in junk food every once in a while, but for the most part I eat quite healthy. And you work out/exercise 5 times a week (monday to friday)? See, that’s something I really have to start being committed to. Once I graduate from my architectural studies this April, I’ll be hitting the gym on a frequent basis. I’m sure that by improving my nutrition and fitness plans, my healing process will accelerate.

    1. Hiya, yes Monday to Friday… 30 to 60 minute walk with my dog Max, with the odd sprint thrown in, usually up the hills, then 5-10 sets weights later on. Yes, I follow the diet, I aim to do everything as written. I’m reviewing diet info now, so there maybe some tweaks in a few months, hard to say because the things I’m looking at it’s hard to get definitive answers on e.g. optimal fish/ fish oil.

      Many people THINK they are eating healthily but if you follow the USDA pyramid, then no, you’re not :-) Grains and dairy are not natural human foods and I think nearly everyone is being hurt by them. No need to reduce sat fat now I think, and using vegetable oil to replace sat fat wildly throws out the omega-3 and -6 balance, one of the roots of chronic inflammation, which in turn, is at the roots of most chronic diseases.

      1. I’m pretty tall and lean, but I want to gain more muscle mass (ultimately resulting in gaining more weight). I’ve met lots of people who work out regularly tell me that they consume a lot of protein and have high caloric intakes. What do you think about that?

        It’s true, I THINK I’m eating healthily. The problem is that we keep hearing different things about what’s healthy and not healthy. There doesn’t seem to be a unanimous approach. I do consume some dairy. I have two yogurts and a bowl of bran & fibre cereal every day.

      2. Hiya, yes the usual way to gain is to overeat. Overeating plus training builds mass very quickly. Adding roughly an extra 500 calories will work well. Protein about 1g per pound of lean body mass if you’re training hard is plenty I think. It’s more about calories and the hormonal advantage you get from that.

        I’ve only ever done 1 mass build cycle but wow it really works, getting in the extra calories means plenty of glycogen stores as well, making you extra strong in the gym. Personally, I’m not trying to be big, just have a normal fit body. I am naturally slim and have a thin neck, so if I train too much I look kinda out of proportion :-)

        So, you can keep adding mass til you are over and above your target weight, then “cut” keeping protein same, and cutting fat and carbs back. I think “The Zone” diet is pretty much optimal for macro ratios when you are cutting.

        The ratio of protein:carbs you keep 3:4 so if you were having 120g protein, you would be having 160g carbs. At these amounts, you would be having 51g fat a day. The Zone is based on your protein needs, and then works on “blocks” to match up carbs and fat. A protein block is 7g so if you needed 120g protein, you would need 17 blocks… 51g fat.

        Yes, there’s no consensus about what is best diet wise, that’s why we look to evolution, tradition, and then science for what is best. Human foods are fruits, vegetables, starchy roots/tubers, meat/fish/eggs/shellfish etc, nuts/seeds. So these should be the mainstay of your diet. Yoghurts, butter are OK if you can tolerate dairy, milk is likely to be more problematic. Also goat’s dairy is better tolerated by some people. Not a fan of your bran and fibre.

        Be careful about how fast you add mass, otherwise you will get stretch marks that are there for good.

  28. I’ve heard mixed things about milk. Yes, in terms of its constituencies, some of it is a bit disturbing. But they say that it’s still good, overall. What’s wrong with bran and fibre? I’ve read nothing but good things about it.

    1. Grains aren’t natural human foods, lots of problems with them… can damage the digestive tract in many ways, and contain opiates that are addictive. Grains are linked with mental illnesses like schizophrenia. Also the fiber in grains is different to the fiber you get from our natural foods… fruits/veg/roots/tubers. The extracted bran of grains with added sugar plus milk is just about the worst meal one could think up :-)

      1. So you don’t drink milk or have any cereal? Also, what are your thoughts on protein powder? Because I often see people having protein shakes (protein mixed with milk) after a workout.

      2. I think cow and goat milk is best for the babies of cows and goats :-) No cereal no. I think human food is best. We use protein powder at breakfast in our diet simply because of practically of people’s lives. This is under review but is unlikely to change. Real food is always best. I never got into the whole post workout meal or anything like that to optimize muscle growth. The big stuff is to get enough protein and slightly overeat to get a hormonal advantage. I have seen guys working sooooo hard in the gym and staying skinny because they just weren’t eating enough food. No 1 is to get enough calories in and roughly the right amount of protein, and train, the rest is the little stuff and not worth stressing about imo. Actually, I remember my meal time was when I got back from the gym, so had that covered anyway :-)

  29. Hi Mike

    It’s Teddy. OCD is almost cured, and doing much better on that front. But I have a new problem in my life now and I need help. You see, when I had HOCD, I became not homophobic, because I have always been an ally of the gay community and I still am, but I myself didn’t want to appeal or seem gay. Because I was trying to prove to my OCD about my orientation, etc. (we all know how hocd works). But then I took away meaning from the hocd and over time I started to become much better (meditation helped also) until now I am almost completely cured. But I still always made sure I didn’t do anything that seemed gay. But from there this self judgement problem caused by my ocd became worse. I started judging myself on everything. Was I happy? Did I look happy? Was I socially outgoing? Or god forbid was I being shy? And I would just keep on judging myself like this. You see before my OCD I was very socially outgoing and happy and etc and I believe I still am but now I consistently judge myself on it so if I am every not being one of the centers of attention or if I am not happy I worry and get this sense of guilt. I’m just always worried I have somehow lost my old great self. But at the same time I know that I haven’t….ergh I hope I am explaining this correctly, but I think you get the general sense of this problem. How do I stop this? How do I get back to my non self judging self that I had before OCD?

    1. Hi Teddy, your old self was great, so why the self-consciousness? It’s inhibiting your natural free-flowing self. The solution is always the same — remove attention and meaning from thoughts you don’t want, stay centered by always listening to thoughts, which gives you a grounding, a powerful grounding that you can return to easily.

      You see this is hurting you, impeding you, then the penny drops and you drop it, stop doing it by simply removing attention every single time. That is the “point of letting go.”

      You have a clear memory of how you were before, so that gives you confidence that all will be okay. Now these things become habits, so we don’t expect instant change, but simply persist in removing meaning and attention in every case. Get the whole thing OFF your radar. Thing is, as soon as you look to see if it is there or not, it’s there! The very look, puts it there.

      So… stay centered, stay focused in the moment on what you are doing, if any thought about anything to do with being gay, looking gay, anything at all, instantly remove attention away. I can tell you I never think about it, so I can assure you it’s not necessary :-)

      You make something “not there” in your mind by denying it attention. No attention, where is it?

  30. May be its a tough moment for me to write this because i m writing and also fighting with my mind to not to write, Sir, I have completed my studies and now i am in a profession which reckoned all over globe. having a job in a reputed organisation. Having a perfect life which most of the person desires. but its not so i am continuously fighting with my mind to overcome ocd.

    I am having characteristics of OCD Since last 10 years i.e almost 40% of my life period is covered with ocd. i got to know that what i am doing is termed as OCD few years back when my friend shared this with me after observing my behavior. initially it was related to rituals or compulsive behavior, but as time passed it started controlling my life for almost everything i do or think to do for example, if i think that i should give a rose to my wife to please her but than suddenly a thought comes to my mind that if i do so than something bad will happen to her than i have to drop an idea to do so to safeguard her, (also to get mental peace of mind). i check the doors almost 10 times before living, however i don’t have handwashing fobia but to check the doors, to do repetitive behavior and to be more religious and a fear of doubt or guilt is covering my mind rapidly. i know with how many courage i m writing this because a thought is still coming to my mind that i will post this something bad will happen to me but with a du courage i am writing this. please help only distraction will not help me in this. i also tried exposure response and prevention at home but didnt helped me.

    Kindly suggest i have a perfect family, personal and professional life to protect.

    1. Dhirendra, you have a perfect family, personal and professional life :-)

      Your behavior is rooted in fear, and belief in illogical thoughts. Fear of loss, fear of bad things happening, and also the belief that the conscious mind is in control, has to control. This is not true even in the smallest actions, like having a conversation… someone speaks to you, you respond, but the conscious mind does nothing but allow the response to flow from the unconscious.

      What you are experiencing is the common condition really, it’s identification with thoughts, ego, and as that dysfunction plays out it can manifest in various way, OCD is one way, we can become so lost in thinking that our natural self and behavior is severely hindered.

      So you believe that your wife can be hurt if you give a rose? Imagine if a friend came to you and said that. Can you see clearly it’s just not true if you look at it as if from another person? I see it is not true, but also that the thought itself is invested with the QUALITY of belief, and it is this quality of belief that you believe. In other words, the idea has belief attached, and you are trusting that quality, whereas it is fake, dysfunctional, untrue.

      So the thought seems illogical, even to you I suspect, but yet it has belief attached, fear, so you are paralysed.

      I will just list out what I suggest for you…

      Meditation every day, depending on how much time you have it could be 5 minutes or 30 minutes, but do it every day, ideally 30 minutes. This will separate you from thoughts, from believing thoughts. It will root you in awareness of thoughts, as the witness of them, so you can see more clearly what is going on, and understand. Go here for the method…

      https://happy.guide/2011/10/27/start-meditating

      LISTENING and FLOW. This is continuing the meditation in life… you do things as normal, but retain the awareness you achieved in meditation… so you become rooted in awareness, then you can think on purpose, thoughts pop in clear space, with space around them, not mind chatter, there is dis-identification with thoughts. I general, you are doing, but not thinking (split), just aware.

      Now with each individual behavior it is good to move to the point of letting go, that is to see clearly that each habit is not serving you, is false, not true, and then you can ignore it if it repeats, because now you have a new mindset, a new belief.

      Intelligence is higher than fear… you see that it is not true that your wife could be harmed, and then you do as you wish, seeing that only the belief in the thought creates the fear, the act itself does nothing, this is all in your mind. Same with the doors.

      Rituals are a way to find relief from fear. The sufferer paralysed by fear, creates a way out by assuming a new belief that if a certain thing is done, then it will be protective. It works, it is good on the very surface level, but it doesn’t get to the roots of the behavior. So you end up with a situation when there is a certain balance of fear and ritual that allows relief but the dysfunction remains.

      So, use intelligence, collect data, opinion to see and be sure that nothing bad will happen as a result of fearful thoughts, then you can ignore the idea of them, even though they repeat, they remain for a while, but you ignore them and take the action in spite of them anyway, because you are choosing intelligently, and now see the fear for what it truly is.

      For example, you give the rose, you wife is happy, and then whenever the fear comes you shine the full light of awareness onto it and see it for what it is, a habit, a dysfunction, primitive fear, an illogical belief. Or choose not to give it but remain aware that there is fear stopping you. In other words do nothing at all to try to change the behavior but simply become aware of it, then it will drop in its own time.

      As you become more and more aware, and so disidentified, then you see thoughts forming early in your mind, and you can withdraw attention from them. And in this way, they stop coming. This SEEING, is the ultimate in transformation, then you have real choice and real insight. For that, you need to have a background of silence to notice a thought forming. So as you move forward, the mind chatter stops, and thoughts appear in isolation.

      This is being WHOLE minded, now attention is fully on all of you, you are whole, attention is not focused dysfunctionally on a thought fragment. This is a relaxed and highly functional state… whole, spontaneous, fearless. Just being yourself.

      A good idea would be to FREEZE, STOP, as soon as fear hits, and be hyper-alert for say 5 seconds just watching, STILL, wait and see what moves, see what you do. Maybe you will check doors maybe not, but watch the whole show. At some point it will drop. You may just decide to stop doing it and watch the show of what happens mentally when you do.

      So the end state is that the whole dysfunction isn’t there, and there is no awareness that it isn’t there. You move to the point of letting go using reason, logic. Then you ignore every thought about it.

      Also get the the VERY ROOTS, which is ego, it is identification with thoughts, by meditation.

      1. SIR,
        WHAT I CAN SAY? JUST THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR SUCH DESCRIPTIVE HELP. I AM GLAD TO READ ALL THIS THINGS. I WILL SURELY APPLY AND WILL GET BACK TO YOU IN ONE MONTH AFTER APPLYING LISTING, DISTRACTION AND EVERY PIECE OF ADVICE IN THIS REPLY.

        JUST WISH ME LUCK

      2. Good luck! By the way, I feel you are looking for reassurance and protection from things outside your control. This is stressful. And it’s another dysfunctional belief — the idea that if x happens, all will be well. Ponder it to see the truth, and then stop doing it because you see it has no purpose or value.

        Rather, stay in awareness and be present with whatever is happening. Then you will respond in the spontaneous and natural way. You can take action to prevent “bad things” by being proactive, there is nothing wrong in that, e.g. look after health so you don’t get sick, work so you have money and vocation, but beyond what is clear you can do, then accept what happens without reaction. Reaction means ego, conditioning, believing self to be something other than you are, and therefore defending against threats to the false beliefs. If you are just aware, then you respond authentically in the moment. If you stay aware, you’ll begin to trust that the right thoughts come at the right time. That’s a whole lot of relief. Once you are rooted in your true natural self, then really, good and bad don’t have the same meaning because YOU are always stable, grounded, independent of what is happening. And you will stop insisting things need to be a certain way or manipulating events and people to protect a false self-image.

    2. Imagine a child came to you and said “I want to give a sweet to my friend but I am scared that if I do something bad will happen.” In that situation I would say “there’s no need to worry, give it, it’s totally safe, and any time the idea comes, just remember I said it’s totally safe and ignore it, then if you do that, the idea will just stop coming. It’s just an untrue thought that you’re not sure whether to believe, but just trust me, it’s not true, you are safe.”

      Now what happens is that TRUST replaces the fear, and then experience reinforces the idea of safety, i.e. nothing bad happens.

      So, the memory of my clarity about the situation that you trust, can trump the fear. And as you keep on remembering the new truth, then the fear is appeased, satisfied.

      It’s like if I lived near lions and feared them, but then someone told me “all the lions are gone, there are no lions now.” My trust in the information allows me to release the fear. Now the fear may come by habit, but all I do is remember the new truth “there are no lions” and then I can instantly find relief. It’s doesn’t take long for the fear to stop coming once experience reflects clearly the new truth.

      1. MOST OF THE TIME I KNEW THAT THOUGHT IS NOT REAL, BUT THE INTENSITY OF FEAR RUINED MY KNOWLEDGE BUT NOW I AM VEY MUCH CLEAR AND BE SURELY APPLY YOUR ADVICE IN MY DAILY LIFE……. THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS TO GIVE A ROSE TO MY WIFE……………..HAHAHAHA

        THANKS SIR, I AM HAPPY

  31. HI Mike. I am Atul. When i wake up from sleep bad memories with some persons pops up in mind. In fraction of second i traped into endless loop of bad thoughts with person. In imagination i am fighting with that person. That negative thoughts are so strong that i am not able to break that thoughts loop. How to find solution for this problem.

    I have read “Happy Guide”. The Excellent book for self help. In happy guide you have mentioned that “Don’t ride on the bike”. But intensity of thoughts is so strong that in fraction of second it takes my control. If by mistake “Ride on the bike” then how to break this thought loop.

    Thanks
    Atul

    1. Hi Atul,

      To let anything go, first we need to reach the point of letting go. For example, if I fear lions and it’s on my mind all day, to let that go, first I need to know there are no lions anymore OR I need to know what I intend to do if one shows up. I could also change my perception about lions if the way I think about them is dysfunctional.

      So in your case, think about the outcome you want with this person… if you can’t avoid them, you might focus on some resolution where you both win, if you don’t need to see them, you might decide to simply cut off contact with them, or you might decide to wait and see what happens but give no more thought to it. Your mind won’t let you let go of something you perceive as meaningful, especially if that meaning is danger. So you need to strip it of meaning. Another way to do this is to set it for review… if you can’t think of a resolution or outcome right now, then you can say I will review it every month to see if the landscape has change. So, by DECIDING the outcome you want, your intention, you have some relief around it and then the action i.e. set for review, talk to them about your win-win idea etc becomes obvious.

      NOW you are at the point of letting go, the meaning has been taken away or changed to one that feels like relief. So now it is easy to ignore because you refer to your decision about it and let it go every time it pops up.

      Practice awareness all the time so you are aware of the space in which thought happens and thought appear within that space. So the quiet mind is your grounding. This is an incredibly powerful state to be in, it’s the only way you can find creative solutions to problems… to ask “what is the best outcome for all here” and to allow the unconscious mind to give you ideas and inspiration. If the ideas don’t come immediately, then let the question percolate but keep it active, keep wanting the answer in a calm and patient way and stuff will pop into your mind at unexpected times but you have to be able to receive, for this the mind needs to be quiet. For example sometimes people get ideas in the shower, because they are in that meditative flow state, receptive.

      Practice this method for staying aware ALL THE TIME: https://happy.guide/2011/10/27/start-meditating

      So you reach the point of letting go by deciding/creating solution, you stay aware, and you ignore thoughts you don’t want by remembering your decision and removing attention.

      Get into the habit of using the listening method as soon as your eyes open in the morning. In this way, you won’t start off diving straight into problems and staying there, because of the momentum of thoughts, the mind-chatter. Aim for a quiet mind as your grounding, always. You need to make that your HOME, always returning to that sane, peaceful, whole state of mind. THEN think powerfully if you want to.

      1. HI Mike , Thank you for replying to me.
        When i am saying about the person it can be any one ( my wife ,her family members ,my aunty ,uncle ,friends ,office colleagues ) .
        when i awake up hurtful events with these people start coming in my mind. The intensity of these thoughts is so strong that it interfere with me in my daily activities.
        I am rereading “Happy Guide” & going through the link you given to me.
        You have written “Don’t ride on the bike”. But i am automatically get ride on the bike & not able to come out from the bike.
        Thoughts is taking my Attention automatically. My question is How to break Obssesive Thoughts chain ?

        Thanks
        Atul

      2. Hi Atul,

        The more stormy and disturbed the mind is, the more the need to make it quiet. A quiet mind should be your normal state, and then thoughts come in contrast to that background of quiet. Use the listening method ALL the time, every second.

        Meditation is intense practice, definitely recommended in stormy seas. Get back to sanity, and that is a still mind, and come back to your senses… which means that your normal state is one of pure perception. This is Being Whole. Only in this state are you boss of your own mind.

        Only from this state can you “get off the bike.” You are aware, conscious, alert. A thought comes about something hurtful. You give no meaning to it, shrug it off, and return to awareness. This is what forgiveness is. The mind runs on meaning and you see its reflection in the world. So all old stuff that comes that you choose not to perpetuate, you strip it of meaning and let it go so it doesn’t repeat. If it does come again, as very hurtful thoughts tend to, then you repeat the process, and keep telling the mind it has no meaning, or the new meaning.

      3. HI Mike ,Thanks for your reply.
        I will go through the method you told me & get back to you for any further queries.

        Thanks
        Atul

      4. Perfect.

        Happiness is our natural state when we’re not giving meaning to stuff that disconnects us from that natural state. And our state affects what happens next, how life plays out. So you see how it works.

        Find a new meaning that feels good to you, and this will allow you to drop the problem. Ask yourself “what is good about this situation?” and “I would love it if… [this happens next]” then once you have a meaning and an outcome that feels good, put all your focus into having a quiet mind and when an old thought comes, remember the new ideas and return to quiet mind.

    1. You’re welcome Atul.

      I have something else for you that just came to me… if you stay with the question “what is good about this?” you might come up with some surprising insights. For example, in your situation I might think…

      It’s good because it shows me I am disconnected from myself, I am not secure in myself. It shows me I need to rely on my own connection to Being so that the fickle opinions of others don’t disconnect me, and so that I can see all the complex dynamics at play and use that insight to heal situations easily.

      It is clearly showing me that I am allowing the fickle moods of others to cause me to feel bad. I am aligning with their opinion.

      I would love it if I could

      … be emotionally independent, rock solid and unwavering in who I am.
      … practice the feeling of Being as my main objective so that I can rely on it and can’t be disconnected from who I am no matter what happens.
      … remember that any time I feel bad it means I am disconnected from who I really am.

      1. Sir,
        I have a OCD of repeatedly washing of my hands. Now it has increased in horrible ways & I have to wash all my clothes and belongings including purse also. I have to take bath three to four times a day. My life has become a hell and my family is very worried. As my place is a small town , no facilities or awareness is here except the public humiliation. My ocd begins when I shake hands or bumps with anyone or go to a restaurant or any public places. I am searching for help in net.

      2. Hi Munna,

        There are three articles I’d like you to read. They will give you a complete understanding of why these things happen, and how to remove these behaviors from your life :-)

        https://happy.guide/2013/12/11/big-picture-unwanted-thoughts
        https://happy.guide/2012/06/01/unwanted-thoughts

        Finally, this last one was originally written in reply to someone who was experiencing fear after watching a scary movie. But in it, Mike explains how the mind works, and what happens when we react to something with fear. Very important information…

        https://happy.guide/2011/12/07/irrational-fear

        Please have a read through of all three Munna and let me know if there’s anything you need clarity on.

        Best wishes,
        James

  32. Your article has cured me of hocd but now I am stuck on something with what I think is worst than hocd. Now I have thoughts of being transsexual or transgendered. Of course, back in the day I never ever consider any of these thoughts. Of course, those thoughts randomly and suddenly popped up 2 days ago and my head is killing me right now. I’m at a war with a voice that is so powerful it has made me sick to my stomach right now. What helped reassured me about hocd is usually people who are truly gay knows that they were in the beginning, they just don’t suddenly think they are. I don’t know about the transsexual thing; mine happened randomly. One day out of the blue, wouldn’t a transgender person know since they were little that something was wrong instead of popping it out of the blue 20 years later? What are your thoughts? I have a feeling this is ocd all over again.

    1. Hi Clor91, yes I think it’s the same thing as the HOCD that went away when you stopped caring and giving it attention. It’s the MEANING part that creates all the trouble eh? “WHAT DOES THIS THOUGHT MEAN?” Am I? “Let’s investigate and care a whole lot.” And of course when you fear something, your mind runs the fear program, just the same as if you saw a lion and that is a powerfully altered state that causes the mind and body to function in a a fight or flight way which helps with lions, but not with fear about gender… it’s highly dysfunctional, as you are finding out.

      That’s why the cure is so simple… if you stop caring, you stop fearing, if you stop paying attention, thoughts stop coming. And because it’s only been a couple of days, they will go very quickly. The key is to stay clear in your mind that it’s all just rubbish, don’t question it for a moment, just see it as laughable that it’s happening, because for a moment, you got confused, that’s all it was. Now consistently shrug off any thought about it as rubbish, like you did with the HOCD. And for your whole life, you now know the power of meaning and attention, so you can make sure you don’t get confused again.

  33. Hi Michael,

    I have been suffering from this disease since my childhood. Once when I was a kid, I got thoughts regarding deaths and felt everything will go on death and my happiness will go. AFter that day I used to think that I should organize this if i want to feel good or something from my mind says “you will only feel good when you organize slippers” otherwise things will not be good. Then I used to feel some sexual thoughts about my mother that come only to disturb me or somthing that I used to avoid by convincing my mind please don’t do this or I will do this but don’t give me this thought.

    Then I grew up and i didn’t remember much. Then when I was in ninth standard I was very studious, then I met a guy who told me that he forgets things due to an accident and can’t perform in studies like me. Then I used to feel that one mind is in me who is controlling me and saying “you have to do this to not forget. You are forgetting everything now as he is.” I used to remember that guy’s image and getting feeling “you forgot.”

    Then I used to felt anxious. Same thing used to happen when I used to give exam. Suddenly I used to feel that one of my mind controlling and ordering me you forgot and I used to convince it “please don’t do this” and I had to convince my mind to not forget.

    I used to feel as if two peoples in me are fighting.

    After that i promoted to tenth standard. There I was considered studious and I aimed at cracking a competitive exam that is for searching the talent. But I felt that with that extra mind telling and redirecting to forget everything I can’t do this. So I tried controlling that mind by convincing in different different ways, pressurizing myself.

    Abusing that extra person in me who does negative to me. And telling and trying to feel always that now that’s good and I will not listen to this mind. Trying to curb that negative feeling that I used to feel my mind is giving but that again used to come with lot thoughts. But I tried remaining doing my work by controlling realizing that I have to crack no matter. I had to fight a lot to concentrate. Concentration was difficult for me. I performed well in that exam. After that however there were my school exams. I couldn’t control my
    concentration. I got average marks. I performed very bad according to what I used to perform and what was I expected off due to the bad concentration. Fighting convincing, trying to feel one thing etc.

    Now my disease got worsened and I performed very bad in my other school exam also. I kept trying to convince and feel “things will be like this etc.” I am feeling this and not that my other mind is giving me. And constantly I used to be in 24 hrs fight. Used to roam around for hours convincing. Eat a lot irregularly anything anytime thinking. Started washing hands a lot fearing germs. Started checking if the gas knob is switched off or not again and again. Checked locks a lot whether it’s locked or not. I used to assure myself that this is correct.

    And in all these activities I used to get intrusive thoughts in between and used to think “since this intrusive thought has come then only you are able to feel the lock is locked otherwise you never had.” Then I have to again convince myself no i could have done this without the intrusive thought also and tried to feel “what would have been my state if intrusive thought didn’t came and how had I convinced myself. Also trying to lock it again and stopping intrusive thought in between and convincing that I am am doing this without the thought. Then the thought again used to come and disturb me and I was in constant cycle of thought and stuck at feeling the door locked, hands washed etc.

    Then I was taken to doctor by my father seeing my activities. Doctor diagnosed me with OCD and gave me medications. I started using medicines “fluvoxamine.” In college after lot of frustrations one fine day stop attending to those impulses of locking again ,washing hands again and checking my stove by overly checking one day and stressing a lot and ignoring completely whatever thought come to my mind to make them check again. I don’t check stove,wash hands or check locks anymore.

    Now I have been using those medications for these 7-8 years and still have those unwanted thoughts coming and ruining me. Interfering my life. Though I became a computer engineer between all these and doing a job. But I am generally anxious, busy with my mind, not able to do things properly. There may be lot of issues regarding this thing in me I am discussing one big problem with you. Please help or advice.

    The one big problem I am facing is this:
    One problem that I face whenever I try to follow advice, try to avoid certain thoughts that I generally fight with my mind feeling that second person or mind will order me again. When I gets thought tries to avoid it then I feel my second mind has ordered me to do this as this thought is helpful then I think if it’s helpful, Then I feel its helpful, then I feel very anxious as i feel that “second mind” will come into picture as it is the one that identified the useful thing for me.

    I will be slave of that and have to be obsessed as only this thing has resulted in something helpful that is also helpful in getting rid of OCD. So to get rid of OCD, second mind will be ordering things. Actually I feel that every situation now I will be obsessed of thinking something as second mind directs. Then I get into the fight that I would have done this thing without the second mind, I would have not thought that thing and have still felt good or I would have done this without the second mind ordering.

    Then I get the fight that I should not feel that first mind second mind and feel what has happened good and then try to feel that no second mind just I did it. And I try to feel without the direction obsession How could i feel that thing.

    Then I feel stuck in this thing, my mind completely engaged not able to go ahead with anything else and just stuck and even can’t get the conclusion of this two minds thing. Then I gets the intrusive thoughts or some unwanted thought. Then will feel what the hell leave everything. “We will see it later”. But now I starts feeling that these intrusive thoughts help in breaking the cycle, the stuck cycle. So they should keep coming to you. Then I will again think that how I would have done this without this intrusive thought and avoided that second mind first mind thing.

    Now the situation is more complicated as you can see.and i am stuck for hours. Sometimes a situation occurs when I feel not anxious but I can’t exactly tell what is happening. I think I feel as if I am stuck in my mind and feeling nothing is happening and rather trying to place a thought in my mind or trying to convince my obsession or second mind I don’t know much and getting intrusive thought after that.

    Then I think OK don’t care but when I am again going ahead feels like I should think what happened there and why I am not good there and trying to feel the whole situation again and what should have I done to prevented that situation which is heavily anxious affair.

    I may or may not engage in that but if I engage and could feel something satisfactory again the same thing “It happened because I/you get through that anxious affair” and i feel anxious as if “I will have to be anxious of every situation to think that situation perfectly.” Sometimes I feel I have accused that second mind and then feeling occurs in me “How could you do that and bring that first mind/second mind thing feeling anxious” as if I aroused that second mind.

    Please help. How I should get rid of all these things. One more thing while writing in the end I felt after writing up to anxious in the last line that OK that’s enough but was constantly feeling the urge that I am missing important point then I didn’t wanted to think and convincing myself it’s enough but then couldn’t convince about that missing point then felt urge to write that missing point felt little anxious
    then got the thought “if aroused that second mind”. Now I am confused that I should not stop and feel something to perfectly think the situation that is causing OCD.

    As I am writing all these I am getting some thoughts and forgot them but then I get the urge to think what exactly happened there so that I can write to you perfectly about and get my disease perfectly dealt with. But then I try not to think of all these and leave whatever I wrote and try to think “nothing will happen by writing all and these thing will go like this only and convince actively “its enough”.” It happens like this only”. and feel guilt, anxiousness. Then think I have written one more scenario by feeling anxious and guilt. While in all these I tried to avoid and trying to feel enough then I thought “no I will complete it” feeling forcing myself while I tried to avoid it.

    I am pressurizing myself OK that’s enough and that’s done like this. Trying to feel I have written enough.
    While I am about to post this I am got a feeling “I don’t need all such advice from you and don’t need posting this” but may be I am posting due to my forcing and obsessive mind feeling anxious and getting stuck no “OK I am trying this no obsessive mind in picture”. Then I again tried to get into that obsessions that “obsessive mind helps and is good”. Then I avoided the thought and tried feeling it’s not obsessive actually I need this and that’s why i am posting it. That obsessive mind feeling has nothing to do with it.

    I am again trying to convince that I have not written that much due to no obsessions. Could have written good parts without obsessions also but feeling I have written this much due to obsession and any solution you give I will be using that due to obsessions and means continuous obsessions. so I have to convince myself that this much writing for solution was required and I could do it without obsessions and then again intrusive thoughts etc. I am bored of now all these.

    Please help me to get rid out of this constant fights and start afresh.
    Pardon my english or broken sentences.

    1. Hi Vaibhav,

      The first thing you should do is read Happy Guide, which will put your issues in the correct context of your whole lifestyle. The mind is not separate from the body in its function but needs a healthy brain. A healthy brain relies on a good diet, sleep, exercise etc to function optimally. This applies to every chronic problem whether it is OCD or arthritis.

      Happy Guide also has the specific tools you need to understand how to run your mind on a psychological level, and how to step out of the mind’s habits and reassert your control over it… to think or to stop as you choose, to be conscious.

      You are trapped in believing your thoughts, and looking for meaning in them but thoughts are essentially meaningless, or rather, they have the meaning you give. This is explained in detail here…

      https://happy.guide/2013/12/11/big-picture-unwanted-thoughts

      It is understandable that you have separated disturbing aspects of your thought-habits into a separate mind, but it is probably going to be more healing for you to rapidly and consistently enter the witnessing state of awareness of thoughts, and simply decide whether any thought is worthy of meaning and more attention or not. This is a highly stable, sane and functional way to live.

      The simple method of witnessing is here…

      https://happy.guide/2011/10/27/start-meditating

      So as you follow all the tips in Happy Guide, start to look after your body and run your mind as you should do for sanity, your experience will quickly shift. Your sense of SELF will quickly shift from seeing thoughts as inherently meaningful, to seeing thoughts as simply information that is to be ignored as unhelpful, or pondered further if you choose. And as you maintain this witnessing state, rooted in a true sense of self, then your unconsciousness mind is able to function, there is space for it to give you the right thoughts at the right time. There starts to be a natural and harmonious functioning of the mind.

      Being in the witnessing state is a higher state of consciousness, where old thought habits do not run on automatically. Each thought is seen in isolation and dealt with appropriately in a way that is most helpful to you. The mind identified state is very stressful in that you are searching for meaning and self in thoughts and trying to control on that level… on the level of thought. What you need to do with some urgency is step out of thinking and into awareness, the witness. That is where your true power really is, where you have the power to choose what meaning and attention is given, rather than believing the disturbance of your mind has inherent meaning.

      Also, when we return to a healthy sense of self, we are in tune with feelings as being more helpful than thoughts. The thought is mere data whereas the feeling tells you the truth of what it means from the larger, bigger, you. So healthy, natural functioning is about return to a true sense of self, learning to function and trust yourself, and looking after your physical body so that the physical brain can function well. For this, we need to physical habits day-to-day that support the best long-term health and healing. That can only happen when we are in the best habits, you have to know and repeatedly do the best things for yourself physically.

      Have a read of Happy Guide first of all to get a really clear total picture of what true health means, as well as having all the tools to confidently move into it.

  34. Hi Michael
    I tried meditating your way but having a bit difficulty.I was in office and was trying to meditate listening to songs.But then I was running with thoughts that you are meditating because this thought that means this thought will remain in you even after you feel good and meditated because you become more foccused as this thought pops in.Secondly I suddenly got that thought that there is work pending and you are suposed to do that though i didn’t wanted to give a shit about work at that time but it was urging and highly logical and saying me meditation should not be done here.its bad.do your work.Then I kept thinking how I should have avoided that particular thought.Then some sexual images and then again I thought how I should meditate without the work etc. to get out of all these shit but then the feeling again that you did this because you got sexual thoughts and got more focussed on meditating.so meditation is because of these thought and now you are doing your work due to that work thought only.You are writing due to the urge given by the thoughts.What should I think or do in this case.

    1. Hi Vaibhav,

      The listening method can be used for extended and intense sit-down meditation, or anywhere, any time for a few seconds to stay centered in awareness, stay boss of the mind. As you are now separated from thoughts, you begin to see them as “not me” over time, as you continue.

      And you begin to see that a lot of what comes is just madness, so being “not me” is good! Seeing the madness means you simply let go of what is not useful. The mad thoughts are due to momentum of past thoughts but as you continue, as I said, the mind comes into a natural functioning, a wholeness.

      In the book, it mentions flow as meditation in action, so whatever you are doing can be meditation. You center in awareness, then focus on the task, and there is a natural flow that happens when the mind is not split between what you are doing and what you are thinking… thought and action become one happening, like the example of the child playing I give in the book.

      So as you continue, you see all the old thoughts, the mad thoughts, they have no meaning, they are just rubbish, static, easily let go of. At first, you may still be looking for meaning, but as you persist, you really start to see thoughts for what they are and so they lose their sting… you remain rooted in awareness, stable, centered.

      You can use listening for the next thought to pop in all the in between moments, and use your activities to practice flow, meditation in action. Please read the book, all this is explained in there.

  35. Hi Michael,
    I am having a trouble sometimes when trying to distract.Yesterday When I was trying to distract I couldn’t So I told to myself that sitting mediatation will improve the distraction.don’t worry.meditate tommorrow and it will be corrected and I tried to feel How meditation will .I was saying this to me again and again.However When today morning I tried to meditate I felt this way you will be addicted to meditation as you were not able to distract with the situation at that time and just telling about meditation.And felt very negative about meditating because it will be a addiction.Then I wanted to meditate so I tried to assure myself that but meditation will only improve your control and i should meditate and then I thought I should have rather controlled myself that time and distracted well without thinking about meditation and tried to feel what should have happned etc and then those various unwanted thoughts in between and all.Meditation should be a help and not that becomes addiction.Faced very much difficulty in trying to convince myself to meditate and meditated.Now after that I was again struck into some thoughts when coming to office so I again thought in the end that meditation will take care.However got to remember the morning situtation so I thought just distract without thinking about meditation.I felt its good to not think about meditation and just distract.However Now I am anxious about the thing that dificulty that happened in morning about meditation negativity was good and due to that only I am able to think about not getting meditation in between and trying to distract.its only after the urge to think about that thing you are getting benifitted and this thing will keep happening.What should I do or think now?Please help urgently.

    1. Also I try to establish the fact in between that I had not benefitted due to this and how i would have handled the situation very well if this negative feeling about meditation had not happened or what would have i done.its all rubbish.

    2. Hi Vaibhav,

      You will certainly come to love, even crave meditation, because it becomes like an oasis of calm in contrast to an out-of-control mind, the monkey-mind, always jumping about. Simply set the intention to meditate every morning… 20 or 30 minutes a day will have an amazing effect, and all you need to do is stay consistent with it, whatever happens in your life, whether one day you feel calm and another, stormy, you just keep consistent with your practice.

      Now in life, you are aiming to get into a natural flow state by making everything meditation, whatever you are doing, you simply do it with full awareness, with a quiet mind, aware of thoughts that pop. If a rubbish thought comes, you simply ignore it. Since at the moment, you are having a lot of mind-chatter, nearly all thoughts are to be let go of. So you give full attention to what you are doing, not split minded, notice thoughts, let them go. Useful ones will be obvious and you will notice that the quieter your mind gets, the more useful thoughts are… the mind starts to function naturally and harmoniously again and thoughts come with surprising impeccable timing.

      1. HI
        Micahel.I don’t know but i am feeling that i don’t have any particular obsessions as such for washing hands,checking gas,or trying to come out of any particular sexual obsession.Its just that I when get into some special feeling then I suddenly looses control of my moment and don’t know what i am doing.Then feel sexual images ,sometimes keep washing hands as i loose or forget what i did just before and how.So try to feel that i was ok in that moment and things were ok but can’t as i lost control of the present situation.The wierd feeling is generally the result of doubt or guilt because I doubt myself of the thing thats i am doing.For eg. I was following your advice of don’t care and ignore but 1) couldn’t continue because i was having lot trouble in ignoring things.sometimes i felt as if i am only trying to ignore by thinking,and was feeling good but i got doubt that the method I am following is not good.Then the doubt and mental rituals of i am doing it right or not.Then I thought that only way to ignore thing is not about mental but doing things and got guilt that i am doing it wrong way by ignoring by thinking.Then thought ignoring in thinking is important as it is the first thing you can do and rather I can improve my method.But then again and again feeling not a good way etc. and trying to debate and trying to impose feelings of wrong and right and the best way.In such situations i gets stuck completely if i do not get any solution as I feel I couldn’t follow the advice and couldn’t continue to ignore and don’t care as I am not able to don’t care this particular feeling as I feel high importance about this feeling and tries to sort out and continue.Also as I try to ask things from you about these I feel that I know and its just my obsession that is causing all these things and if i get any help from you I will be forced about such important perfections and I will need to make attention to such feelings.Otherwise I just need to ignore whatever.and that can be first done by mental attitude.But my thoughts and urges were driving me crazy.After that lot of lot of things and sometimes felt the thing is important sometimes not.and the whole process may involve a lot of detachment from my present and those wierd behaviours.
        Now After I have a doubt that I am following your advice for ocd but i am not.So your advice of ignoring,meditaion is not going to work and i am doing wrong.Then I also try to establish that I am an ocd or not or what I need to do etc etc.I also thought that whatever I can always try your advice first and then if its not working then go with the things of asking from you.And highly doubtful weather I am supposed to ask from you or not blah blah.I think I am completely detached from reality again and need someone to make me understand things.

        So I need advice from you weather its ocd or not or if not or if yes should i still follow your advice of meditation and ignoring things or should I not follow any advice.Again I am feeling stuck in circle as the only thing i know is to ignore things but I am again doubtful about that particular thing and I need advice from you what I need to do ?should I continue ignoring and mediatation or what?
        I think I will not be able to sign the pact with myself because I am having doubt about weather i am having the illness in order to choose your mechanism or if yes should I have clear don’t care attitude in my mind or have to have something etc.
        Most importantly I have to write this post after lot of thinking,mentally ignoring and trying to satisfy that I don’t need to write anything to you as I can sign the pact but couldn’t due to the doubt weather i require it or not,then lot of mental rituals of if I got the right answers from you then I may have to again fall into a thinking loop or after writing this I had to satisfy myself why I wrote this.Also I don’t require to ask anything from you.Actually I am quite confused satisfying myself my anxieties,preventing my thoughts,feelings etc. for this particular doubt weather I am ocd or not or do i actually require to adhere to the guidelines of ignoring thoughts.I am also having fear while posting this that after posting I will be relieved of a huge tension,the doubt but then I may have to fall in a thinking loop of why it happened and weather it was required or not.Why you got relieved of tension by just writing a post and able to carry on and even ignore and meditate just after writing the post that means it was just plain doubt and obsession but then I again try to establish that I can ignore and meditate without even writing the post.
        And try the thing.Lot of confusion and doubt.Also tell me What should I do in such situations?
        I am anxious,confused trying mentally lot of things and also tell me did i really required to ask this thing from you?or i could have continued ignoring and meditation.

      2. “It’s just that I when get into some special feeling then I suddenly lose control of my moment and don’t know what I am doing.”

        Full on loss of awareness, the opposite of what you’re aiming for. But the awareness of the loss of consciousness is actually good… you notice you lost it. The trick is to set your intention to notice what pops into your mind. That means an alert presence. It’s very simple in theory. In practice it takes time to master but with time, your awareness and sense of self become extremely stable, and your mind functions better, naturally. The clear mind is connected to the unconscious, and allows the unconscious to flow properly… even when you talk to someone for example, the clearer this connection, the better your words will be. Just giving this example to illustrate that the unconscious is where it happens, you don’t consciously formulate a flow of words, they form from the unconscious to the conscious. The less mind-chatter going on; separation or resistance to the unconscious flow, then the better you will function as a whole person.

        “Sometimes keep washing hands as I lose or forget what i did just before and how.”

        Behaviors like this are about relief from the feeling of being out of control. They work in the context of the dysfunction in giving a little temporary relief because they can anchor a known state, are meditative in nature, and allow you to “reset” by shifting focus onto a habit flow and away from disturbing mental activity. By practicing awareness, you essentially remove the need for relief by staying IN relief, all the time.

        So try to feel that I was ok in that moment and things were ok but can’t as i lost control of the present situation.

        Knowing clearly the solutions I am giving you in itself will give a lot of relief if you can “get it.” Knowing the clear path out of hell — what a relief to understand clearly you are on that path, that the path is right and works, even if you aren’t out yet, just knowing it is coming and coming fast will get rid of much stress. Being in pain but not knowing how to relieve yourself of pain adds another layer of pain.

        The wierd feeling is generally the result of doubt or guilt because I doubt myself of the thing thats i am doing.For eg. I was following your advice of don’t care and ignore but 1) couldn’t continue because i was having lot trouble in ignoring things.sometimes i felt as if i am only trying to ignore by thinking,and was feeling good but i got doubt that the method I am following is not good.Then the doubt and mental rituals of i am doing it right or not.Then I thought that only way to ignore thing is not about mental but doing things and got guilt that i am doing it wrong way by ignoring by thinking.Then thought ignoring in thinking is important as it is the first thing you can do and rather I can improve my method.But then again and again feeling not a good way etc. and trying to debate and trying to impose feelings of wrong and right and the best way.In such situations i gets stuck completely if i do not get any solution as I feel I couldn’t follow the advice and couldn’t continue to ignore and don’t care as I am not able to don’t care this particular feeling as I feel high importance about this feeling and tries to sort out and continue.

        The process is simple: Give full attention to what you are doing with a quiet mind. Notice a thought pop, simply notice it, return to your doing with a quiet mind. Your mind is very disturbed so the more disturbed, the greater the need for meditation. If a thought seems important then you have to find a way to release it… what is the outcome you want? Is there anything you can DO now, later? If not, set it for review so you can release it. If there is no obvious solution, then setting for review allows the mind to relax into a state where solutions can come as inspired thoughts. When you feel out-of-control as you do, then first urgent need is for a clear, stable “no-mind.” That is achieved by an alert “listening,” watching. You are not to do anything with thoughts generally during the settle period other than stay alert and simply notice, with high intensity. If you want mud to settle in a pond, first, stop stirring.

        Also as I try to ask things from you about these I feel that I know and its just my obsession that is causing all these things and if i get any help from you I will be forced about such important perfections and I will need to make attention to such feelings.Otherwise I just need to ignore whatever.and that can be first done by mental attitude.

        Most problems are all in the mind, created by thinking. If nothing bad happens if there is no thought, then the problem only exists in the mind. E.g. if I ignore the lion, he might eat me = real problem. What happens if your thoughts disappear? Is there still a problem? If not, you can safely ignore all thoughts to cause them to disappear off your radar in time.

        But my thoughts and urges were driving me crazy.

        When we create turmoil and fear enters as we feel loss of control, a downward spiral can happen that is very unpleasant. Fear itself causes the mind to function in ways that are not conducive to calm, rational, functional thinking. Begin with an intense “reset.”

        Now After I have a doubt that I am following your advice for ocd but i am not.So your advice of ignoring, meditation is not going to work and i am doing wrong.Then I also try to establish that I am an ocd or not or what I need to do etc etc.I also thought that whatever I can always try your advice first and then if its not working then go with the things of asking from you.And highly doubtful weather I am supposed to ask from you or not blah blah.I think I am completely detached from reality again and need someone to make me understand things.

        Doubt itself is an obstacle, preventing full effort to practicing “flow” and intense listening to thoughts popping/meditation. Doubts should ideally be addressed and moved through, although faith can ignore doubt. I.e. if you have faith in the method and see doubt as only part of the dysfunction, the faith trump doubt. If not, then doubt should be addressed to allow you to ignore. It’s hard to ignore what you see as important, and urgent, and threatening. So faith would be “Ah, someone whose opinion I totally trust sees this better than I do, so I will just follow that, and then get the result, which will prove I was right to trust.” Doubt has to be defeated one way or the other… by new understanding (often difficult in OCD because the dysfunction is deeply rooted and feels real) or faith/trust.

        So I need advice from you whether its ocd or not or if not or if yes should i still follow your advice of meditation and ignoring things or should I not follow any advice.

        I don’t know enough about your specific case to comment, so can only talk generally about these things. Meditation is one of the most powerful transformation methods because it essentially allows you to step out of identification and belief in thoughts. Ignoring what you don’t want to be there, is valid, OCD or not. If the problem disappears if the thought is gone, you can safely ignore.

        Again I am feeling stuck in circle as the only thing i know is to ignore things but I am again doubtful about that particular thing and I need advice from you what I need to do ?should I continue ignoring and meditation or what?

        Yes, continue. Keep coming back to a quiet mind, make that your stable “home.” Then you won’t get too lost, and lose the present moment.

        I think I will not be able to sign the pact with myself because I am having doubt about weather i am having the illness in order to choose your mechanism or if yes should I have clear don’t care attitude in my mind or have to have something etc.

        What stops you letting go of what you are holding, making it disappear, not there? The answer to that will reveal the fear or dysfunction that needs understanding or faith applied to it to release it.

        Most importantly I have to write this post after lot of thinking, mentally ignoring and trying to satisfy that I don’t need to write anything to you as I can sign the pact but couldn’t due to the doubt whether i require it or not, then lot of mental rituals of if I got the right answers from you then I may have to again fall into a thinking loop or after writing this I had to satisfy myself why I wrote this.

        Ues, it can be hard to “sign the pact.” Can I really ignore the thing my mind says is HIGHLY important? This is what I call reaching the point of letting go. “Signing the pact” is done at that point i.e. “I am now ready and feel safe to totally ignore all this and make it not there.”

        I am anxious, confused trying mentally lot of things and also tell me did I really required to ask this thing from you? Or I could have continued ignoring and meditation.

        You can’t be happy if you feel there is a “problem” that needs solving. That has to be resolved so that you can let it go. You have to reach that point. See… what happens if you were unable to think any thought about your issue… does anything bad happen? What is the outcome you want? What can you do? What prevents you ignoring every single thought about it from now on? If you can’t let go or think of a solution, then can you set it for review in a week, a month? How can you let go? What needs to be in place… a doubt resolved, a new understanding, a trusting, a setting for review, a clarity of outcome or intent? Work it so that you can release it for good by finding out what is stopping you. Often with OCD, the dysfunction is complex and needs an outside therapist to see and explain how the dysfunction is cyclical, fed by thinking and anxiety. Your case though, appears simpler, but if you cannot see it, cannot reach the point of letting go yourself, then get help from a therapist who can move you to the point of letting go.

  36. I came to this website and i think in case of OCD and pure O Ocd. i am completely agree with your thinking Michael. The most big problem for ocd and pure o ocd is to let this thoughts for what they are. I think in my case , i had pure o ( still have but less ) is to let that thoughts and feelings go. Once i think you reach that target to let the thought go you are free of OCD and pure o ocd. I think you can only reach this target by distraction. In my case when i am on holiday and i have distraction i have no problem of Pure o anymore and how do this come? Distraction you are on holiday.
    The problem i still have Michael is how can we keep these unwanted thoughts as normal. I mean when can we reach that point so that do not bother me.
    I always talk to my friend and he had no ocd but he tells me i have also sometimes aggressive thoughts but they not interesting me. They make me no anxious, they do not bother me. You see if you ask to other people everyone have unwanted thoughts but they do not stuck on it. I think that the anxious/guilty level of someone make the sense if you stuck on unwanted thoughts.
    If you are anxious ( in my case i am an anxious/sensitive person ) the chance is bigger to stuck on unwanted thoughts with the result that you can get OCD.
    I look when i walk on the street , why to this people do not have unwanted thoughts because i think they are not focused on it.
    I think and i asked to all the bloggers here, look when you became an ocd or pure ocd sufferer. In most cases i think in a difficult , stressed are down period. In this period you are sensitive to negative feelings and once you are struggle on in it became obsessive.
    So i can understand that an antidepressant could help at that moment to control OCD but you need to work on it , distraction , distraction , distraction so that your brain can rewired. Once your brain is rewired with positive distraction OCD is cured.
    What do you think Michael ? is my way of thinking correct?
    Greeting Rudi

    1. Yes Rudi, I think you are correct. Very insightful. The key is consistency, to keep having a don’t care attitude and ignore them, just the same way you do with anything you don’t care about. As you say, other people are having unwanted thoughts but they are not giving them meaning, or looking for meaning, they are just shrugging them off. Once fear, trauma, feeling out-of-control comes into the picture, it’s harder because the mind functions differently with fear. BUT the answer is still the same… you use intelligence to override the fear, because you see it has no value. These articles will be helpful to you…

      https://happy.guide/2011/12/07/irrational-fear/ This explains how the mind works differently when there is fear.

      https://happy.guide/2013/12/11/big-picture-unwanted-thoughts/ A lot of detail about the whole issue of unwanted thoughts, e.g. what to do with lingering thoughts, the lifestyle connection, your mood, etc.

  37. Hi mike, ocd isn’t really a problem anymore but something else is. I just always care so much about what people think about me. If an embarrassing moment happens in my life (which really doesn’t happen often, I’m a leader and people generally don’t embarrass leaders) but still it happens sometimes. And I just freak out about what the other people think about me but I don’t want to. So please tell me how to just not care about what people think about you, it would make my life so much easier

    Thanks

    Teddy

    1. Hi Teddy, I think it’s symptomatic of identification with thoughts and thus, an insecure sense of self. If you’re living the Happy Guide way, then you’ll be rooted in your true self, by always being aware of thoughts, and so not identifying with them. This is really the only way to have a secure sense of self, because to identify with any temporary status causes you to defend against threats to that precarious sense of self, and overly caring about what others think is part of that.

      When you do feel secure in yourself, then you will feel free from the opinions of others, and be more light-hearted about everything really. Being rooted in your true self is a highly functional state, a state of wholeness, without the usual split between what is happening and your thoughts. Thoughts and action become aligned, united, authentic, integrated… you have true integrity.

      This is really how you truly RE-PRESENT yourself.

      So, a natural happy state, spontaneous, carefree is allowed by looking after your body and staying rooted, connected. The whole Happy Guide system is about creating that state. 99% of problems, including this one, have the same root causes.

      So every moment, you stay in awareness of thoughts using the listening method and in this way, stay whole and aligned with yourself, not split. And then whatever thoughts come, or whatever happens, you notice it fully and let it go. If you notice that you got embarrassed, or that you cared a lot about someone’s opinion, then you just notice that, and then go back in the highly alert state of wholeness that means you respond in the best way possible anyway.

      The solution to any dysfunction created by loss of consciousness… i,e, ego, a false sense of self, is to simply become more conscious, to separate yourself OFF from thoughts.

      It’s very freeing to not become your thoughts, to not see self in them, to see them for what they are. Follow the Live in the Moment chapter and the rest too, so that your body is at its best and your stay free of attachment to thoughts.

      Bringing the light of AWARENESS to thought habits, patterns, ego, etc is the way to move past them. Awareness is like a fire that burns off anything that isn’t really you.

  38. Hey Mike!

    How’s it going? Long time no talk. I thought I’d just drop by here and say that I’m finally CURED of HOCD (and OCD altogether). In tandem with your methods from Happy Guide, I also underwent CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) in the form of ERP (Exposure & Response Prevention) with a therapist for 4.5 months. To truly beat HOCD, I had to confront my worst fears head on. Fight or flight simply doesn’t work, because doing so means presenting those unwanted thoughts as “red flags” to your brain. When something is presented as a red flag, your brain will naturally try to protect you as a defense mechanism by having you see it all the time to make you worry. But this is all faulty messaging being sent by the brain. Understanding that is one of the keys to curing oneself from OCD.

    While I did suffer a lot from my HOCD, in hindsight, this whole ordeal made me stronger. I’m more confident, clear, and certain, in what I am than ever before. Yes, I AM a straight man, and always have been and will be. It’s simply not possible to become gay. There’s no “hidden” self to discover later on in life. Sexual orientation IS a biological fact determined at birth. There’s all this garbage on the internet of sexual orientation being fluid and being a choice. No, that’s not how it works at all. If that was really true, wouldn’t we be seeing straight people turning gay and vice versa? How come that never happens? Because it’s simply BS.

    Anyways, life is good again! I’m able to enjoy it without any hindrances/inhibitions. It’s just fantastic. If anyone has any questions for me, I’d be more than happy to answer them :).

    Ending_OCD

    1. Hiya Ending_OCD, great to hear from you, especially now you’re cured! Wooo hoooo! :-)

      “When something is presented as a red flag, your brain will naturally try to protect you as a defense mechanism by having you see it all the time to make you worry. But this is all faulty messaging being sent by the brain. Understanding that is one of the keys to curing oneself from OCD.”

      BINGO, absolutely true, what you fear you see everywhere. I’ve actually written about this here…

      https://happy.guide/2011/12/07/irrational-fear

      I see OCD as essentially dysfunctional fear which causes the mind to run the “fear program” in ways that evolved in nature with dangers like lions or whatever. It works well with those dangers, but not when we watch horror movies, or fear a thought (like “Am I gay?”!), or fear something we can’t escape from e.g. social situations.

      So OCD develops and morphs in various forms of very unpleasant dysfunction as the sufferers tries to grapple with a natural function of the mind working dysfunctionally. And so it morphs into even more strangeness unless there is wise counsel around to explain what is happening, which can provide relief immediately and side-track a lot of the effects immediately just by providing that relief of understanding and a clear guide for what to do about it. All forms of OCD that James and I have helped people with are caused by dysfunctional fear.

  39. Hi Micahel
    Its vaibhav here again.
    Please help me. I am feeling lot of anxious.Today i talked to one of my friend about my problem.I had a specific situation where I felt in a circle despite being committed tommorrow to not give importance and ignore.However I felt as I forgot some thought that was important and as I forgot I got the urge to remember.And then I felt unwanted sexual thoughts have to be here and they are coming.Felt very guilty after that,then trying to establish How the sexual thoughts was not important.Finding ways to get out of that.Thought its habit.But then a thought came saying How can you be sure its habit problem as i was feeling guilty as I thought everything.Then to come out of this I felt “you knew thought was not important and those unwanted just came after that.but you knew it.But I felt i am trying to feel a mental ritual so i should rather stop that.and just leave and then I tried to establish the link between two thoughts and it kept thinking.
    One of my friend suggested me these ways.He was aware of both things my committment and the situation of morning I explained him.
    1.nothing is wrong/write.
    2.I said him I felt I feel at the time of ignoring I feel wrongl way and here thinknig wrong logically.So it becomes difficult for me then he said you don’t know whats right or whats wrong in the world.I have done so much in life and all was wrong.
    3.He also told me to make one of your thoughts king of the thoughts to fight with the disease.Make an aim and work towards it.But this thing made me anxious a lot as I feel pressurized with this thing.I don’t know.I don’t wnt to make a aim and work towards it for the sake of disease.Then I kept discussing with him.He told you need someone whom you believe blindly and follow.But you will not follow me as I am your friend.Find someone to make your master.But I felt he may be right about aim thing as I felt his other things he explained were good.I felt anxious.I talked to him again and again and he told me this thing.
    But I felt anxious as he told that aim and king of thoughts thing.I wanted to make sure I just dont want to think of any aim just want to correct myself.My disease.Then he told me that your Its not disease.Everybody has thoughts and you are not ill.Only thing is Make an aim etc.etc.These aim making is making me anxious again and again.I don’t know why i am searching for the answer of this.I actually wanted to get corrected without making an aim.but he told only way is to make aim and I think I don’t want to make any aim right now. and make a thought king of thoughts.Just want to get in tune with the things.and don’t think about aim .But I couldn’t take nor ignore.However I want to feel why I don’t want to make an aim at present time.I got stuck into this for long and even felt anxious a lot times while discussing from him.Felt its important but don’t know whats happening and I am anxious due to this thing.
    What you suggest What I need to do at this time.And why I am feeling so much anxiousness.?
    And for me I had three things in my mind .1.go to therapist 2.meditate. 3.ignore .However
    his thoughts I couldn’t ignore as he told them with so much surity.
    And I having fear,anxiousness etc.But i felt I can’t make an aim with pressure.
    Felt anxious a lot.

    Please explain why this happened?and did my friend has understanding of my problem.Should I take him seriously next time?

    Also I have written so much posts on your blog.Please tell me what exactly I need to do and follow as I believe you.

    1. The aim is to stay in awareness of thoughts that pop.

      The aim is to ignore thoughts you don’t want.

      Thoughts often have a sense of importance and meaning they don’t deserve simply because you gave them that quality previously. Meditation is a process of simply listening for thoughts, it’s a higher state of consciousness where YOU are not ONE with thoughts.

      99% of thoughts are just static or old stuff you said was important coming back for review. What you fear, will cause repeats, that what fear does. So if you fear the chaos in your own mind you add dysfunction to it, make it worse.

      Just let thoughts go by like clouds in the sky. Once you get peaceful, your thoughts will become much more helpful and trustworthy, and they come with perfect timing.

      Your aim is to simply notice them, let them be, and let them go.

      Your frantic search for meaning is keeping you trapped, you have not stepped OUT of thinking into awareness, so you see thoughts are yourself. When you move into awareness, the meaning of thoughts does not need second guessing.

      Meditate every moment by making what you are doing meditation. Ignore unwanted thoughts. Your reaction to what comes creates what happens next, the mind runs on meaning. “Don’t care” is the right attitude for thoughts you want to disappear.

      I strongly suggest you read Happy Guide, because everything affects everything else. You want a highly functioning brain, and that depends on many things like your diet and lifestyle.

      The anxiety is there because you don’t know what to do. I am giving you the right info for what to do. Focus there. When the mind is stormy, it takes persistence in awareness, in meditation, in creating lifestyle changes to support health. These are where your effort need to be.

  40. and then I tried to establish the link between two thoughts and it kept thinking.
    Here two thoughts are .For clarity here two thoughts are 1.you knew thought was not important and those unwanted just came after that.but you knew it.But I felt i am trying to feel a mental ritual so i should rather stop that.and
    2. just leave everything.
    But as I tried leaving I felt thinking that thought no.1 without any problem.But couldnt so try to link thought no1 an thought no 2 and feel.

    1. If in doubt, let it go. Your mind is chaotic. Create calm, peace, stillness by doing all the things I have suggested. As I said before, if you want your mind to settle, stop stirring, just watch it, just listen for what pops, just focus on what you are doing and notice what pops, let it go, return to peace.

  41. Hi
    What I need to is come out of all this thinking even how to get corrected I think.I am thinking more and wanting surity of methods or rather trying to be sure from inside by thinking and pondering over these.So i need to confirm once again.Is these the points I need to do?
    I got these points from you that i need to do
    1.Meditate every moment by making what you are doing meditation. I think also sitting and llistening meditation to improve this thing.?
    2.Ignore unwanted thoughts. “Don’t care” is the right attitude for thoughts you want to disappear.Should I keep ignoring max thoughts as I become stormy again and again?
    And the method distraction adds to ignoring thoughts as It worked in the testimonial I read about your friend?
    3.diet and lifestyle changes.For this I may or may not be able to perform some.at this present time.
    4.You told this “I am giving you the right info for what to do. Focus there. When the mind is stormy, it takes persistence in awareness, in meditation, in creating lifestyle changes to support health. These are where your effort need to be”.How these statements are related to last three points I mentioned?
    Please be short and precise to confirm.and so that I can follow advice without pondering over it. and so that no confusion remains in me.

    1. What I need to is come out of all this thinking even how to get corrected I think.

      Yes, and it’s very simple… listen for the next thought to pop, just alert, aware.

      1.Meditate every moment by making what you are doing meditation. I think also sitting and listening meditation to improve this thing?

      Yes.

      2.Ignore unwanted thoughts. “Don’t care” is the right attitude for thoughts you want to disappear. Should I keep ignoring max thoughts as I become stormy again and again?

      When you are stormy, intensify awareness, RIVET your attention on what you are doing, or if possible, meditate using the listening method.

      And the method distraction adds to ignoring thoughts as It worked in the testimonial I read about your friend?

      Distraction is the same as ignoring. You are basically telling the unconscious mind “I don’t care about this any more, it’s irrelevant.”

      3.diet and lifestyle changes.For this I may or may not be able to perform some.at this present time.

      Do what you can, take steps.

      4.You told this “I am giving you the right info for what to do. Focus there. When the mind is stormy, it takes persistence in awareness, in meditation, in creating lifestyle changes to support health. These are where your effort need to be”.How these statements are related to last three points I mentioned?

      It means the answers are SIMPLE, but hard to do at first, but that doesn’t mean you need new answers, it means persist in the RIGHT answers. Like training a dog to heal, he keeps running off, you keep a consistent correction, in faith that it takes a little time to get the result.

  42. Hi
    One more thing .This thing keeps bothering me again and again.This thing gives me great anxiety thats often uncontrollable.
    Today I was thinking of taking some medicines for my anxieties and was anxious with some thing in my mind .At that time I began to think that may be my anxieties can get corrected using some Ayurvedic medicines as this system of medicines corrects from within sometime.However as I was thinking this “I got a thought that if you know its anxiety then you can always control it “.Then couldn’t think more of medicine with that logic.Then I felt as if I am forced to think about this logic.Then I thought ok “Let’s control anxiety”.At this time felt as if my anxiety was gone.However I tried to establish though we will start with the methods micahel suggested.But couldn’t as felt just I can always control anxiety.I felt my anxiety is going away and away.Then I felt or thought that my mind is forcing me out of anxiety and want to think as I can control anxiety.and felt but I do not want to think this way.Then felt guilty a lot.I felt that I am the only one who is causing anxieties rather than believeing something useful even I can control them as I felt good after that thought.Then I felt extra anxious uncontrollable anxiety.Then I tried to establish Both thoughts in my mind that why medicines may be needed and for now i can also try to control the anxiety.However4 than lots of logic in favour disfavour.
    ALso thinking I can leave it for later.and start with the methods.I can start with the suggested methods by mike.But also felt as if i am stuck in this.and all those sexual things may come.But thought its lot important to figure this thing out of my mind.I generally starts to feel like this.

    It is also ocd behaviour or some other disorder that may be bothering me and I don’t know of it.

    1. Meditation is instant relief from feeling anxious once you get good with it. Then you can notice as soon as you START to feel anxious you can release it. You just pull your mind off.

      I agree with you that it would be preferable to use natural methods first.

      Logic can be used to reach the point of letting go of a thought or subject. Find a way to drop it, by seeing it has no value, and is creating a circular dysfunction through fear and anxiety which is keep you trapped. If you can’t drop it through simple logic — difficult if you are anxious because anxiety is not a state where logical thinking is clear, then set it for review… say “I will drop this whole thing for a week.” This is way to give yourself space to step out of the circle that is trapping you. THEN you calm down, THEN you see the whole thing more clearly, THEN you see you just made a big deal out of nothing. Then there is no need to review because you see clearly, you’re calm, you have no desire or wish to pick up the subject again. So simply find a way to drop it, either by logic, or by setting it for review, then ignore every thought about it “I will review next Monday.” This will work, because it appeases the anxious part of the mind, which is only there because you gave meaning, so if you can’t change the meaning, see it has no value, then set it for review. Either way, the goal is to let go of the problem. Now every thought that comes, you just remember your decision about it, so there is nothing you need to think about, no more mental resolution needed. You simply see a thought pop (because you are being aware), see it is irrelevant because you have decided, the refocus away, ignore. Simple. Repeat consistently every time a thought pops.

  43. one more thing mike
    Also What happens again and again and that bothers me a lot is When I am trying to coming out of anxiety various thoughts pops in that .It was all rubbish and the thought didn’t dominated when you were ignoring however this dominated today as you allowed and feeling like the thought.
    However then i get the feeling i don’t need to think anything just do my work.However It feels suddenly like as If I forgot an important thought and now i felt complete anxiety guilt of forgetting an important thought for my ocd.Then tries to relive the whole situation ,force in my mind to remember and this causes more unwanted images that keeps me more anxious.Sometime i remember also.However At that time I am urged to think this way.

    What type of thing is this.How should i tackle it?

    1. Oh I just explained the answer to this in the previous comment, you have to drop it by seeing logically, that the whole dysfunction is circular, created by anxious thoughts which create more anxiety. You have to either be clear that it has no value, that it’s not important, or set for for review, so you can do the work of ignoring all thoughts about it.

      Thoughts come back with importance simply because that’s what fear does, the mind is showing you what you saw as a threat. So you need a way to remove the threat… by seeing the whole thing is just created by thinking, and there is no need to continue, or set for review. You need to have faith in ignoring. Find a way to drop it, so you can ignore everything, then the anxiety will quickly go once you stop feeding it.

      Once you have DECIDED to drop it, then proceed to stay aware, and ignore all thoughts, because the DECISION is made.

    2. If you don’t make a decision to drop it by appeasing the fearful part, then it’s like your mind is split… you believe there is fear, something to resolve, a threat, then at the same time trying to ignore what you believe is a threat. There is another way you can resolve this split, and that is faith, by believing someone else’s clarity that there is no threat. So in this case the belief in the other persons’s clarity trumps your own belief and confusion, so you can let go. So your choices are…

      1. See the dysfunction yourself, that there is no threat at all, it’s just thoughts.
      2. Set it for review.
      3. Have faith in someone else’s clarity that yes, it’s safe to ignore.

      Then you are not fighting yourself, your whole effort is clear and consistent in ignoring any thoughts about it. And when you do that, your mind will very quickly respond to your clarity and consistency and stop giving you thoughts about it.

  44. Hi MIke
    I again fell into a trap today.Today I got woke up in the morning as I was in a thinking loop of one thing that hurt me .
    Then it took almost thre ours to feel nothing important just leave.However after that I thought of my annoying office and annpying manager and timing as
    I wanted to sleep and sleep.and was feeling good last night so as to keep feeling good by ignoring thing.
    ACtually I had ben grilled by manager to not coming office in time and taking leaves.so I felt pressurized that today i cant take leave or be late.
    But i woke up due to my office timings,Then In the bathroom kept thinking how stressful it is going to office today only due manager pressure office pressure in such stresful situation of no sleep and scope of improvement of my disorder
    today.etc .
    SO i felt stressful that I will go office and how it will be difficult for me and do something.But in the meantime I was also having this thing that I can avoid office.and I began to masturbate I don’t thinking office thing ans stress and decision to be made
    Then I again masturbated,Then I again masturbated.feeling guilt stess again and again.However Inthe end It was all ruined up.I felt dirty and felt What is this thing.
    ANd then tried relive the situation of going to office stress and thinking what decision sould have been made.THen was feling I can always leave office for my health.
    But tried feeling no It was stressful but still i would have decided to go office.At this point I was quite stuck that I would have decided to go office even after stress.
    thinking other factors also etc etc.Then also guilt that office stressd is not good at this time you just focus on healthThen I try to feel again that no matter still people go ofc in stress and
    my decision wasd this.and I would have decided something.Then in between all this I got into cleaning loop as i masturbated making things dirty.I cleaned thingsd a lot also getting late for office in betweenand thinking
    what should have been done an what should I do.And in between getting ready for office.also but thinking again and again what was my decisin and what it could be now.Then thinkig its already late
    and nothing will benfit going office so late.SO i should go.THen still confused feling guilt that I only wanted to go office on stress ans thtas the problem and not going in stress would have been benficial for me
    But to only avoid myself and as if avoiding this thing completely because I feel fear as I dont want “not going office” and getting pressurized for not going office.That from my past experience result in very wierd behavious
    from thta defficult to go ahead.SO i felt only due to fear I am avoiding this “not going office” otherwise I its better not to go.But then I kept preparing myself for office and came.However feeling
    in all this and still what I did and what I needed to do feeling guilt etc. etc. in between of coming to office.and giving value to managers and office cicumstances.
    But still feeling How I could have even came in office if that was my decision.and continued.Trying to satisfy from all paths not knowing what hapned.Disconnected,split,dont know what was that
    ANd was having urge to think what happened and having anxiousness stress on myself.
    When i was trying to think I thought may be the situations changed and my decision was changed but as I try to think this I feel thta means unwanted thoughts also affect the situatin changed
    and hence got stressful that unwanted also changes situations andmy decisions I will have to accept that.But i tried avoiding this thing but thought to think that for a moment of time.

    Then Inthe end is complex due to all this and became more complex due to avoiding thinking “that my decision was changed due to situation change” and feeling more complexified.

    That
    How should I tackle such situations.

    or Do i dont need to tackle such situations.
    ALso try to feel before posting a mental satisfaction as why i need to post this and why i need to post.and how i am posting without any unwanted thought and actually i had to post
    so i am posting.
    I dont know whats that hapening.

    1. I can’t advise you about whether to go to the office, as I don’t know enough about your situation to comment. I can only talk in general terms about thoughts and behavior with OCD.

      Anxiety is about the future, what could happen, and not about what is happening right now. And this fight or flight state is not a state where you can find answers to your problems easily because it’s a state optimized for fighting or running away, not for clear thinking.

      So if you get into the habit of thinking thoughts that create fight or flight in you, then you are trapped in a vicious circle. This is the whole cause of OCD, a vicious circle of anxiety, thoughts, and unpleasant experiences that keep feeding each other endlessly.

      The way out is to stop thinking the anxious thoughts, keep bringing your mind back to the present moment by focusing all your attention on what you are doing with a quiet mind.

      Now if you can get clear about the daily habits you need to keep everything ticking over nicely, so that everything is taken care of automatically, this will free your mind from worry, because it’s all in your list, your daily routine is clear. So you can relax.

      Have you read the book yet?

  45. Hi Mike
    One more query As i try to think backwards sometime what happened then as i try to think thing for these matters I feel like not thinking (I write also) and unwanted thought.Then As I go ahead I feel as if i came here and unwanted thought otherwise i would not have came here.But i keep feeling the thought.But then I again take up the issue where the thought started and tell my mind it was ok . and suddenly the thought disappears.Then I also think all things were like this and i am satisfied and the thought is gone.I quite can’t get the logic.
    also when I try to leave all these things I feel like ok i can leave the understanding of logic.
    But I also feel its important to understand.Then perhaps i feel like i am asking it just because of pressure on me and due to intrisive thoughts SO i want to leave .But still as I want to go ahead I keep feeling the intrusive thought.and the urge to ask.

    1. It can help to reach the point of letting go if you understand, and most people want to know, but I won’t be able to get into that with you on a blog post. It’s not actually necessary, as I said before, that falls under the category of seeing the dysfunction yourself, and so understand that letting go is the best thing you could do.

      It’s not needed if you just trust, or if you set the whole problem for review. The thing that is going to WORK, is remove all ATTENTION. So a simple way is to say “Right I will not think about this at all for a week.” That space allows you to let go of attention to anxiety creating thoughts, and so you relax, and so you see the whole thing was just created by a vicious circle.

      We are naturally wired to focus MORE attention to what we fear, so this natural instinct causes OCD sufferers to withdraw so they can spend more time thinking about the problem. That works in nature where the thing we fear is lions, it doesn’t work so well with most of what comes in modern life.

      The OPPOSITE is what you actually need, to remove attention and get your mind OFF it.

      Set the whole thing for review in a week, and in that week, quickly shift attention AWAY from all thoughts about it. Then you will be able to return to a calm state and be able to function normally again. It’s hard at first because of the momentum you have built up, but be clear; no attention for a week, and remove attention from everything to do with it. See what happens.

    2. Oh… the masturbation is about stress relief in this situation. Anxiety is a powerful and unpleasant experience, and masturation is a powerful and pleasant experience so you are using it to change your state, for relief from stress. Meditation will be a more useful intervention for you when you feel anxious. Then as soon as you feel your mind “going there” and a twinge of anxiety, you can pull your mind OFF, and center yourself again. Use the listening method and get really good at being centered, alert, quiet. That is the ultimate stability.

  46. Hi mike,

    My last post I talked about how I don’t real have problems with ocd anymore and am almost 100% cured but I’m ridiculously self conscious, always worrying if I’m leading something (because I want to be a leader, or talking enough (because I want to be known as a talkative person) if I’m looking happy enough (because I want people to see me as a fun and happy person) this list could go on for ages. The problem is I’m always trying to be all these things so I’m really self conscious I can never be a free flowing self. And I know that before all this ocd and self consciousness my old self was great and people loved me (and I mean it’s not like they don’t now or anything) but I just can’t get back to that old great self.
    And I don’t know how to because like I don’t remember directly and perfectly what is was I mean I’ve had this for like a year now and I can’t, you know EXACTLY pinpoint what my old self was
    Like.

    All in all, I just need to stop being self conscious and I really don’t know how to be, so please help

    Thanks a ton,

    Teddy

    1. “The problem is I’m always trying to be all these things so I’m really self conscious I can never be a free flowing self.”

      Yeah, so stop it. Just be yourself. Let all that stuff go, and have a quiet mind. THAT is where you can flow, where you are present without thought, and then you respond FROM who you really are, naturally and effortlessly. You know this works better, because now you have experience of both states…. one where you are relaxed and happy, not trying to control, and now trying to BE something unnatural.

      A mind empty of thoughts means a clear and open connection to the unconscious which ALLOWS flow. The conscious mind can’t even string a sentence together. Let yourself work properly, clear and open, see what happens.

      In social situations, simply be present and interested in what is happening right now i.e. attention is external, listening to people etc., and drop all ideas of what you think you should be. Then you will flow. So whenever that self-conscious feeling comes, ignore it, and put attention and interest again to what is happening.

    2. In social situations, simply be present and interested in what is happening right now i.e. attention is external, listening to people etc., and drop all ideas of what you think you should be. Then you will flow. So whenever that self-conscious feeling comes, ignore it, and put attention and interest again to what is happening.

  47. Hi mike, I’m having ocd from past 5 years and my problem is getting scared of ghosts. I no that they don’t exist but I used to get the images of burnt faces and skeletons when I used to sleep. I started getting to see shadows on the wall which made me feel it is real and used to get scared to leave alone at home. I had sleepless nights when visited d psychiatrist I was diagnosed to have ocd. Because I used to get this thoughts of someone will touch me or pull my hair. And sometimes I used feel like that in real. I used to feel that someone is following me if I used walk on the street and also if I make an eye contact with a gentlemen on the road I would think that what if that person thinks I’m interested in him. I get some silly doubts like if there s some red spot on the wall for example I think it should some blood stain which is done by a ghost or if d tap is leaking suddenly in d morning wen I woke today I got dis doubt like why is it leaking who opened d tap. I stay with my husband and newly married and he knows my problem and he s really upset. I’m not able to be active always lost in this thoughts. I don’t feel like doing meditation. I’m always sad can’t discuss with anyone. When I try to ignore the thoughts it keeps repeating in mind and causes fear. Though I no this is silly. Currently I’m on medication and it is of no help. Please help me. I don’t no if I will be ever cured.

    1. Hi Swetha,

      Don’t worry, I’ve seen people turn this type of thing around many times now :-) First things first, be careful what you feed your mind. Don’t watch programs and movies that are designed to shock you — for example horror movies and the news.

      In the short term, here are some great tips for removing fear “in the moment”, mainly through distraction and changing your “state”…
      https://happy.guide/2008/09/01/scary-movie

      In the longer term, it’s important to understand how our minds work, in relation to fear. This article was written from the point of view of explaining irrational fear of things like zombies, but actually it applies to fear generally. This is about understanding the process of fear and being able to remove meaning and attention “in the moment”…
      https://happy.guide/2011/12/07/irrational-fear

      Finally, this article gives a brilliant run-down of all factors involved with unwanted thoughts and related emotions, and tells you what to do…
      https://happy.guide/2013/12/11/big-picture-unwanted-thoughts

      It’s very important to get our whole lifestyle right, so that the conditions for happiness are put in place. When all the factors aren’t there in our lives, problems show up in one form or another. A simple food intolerance or nutritional deficiency for example, can cause anxiety and dysfunctional thinking. Ideas of chasing success and status mean we can live our lives in a state of almost constant low-level stress. As you can imagine, it’s a short hop from that state to the type of issue you’ve described.

      I hope this helps Swetha. Please have a read of those articles and if there’s anything you’re not absolutely crystal clear about, just let me know :-)

      Best wishes,
      James

      1. Thanks for your reply. But I have doubt about distracting when a thought comes should I have to start doing some other activity and should I have start thinking a different thing. If I do this then I kind of get confused if I’m suppressing it. And the thought keeps lingering in my mind though I do another activity sometimes it stays for days to fade out. For example there was big white spot on the tap in the bathroom and my mind gets the doubt like where did this spot come from and did I drop the paste while brushing. These kind of thoughts keeps irritating me and becomes more when I’m using bathroom. My mind tells me to look at it and sometimes tells don look at it. It keeps playing. I get sooo frustrated. No one likes to listen to the silly things I experience. What should I do about it. Distracting will be successful sometimes and after sometime the same thought comes back. People ask me to change my lifestyle like get up early in the morning do yoga and meditation. Go for a walk and eat right. But somewhere I feel these thoughts make me lost and gives no interest do anything. I need to force myself to do some work. Please advice.

      2. Your mind will keep showing you what you tell it is important, with your attention.

        If you react with indifference to something, this communicates to your mind that it’s unimportant. Currently, your mind is trying to put your attention back on things that you told it were important via your attention and sense of meaning. Then, when that happens, you become frustrated because it’s not what you want. Frustration is the opposite of indifference, and so the problem builds.

        Sometimes, as you’ve described, thoughts can linger because of all the attention and sense of importance they’ve previously received. Please have another read of this article Swetha, particularly the “lingering thoughts” section…

        https://happy.guide/2013/12/11/big-picture-unwanted-thoughts

        Again, it’s important to re-iterate that your current diet and lifestyle is creating the CONDITIONS for this type of issue to show up. I promise you that when you’re happy, healthy, living in the moment, these kinds of problems simply don’t happen. So although you can fight for control of your attention, and you can certainly get relief that way if you’re successful, it’s an uphill battle if your whole lifestyle is creating the conditions for this issue to show up.

        The answer is to change those conditions by changing what you do every single day. The people who are telling you to correct your lifestyle are absolutely right — perhaps not with the specific details, but addressing your whole lifestyle is absolutely the answer. In fact it’s the only true solution. If you want to shortcut all the information-gathering about what is healthy, what works etc, please get the book. It only takes an hour to read and lays it all out for you.

  48. Hi mike,

    So recently I was doing something, and I got very anxious about how people would Judge me about this thing. Now I’m not even anxious about how people would judge me but for some reason I’m still “anxious about being anxious” pretty much that anxiety when I experienced first when thinking about this thing and worrying about how people would judge me went away shortly, but then I thought “am I still anxious?” And got this weird almost semi anxiety feeling. Now a day later I still get anxious whenever I think “anxiety” and I really don’t know why! I’m not anxious about that subject anymore and i shouldn’t have to be anxious about anything I don’t want to be anxious about anything and I am not anxious about anything but whenever I think “anxiety” or “are you anxious” I get this weird feeling in my stomach but it’s not even anxiety it’s just this weird knot type of thing. But then I worry if it is anxiety and then I freak because I read something online about general anxiety disorder and then I worry about having that but I DONT and I know I don’t!

    Please help, I really don’t know how to approach this and how to fix it.

    Thanks,

    Teddy

    1. Hi Teddy, I’m James, Mike’s brother. The problem is circular: you’re anxious about being anxious. There is no “real” problem here. What I mean by that is, if you hadn’t had the thought, nothing bad would have happened. The only problem is thinking, and then becoming anxious about your thoughts.

      The answer is to master your attention in the short term, and remove the conditions for anxiety in the long-term. Check out this article for help with “living in the moment” ie. not being dragged along by thoughts and ideas…

      https://happy.guide/2010/10/13/what-does-meditation-do

      In the long run, issues such as anxiety and unwanted thoughts are symptoms of a lifestyle this is currently not entirely geared towards health and happiness — something somewhere is lacking, or causing stress, or worry.

      Check out the Happy Guide book (only takes about an hour to read) for how to correct the conditions of your life, so that these types of issues don’t occur. By the way, labels such as “general anxiety disorder” are unhelpful and irrelevant here. You’re experiencing anxiety — all you need to focus on are the solutions :-)

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