Whether you are reading this because you have anxiety or OCD this exercise I am about to share will work for both. Just let me get one thing straight- OCD really is anxiety(anxiety is the mother and OCD and is the crying baby) just in a more creative, obsessive, obnoxious kind of way! Remember, you are not alone, you are not crazy, everything is just FINE and for all you OCD lovers out there… THAT THOUGHT WILL NOT HAPPEN!!!
Dinner Date Exercise:
Welcome to phase 1. OK now what I want you to do is breathe, and don’t just breathe…BREATHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Focus focus focus on your breathe, it goes in and out- AH!FLASH NEGATIVE THOUGHT- it’s OK let it be there, do not judge it just look at it and breaaaatthhheeeeee- FLASH WORRY THOUGHT– same thing, let it be there, do not judge it and just look at it. Keep breathing until you feel calm and chill. Once you get to that point I want you to imagine what you think your anxiety or OCD might look like, whatever your mind makes up is perfect. For example; My OCD looks like an insane woman with a mismatched outfit, knotted hair, and speaks like the crazy cat woman from the Simpsons. Now to start you don’t have to see a character you can also find a color or just a feeling, it should soon evolve into something that you can talk to. Patience.
Great! Now we are in phase 2, are you ready? Now that you can see what your anxiety or OCD looks like, its time to say a simple “Hello”. Be prepared for your character to freak out, let it have it’s spotlight for a moment and let it talk, cry, or whatever it needs to do. Do not shut it out just be there as it talks to you. If you have the opposite happen(your character isn’t’ talking) you must let it be in its normal state. OK Good job:)
Phase 3 now you must ask your character out to dinner, yes that’s right a dinner date…Do it! You can just simple say, “Hey would like to join me for dinner right now?” Your character will say yes because they want to run the show,and that’s totally normal. Now in your mind go to a table or if you’d like sit at a physical table in the real life. Sit across from each other so you can face your “date”. Now ask it the question you have been wanting to know, it can be ” Why are you here”, “What do you need from me”, or “What’s up with you?”. REMEMBER to not ask “Victim” questions, don’t feel bad for yourself and ask it questions like, ” Why won’t you go away?”, or “What the fuck do you want from me?”. Shit like that will only make it stronger and have more power over you, just ask questions that aren’t from anger.Just having a simple conversation with that part of you.
Phase 4. This is the part where your character answers your question. Please be prepared for …anything. Your date will cry, shut down, yell, throw the wine glass at you, or it could just give you a simple answer. Whatever it does its important for you to let it just taaaaalllkkk and just sit there without judgement and just watch. Please feel free to engage in conversation if the situation feels right. This is the most important part of the exercise. By inviting a feared part of you to have a conversation with your higher self, you automatically have more power. The more you acknowledge that its there without giving into it, you will understand how irrational these thoughts truly are and more able to let them go when you are both ready.
Phase 5 whenever you want you can leave the dinner and come back to your breathe. In and out just focus on your breath for some time. Now open your eyes slowly and look around the room, or wherever you are, what do you see? Take a few moments to come back into the current moment of reality outside of your mind. Allow your mind to rest for a moment, this exercise at first can be draining.
Good job!! You did it, pat your self on the back! This exercise takes time, patience, and a shit ton of courage! Please do not be hard on yourself if you don’t feel good afterwards, you are not really supposed to feel good after any kind of meditation, just awareness. This exercise is best for those moments or days when your anxiety or OCD are really giving you all they got. They are crying out for your attention for a reason, they want you to acknowledge something inside you.
I hope this helped you, I know it’s helped me a lot in the past. Please feel free to comment on this exercise or share another tool that works for you.