S3E3 My Thoughts Won’t Stop! A Doctor Explains How To Deal With This Problem. OCD, Waswas, Anxiety

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Tarek Kareem Harris

Channel: Tarek Kareem Harris

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Episode Transcript

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It's mental health with me, Dr. tk Harris, welcome.

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For those of us who are struggling with obsessions and was was to the point where they have really taken over our lives, you must seek outside help, because it crosses the line where it becomes impossible to suppress the thoughts and the compulsions to act on those thoughts. And what happens then is it has a physiological change in your brain, there's chemical changes, and it would be useful to get outside help in terms of medicine, to try to lift your mind out of that valley. The second thing to say is, when you're considering any problem in the mind, try to step outside it. It's not you that suffering, it's your brain. Remember that when you're struggling through anything

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in life, you don't need to make it part of your identity. For example, if you hurt your knee, you say my knee is hurting. You could say I am hurting, but it's not all of you that's hurting. In the same way. If something is affecting your mind, you say My mind is struggling with this or that you as a person, step outside of the issue, and then you can deal with it a bit more realistically, without thinking that it affects your honor, or your dignity or things like that. So in this particular video, we'll focus on how to deal with the knifes when it comes to obsessive thoughts. And what's worse.

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There are lots of ours in all of this. So to list them, recognize respect, reclaim, reduce, run, relax, and refocus. So let's go through each of those recognize that the thoughts are there, and that they're an extension of normal thoughts. Your emotions are not facts, they are suggestions that you should react to something and when they get out of control, you can end up becoming obsessed, recognize that they're just that respect yourself. There is no need to feel silly. These thoughts are normal. Everybody has them. They've gotten a bit rowdy in your case, there is no need to believe that giving into temptations to act on them is somehow belittling you or losing your honor. You

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don't need to feel silly, if you're struggling with something, okay? It doesn't take away the fact that you are loved by Allah. Thirdly, reclaim your identity. It is not you who is obsessed or struggling with worse worse, it is your brain. More specifically, it's your knifes which is getting a bit carried away.

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Reduce by reduce I mean reduce the volume, sometimes to reduce the volume coming out of your mind is just exactly the way that you reduce the tendency to obsession. The idea is this that obsessions and anxieties are just very loud. They're in your mind louder than other things. So we need to reduce their volume. Now how do we reduce the volume? Well, this is where run, relax and refocus come in. Run is a shorthand way of saying exercise. When we exercise, if you remember from the first series enough is very invested in the body. So when we exercise and get out of breath, what we are doing is exercising those energies. And when the knifes has got less energy, it's a bit more manageable. And

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you'll find that the natural volume of things reduces. Many people say going for a run helps them to feel better precisely because this is what they're doing. They're getting in touch with these primal emotions, which have a lot of energy. But once you do something that exhausts you, it does reduce, and it's as simple as that for many, many people.

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There is also another type of exercise which we do five times a day, and that is Salah, when you are doing Salah, those simple movements, those postures, and that commitment to God is a combination of both exercise and acknowledging there's a higher power. Those things are also very useful and they can address and deal with enough's very directly. My books and the forthcoming app contain a lot more numerous sources of how you can specifically exercise and how you can find solace in Salah. So do get hold of the books, but really, there's not too much complexity. It's a case of trying to exhaust yourself once a day at least to just get yourself out of breath. If not, then 20 minutes

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three times a week of whatever it is, that just gets you out of breath. Okay to relax is another way of cooling the knifes off. How do you do that well to relax is difficult for many people who are by definition tense, but one of the ways we can do that is just by focusing on our breathing. Now the reason I directed you to the How to be a mindful geezer is exactly to do with controlling your breathing. If you take

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Very slow breaths in and out, holding your breath at each point. So take a deep breath in slowly, hold your breath for a while maybe to a count of 10. And then breathe out again very slowly over a count of 10. And hold your breath there. And do that for a while. It has an enormously calming effect on the knifes because it works in something called the vagus nerve system. And it directly controls your heartbeat and your breathing rate. And those things then feed back to your brain and almost sort of trick your brain into saying, Okay, I'm not so worried, and the noise reduces in volume. Remember, all of these things have a partial effect. So if they don't work straight away, it

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doesn't mean there's something wrong with you, or you've not tried hard enough. Just keep repeating them. And remember, we cannot overcome these things on our own all the time. And if these things are out of control, like I've said before, seek help. The last Ari's, refocus, refocusing is finding ways to fill up your day, so that you have less time to be preoccupied. We have a mind which is very active. And for lack of another purpose, it becomes obsessed or focus on a few things, the Westerners have a saying that idle hands make for the devil's work. And perhaps many people will be watching this and thinking, Well, actually, I have a lot to do. But these thoughts get in the way.

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I'm not talking about you guys. I know there's lots of people there who would have plenty of things to do anyway. But I'm talking about those people who perhaps don't have a very full day and have found themselves becoming obsessed with things that well, they shouldn't become obsessed with. But somehow they know they are and finding a way to fill up your day, taking up social activity, breaking up your day into chunks, finding activities that fill up your day via recreation, talking to other people, or finding some kind of hobby, or finding a volunteer job. Just scheduling your day so that you are shifting from one task to another to another may be enough for you for your mind to

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be tempted away from continually being obsessed by one thing.

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At this channel, we need help. So buy the books and you also find the donation link. We're trying to get an app going, it'll be maybe inshallah, a couple of months, maybe three months before we can launch the first version of the app. If you can donate money or even talent towards it, get in touch. The links are underneath. The next videos we'll be talking about how to deal with these things through the heart. And finally, from the intellect side, as we said, We'd look at everything in terms of the three parts of the Muslim mind wassalam