Wednesday, May 8, 2013

OCD and How To Change Negative Emotions

Having depression, anxiety, OCD, or any of the related disorders, can cause people to constantly experience negative emotions such as fear, anger, and apathy.  Over time, these negative emotions can become ingrained in their minds, and this will be their dominant mental state. Their brains actually become hard-wired to trigger unwanted emotions at the slightest thought. For these and many other people, it can be very difficult to transition  from a negative emotion to a positive one. Some people may say, "just think of something good," but a person experiencing obsessions may find this advice very difficult to follow.

According to Deepak Chopra, There are only two emotions -fear and love. Obviously, all negative emotions stem from fear, and all positive feelings are generated by love. Dr. Chopra, and all of the teachers of The Law of Attraction state that to attract what we want in life, we we must envision it with positive feelings. Believe me from personal experience, this is easier said than done, especially if you are a victim of negative conditioning.

I have experienced good results in changing my mood by playing music, engaging in physical activity, and by thinking of a great time that I had in the past. However, sometimes, depending upon the severity of my mental state, even these have not worked, or I have been unable to apply them- (one example was feeling so depressed I couldn't even get up to take a walk.)

In researching supplements to help me, I have had very good results with The amino acid L- tyrosine and GABA, they have greatly improved my mental focus and mood. I take 500 mg a day of each, but you should read up on this in order to see recommended dosages for ADD and other disorders.( I plan to write more about this in future blogs).

I was looking around the Internet for something that would be helpful to me and others who have had this difficulty. I came upon this article about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that you may find interesting...

How to Change Your Emotions
By Brenda Scottsdale, eHow Contributor
 Cognitive-Behavioral therapy is very effective for disrupting negative thought spirals.
Personality is a three part system composed of thoughts, feeling and behaviors. Changing how you think about something will help change how you feel about it, and, ultimately the choices you make. It can be easy to become stuck in the mire of a negative thought spiral. However, following some simple steps will help you disrupt this pattern.These methods are based on Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, an evidence-based approach validated by over 30 years of well-controlled scientific studies.

 How to Change Thoughts and Behaviors Easy Methods for Blocking Negative Thoughts

Understand and Challenge your Negative Thoughts

1Understand that thoughts influence feelings. Negative, untrue thoughts are known as cognitive distortions. Cognitive distortions typically form early based on negative experiences, and can rob a person of joy and happiness in life. An example of how a negative thought-feeling pattern can develop is during the first dating experience. If this was bad, a person may develop thoughts such as "I'm the ugliest person alive" or "no men are interested in me." Absolute statements are not reality based thinking -- there is always an exception. Negative thoughts such as this lead to negative behaviors such as not going out on dates, not trying new hairstyles or makeup and not attending to personal hygiene. Keep a list of these negative thoughts and their positive counter-thoughts. You will discover that you tend to recycle the same six or seven negative beliefs. Over time you can try different positive counter-thoughts to disrupt these six or seven negative beliefs, finding what works best for you.


Understand that feelings influence thoughts. In the dating example above, if someone has insulted you, perhaps even inadvertently, depression may develop. Because you feel depressed you may start to think, "I will never have a successful dating experience."

Challenge negative thoughts that lead to negative feelings. Distorted thinking patterns are best eroded with logic. If you are thinking "I'm the ugliest person on the planet," you should remind yourself of instances where people have complimented your looks, that there certainly are less attractive people than you, or that, in the overall scheme of life, looking like a supermodel is not the most important thing.

Remember the two-to-one rule. For every negative thought, you need to have at least two positive counter-thoughts. Negative thoughts about yourself usually begin in childhood so they are strong and can be difficult to break. Once new habits are learned, however, more and more of your thoughts will become positive, leading to increasingly positive emotions.

The A-B-C Method


Use the A-B-C method. First invented by Aaron Beck a co-founder of Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, the A-B-C method has been used successfully to disrupt negative thought spirals for over 30 years. The "A" stands for activating event, the thing that happened to precipitate your negative feelings.The "B" stands for your belief about the event, while the "C" stands for the consequences of that belief, such as that you are feeling depressed.


When you become aware of a negative consequence, or "C" in the model's terms -- such as not going out on many dates, look at the activating event ("A") to discover what happened to trigger your behavior. You may recall some negative dating experiences that caused you to fear rejection.

Look at your beliefs ("B") about the activating event. If you believe, for example, that your negative experience means that you are unattractive or not likable, the behavior that you are demonstrating now (isolation) makes sense. Ask yourself if that belief is logical or distorted.


Change distorted beliefs with positive counter-thoughts.Think about logical alternatives. Perhaps you are not ugly, maybe the man you dated was a jerk, for example. Remember and use the two-to-one rule.

Reinforce new, positive counter-beliefs. Every time you find yourself thinking positively, focus on how good you feel. This is known as a positive thought spiral. Happy emotions lead to positive thoughts, leading to positive behaviors. Practice these skills and your emotions will tend to become more positive over time.

I hope this helps! I will continue to research, experiment, and write more about this in the future. Here's to only Happy Thoughts- Cheers!