Video: You Are Not Your Brain

Check out this interesting video by Dr. Jeffrey M Schwartz, in which he speaks about many of the concepts in his book, "You Are Not Your Brain." Dr. Schwartz is a leading neuroplasticity researcher, focusing particularly on the relationships between the body-brain-mind and their role in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), although they are applicable to many other anxieties. Dr. Schwartz's work in this area is terrific, with some very helpful insights about how to use these relationships to overcome OCD/anxiety. I can't do his work justice in just a few short paragraphs, so if you have the time, I urge you to watch his 30-minute video below. However, I will highlight the four key steps that Dr. Schwartz introduces to help address one's anxious thinking:

  1. Relabel - Identify the intrusive thoughts and urges as uncomfortable sensations. Call them what they are.
  2. Reframe - Say why these thoughts and urges keep bothering you. They are false brain messages (It's not me, it's just my brain!).
  3. Refocus - Direct your attention by focusing your attention on something else that is productive and wholesome (do another behavior).
  4. Revalue - Do not take the thoughts and urges at face value. They are simply sensations caused by deceptive brain messages. Work towards progressive mindfulness (the ultimate aim of the 4 steps) and developing your true self.