"A Little OCD" How to Cut Back on Worrying and Conserve Your Mental Energy for What's Most Important

We all fall somewhere on the OCD spectrum. I help high school students and college students develop an awareness of their thoughts and understand that not everything they think is automatically true. Knowing how to not worry about things that haven't happened yet (or may not happen at all) is just shy of a mental superpower. After seeing me speak, students have the tools to practice mindfulness and focus their mental energy on what's truly important to them.

-From time-to-time, we'll feel stressed about something and the more we try to solve it, the bigger the problem seems. I give students the tools to refocus their attention when they are dizzy from overthinking and to discern whether their problem is something within their control or is a made-up, negative story about themselves or their future. I teach how to dismiss those worries that tend to be most energy-draining and to pass on engaging with them in the future.

-We all have a voice in our heads that narrates the world for us. Often, that voice focuses on the negative and makes up negative stories when there isn't anything negative to talk about. I help students become aware of that voice, realize that the voice isn't always right, and train that voice to focus on the positive.

-We take massive action when our phones get to 2%. But we often let ourselves get to 2%. If students proactively maintain a healthy charge throughout the day, they'll be less reactive to stress and more likely to feel happy, healthy, and energized in going after their goals.

I have been a guest speaker at nearly 100 colleges in 35 states, including NYU, Syracuse University, Cornell University, Marquette University, Brown University, John Hopkins University, Duke University, Muhlenberg College, Indiana University, Illinois State University, the University of Missouri, the Rochester Institute of Technology, the University of Alabama, Quinnipiac University, and Villanova University.

Read the Grand Valley State University student newspaper article on the talk I gave on campus in October 2016.


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