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How To Deal With OCD

Living with OCD can make your day-to-day life challenging in certain situations. Depending on the severity, it can be difficult more often than not. 

You obsess over things that happen, you question yourself, and you ruminate for longer than you’d like. The constant questioning and repetition can be exhausting. 

Not all people are created equal and not everyone manages their symptoms the same. Life with OCD can be highly individualized, but here are a few methods to start your journey.

Learn About OCD

Knowledge is always power when it comes to navigating any health condition or disorder. Especially when it impacts your day-to-day functioning. Take some time to educate yourself on OCD, how it works, what it affects, etc. There are a variety of resources to start this process, including online articles, chat forums, and videos. 

You may also find support options that can provide additional guidance. Many people share their lived experiences in hopes of paying it forward for someone else. Knowing other people share your experiences can be encouraging and helpful all at the same time. 

Evaluate Your Internal Alarm

Humans have an internal alarm system that is motivated and driven by fear. It is a great built-in tool for navigating dangerous situations or protecting you when you have an inkling something isn’t quite right. 

With OCD, that internal alarm can be triggered by anxiety and maneuver a way to work against you. It tends to keep you on high alert and in a constant state of alarm when unnecessary.

Instead of always reacting to a sounding alarm, try to push back a bit. Practice recognizing when there is a real reason to worry and when you can keep moving along. Challenge your obsessive thought patterns through exposure and practice preventing your typical responses. 

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Understand Your Triggers

Start to keep a journal for managing your symptoms. Keep a running record of things that trigger you and what obsessions are provoked. What intensity would you give the fear factor for each situation? What are the compulsions or strategies you are using to reduce your anxiety level? 

Understanding your triggers and responses can help you anticipate future situations. Knowing how you will respond can give you some control to ease your symptoms. Use mental imagery, physical pictures, or whatever reminder will work for you.

Challenge Your Anxiety

Many people with OCD begin to worry that they will harm themselves or others on accident. Others have varying types of intrusive thoughts, creating additional anxiety, which can be truly scary.

The key to navigating this is challenging the place your brain is trying to take you. Know these thoughts are not real and are not your defining characteristic. It’s the OCD, not you.  

Practice Self Care

When struggling with symptoms of any type of disorder or mental health condition, self-care practices are extremely important. Living with symptoms day to day can be very taxing. Exploring your interests and figuring out what serves your mental wellness can help ease anxiety.

Focus on activities that are good for the mind and body. Meditation can help with grounding and keeping you steady in the present moment. Research has alluded to the effective management of dysfunctional cognitive distortions that occur in OCD. 

Journaling is another option. Aside from tracking your triggers, you can focus on more positive happenings of the day. Yoga and exercise can also be a great tool for alleviating symptoms and providing an outlet for your energy. 

Seek Professional Help

If your symptoms are having a substantial impact on your life, there are options that can be explored with a professional. There’s no need to struggle.

Exposure response prevention, also called ERP, has been successful in treating OCD symptoms. ERP focuses on slowly exposing you to triggers and then teaching you how to manage your obsessive thoughts and compulsions. 

If you’re struggling with your OCD, consult us today to learn more about anxiety therapy.




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