, pub-3656949002636110, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Self help tips for OCD | Streetwise Mental Health

Self-help tip 1 challenging OCD obsessive notions. 

Everyone has thoughts that causes worry at times, but OCD causes the brain to perform particular anxiety provoking distractions because of an imbalance and the way your brain has been trained to think. This training or imbalance because of the way you have trained your thoughts causes to play certain ideas over and over again. Here are some tips that can help to alleviate those distracting thoughts and images. 

  • Have a book and pen to hand, or type on a laptop keyboard or other devices. When you start having obsessive thoughts write them down. 

  • Write about your thoughts and images that worry you, cause fear of anxiety. 

  • Keep on writing as the thought occurs by writing exactly what is occurring in those moments, even if you happen to be repeating the same notions over and over again. 

  • Writing them down will help you to discover how repetitive those obsessional notions are. 

  • Writing thoughts and images down is harder than actually thinking about them. So, saying, the power the notions have, are more than likely to fade sooner. It's called mindfulness training where the subconscious is overpowered by the wilful consciousness. 

  • Write down the notions will help distract you thinking by giving you a conscious physical act. So, causing the power of thought to lose its power and the OCD's hold over you. 

Use only certain times in the day for an OCD worry period. 

Rather than trying to suppress compulsions and obsessions you have, try developing the habit of making certain times to think about them.  

  • Try teaching yourself into only having one or two worry periods of 10 minutes each day. A time where you can mentally check your obsessions. Chose set times and a place where you can relax and give time to those obsessions. Try to make it well before bed time so as you do not carry the thoughts into your bedtime. As you waken is an excellent time to have this worry period as you can then become fully alert to the day. 

  • When you have periods of worry or anxious thoughts and images in your head during the day, quickly write them down and postpone them with distractive positive thoughts. Then postpone them to the worry period. Save them for later and try concentrating on your normal activity routine instead. 

  • Go over what you have written down on your worry list in the worry period. Reflect on those notions and think of positivism instead of worry. If those thoughts still worry or cause you fear, try to keep them within the allocated time zone. 

Create a recording of your OCD obsessional notions and compulsions. 

When you have periods of worry or acute or chronic anxious thoughts and images in your head during the day, quickly write them down and postpone them with distractive positive thoughts. Then postpone them to the worry period. Save them for later and try concentrating on your normal activity routine instead. 

  • Create a recording of your OCD obsessional notions and compulsions. 

  • Narrate the obsessional sentences, phrases and stories as they enter your thoughts or any images onto the recording. 

  • Go over what you have written down on your worry list in the worry period and record them. Reflect on those notions and think of positivism instead of worry as you record. If those thoughts still worry or cause you fear, try to keep them within the allocated time zone. 

  • For half an hour a day replay the recording to yourself, until listening to those obsessional notions no longer cause you feelings and emotions that highly stress you. 

By continually confronting the obsessional notions and compulsions with conscious mindfulness techniques you will retrain your brain’s thoughts not you give you subconscious feeling and emotions of panic, worry and acute or chronic anxiety. 

Self-help tip 2 is to make changes to your lifestyle to ease the OCD. 

A balanced, healthy lifestyle is a big part of easing anxiety and fear and keeping compulsions of OCD in check. It is also a big part in easing worrying and fear over obsessive thoughts and images at bay. 

Avoid the use of nicotine and alcohol. 

Although alcohol can temporarily reduce the symptoms of worry and chronic anxiety, the feelings can be exacerbated as the alcohol starts to wear off. It is the same with the stimulant of tobacco that seems to calm you. Smoking actual increase levels of anxiety, rather than lower them. 

Getting enough sleep. 

Worrying thoughts and feelings of anxiety can cause insomnia, but not getting enough sleep can exacerbate the symptoms of worry and anxiety. After a good night’s sleep, it is easier to keep your emotions balanced. This is a key factor when trying to cope with the anxiety involved within OCD disorder. 

Practice mindfulness and relaxation. 

Stress is what originally causes OCD with a brain imbalance. Mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, yoga can help lower stress levels that causes chronic anxiety, worry and panic. When tension builds in the body, the brain can be affected via the body/brain barrier of the 'fight or flight' response, that then causes OCD anxiety disorder, to become an imbalance in the brain’s chemical reactions. Hence the dysfunctions of the physical symptoms.  


Regular exercise. 

Exercise is an effective and natural way to treat an acute anxiety disorder. It helps by refocusing the mind to control OCD symptoms, but also helps the facial muscles be taken away from the stances of thoughtfulness. For maximum benefits, try exercising for 10 minutes 3 times a day. This can be light exercises whilst laying on the floor or sofa. Doing this for 10 minutes can be more beneficial than exercising for just once for a longer period. Just concentrate on your body and feel how it stretches the limbs and facial muscles. 

Self-help tip 3 is reaching out to get support. 

OCD symptoms can become worse when you feel alone and powerless. Getting a strong support system, for yourself from others is important, to getting yourself better. You will feel less vulnerable the more connected you are to others who you can share your worries, fears and concerns with. By talking to someone about them can lessen the internal pressures on you making them feel less threatening. 

Stay connected to your friends and your family. 

Social isolation can become a part of the OCD condition because of obsessive thoughts and the consuming compulsions. This isolation will only cause the aggravation of your OCD symptoms. It is important that you take the time to talk to friends and family. Having a face-to-face conversation with others can make notions feel less threatening and less of a worry. 

Join a support group for OCD. 

Many people suffer OCD, so you are not alone in your condition. Participating in a face-to-face or online group can be an effective support line for you. OCD support groups can help you gain support and confidence to deal with what you are going through, by sharing with like-minded people who will understand what you are going through. 

Self-help tip 4 for resisting OCD rituals. 

OCD symptoms can seem overwhelming, so no matter how they affect you, there are many ways that you can in fact help yourself. Eliminating compulsive rituals and behaviours is one of the ways to eliminate the obsessions that you have in OCD. These in fact keep the vicious cycle of panicky thoughts and images going. 

Do not avoid fears. 

It might seem like a good idea to avoid fearful situations and thoughts with compulsive behaviour, but this will make the obsessive notions more unacceptable to confront. What you need to do instead is face up to your OCD triggers. You then need to resist or delay the urges to start doing your relief-seeking compulsive disorders. 

If you find it too hard to resist compulsive rituals, try to delay of cut back on the amount of time you spend on your rituals. Treat them like a daily choir and set times for when you are going to carry out these rituals and reduce them. By doing this, your anxiety should lessen and in this way you will realise that you have more control over the OCD. This will lessen the fear and panic that is a part of the vicious cycle of acute anxious thoughts that cause your rituals. 

Anticipate the urges of OCD. 

Anticipating the compulsions of a ritual before they arise, can help to ease and cause acceptance that they do not need to be carried out. This is because by anticipating the thoughts can cause an acceptance in the mind that they are not fearful thoughts at all. It is a part of mindfulness where thoughts become acceptable to the mind. Try laying do and closing your eyes - or keep them open - and think about the notions that cause you anxiety. At these moments try to reassure yourself that everything is okay and you can perform the choir later. For example, if you have compulsions to check if the cooker is switched off, that windows and doors are locked, try using the mindfulness to give extra attention to what you are doing by verbally reassuring your that everything is okay. Create a solid thought in your mental eye and also make a mental positive note of it. 

  •  Do this by telling yourself with command and firmly saying out loud that: the cooker is now turned off, and; yes, I've already checked those windows. 

  • This will cause you to see the checking that may arise later - to be just another idle, unimportant thought. 

Re-focus your attention to a distraction. 

When you find you are experiencing OCD thoughts and images, try shifting your attention to a more constructive thought. Try reading a book and think about it. It takes practice but your thoughts can be drawn away from the attention of acute anxiousness. You can also try listening to music, call family or friends, go online, jog, walk, play a video game or find a hobby. In this way you distract yourself away from idle rituals and worrying, fearful notions. The thing to do is form a normal routine. Something that distracts you, from the thoughts and images of OCD, with a normal daily routine, that then breaks the rituals that you perform, because of those anxious notions. 

After you have carried out a normal routine, reassess the urges to think about your compulsive rituals and then firmly think about the activities. The longer you can delay the ritual the more likely it is to fade. 

Self-help tip 5 is exposure and response prevention. 

Studies show that exposure and response prevention can actually retrain the chemical imbalance in the body/brain barrier. In this way the biological process is permanently reduced in the symptoms and conditions of OCD disorder. 

For example: if you are a compulsive washer of your hands and you are asked to touch a public door handle and then prevented from washing your hands. After this you might be feeling an emotional or thoughtful anxiety attack with urges to wash your hands. However, as you sit with this compulsion the obsessive thoughts will gradually fade and go away on their own.  

By practising exposure and response prevention, you will learn that this ritual is not actually necessary to get rid of your obsessive anxiousness. It will show you that you have control over the compulsive behaviour and the obsessive thoughts that not washing your hands causes you. 

It is recommended that the exposure and response prevention therapy should only be used under the guidance of a qualified specialist. 

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