young woman holding head in hands with stress

How to Stop Obsessive Compulsive Behaviors

If you suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), you are likely to experience compulsive behaviors and obsessive thoughts that can disrupt your daily life considerably.

This is an anxiety disorder characterized by unwanted thoughts, uncontrollable and ritualized behavior that is often repetitive.

It’s a condition that compels you to constantly repeat certain behaviors that are irrational, and you may not be able to resist them or break free of your compulsion.

stressed young woman holding head in hands

Stop Obsessive Compulsive Behaviors

In this article, we explain what you can do to stop or manage obsessive-compulsive behaviors. 

Identify the Triggers

You must first identify the triggers or situations that cause your obsessions and compulsions.

Make a list of all the things that trigger your experiences and the obsessions they cause.

Rate the extent of fear you experience in each situation.

Keep track of all the triggers so that you will be able to identify a pattern that triggers your OCD and will help you to anticipate compulsive urges before they arise. 

Knowing the triggers will help you to either avoid them or lessen their impact on your life.

For instance, if you often experience the fear of forgetting to lock your door, make sure that is the first thing you check before going to bed.

When you identify all the things that trigger obsessive-compulsive behavior, you will gradually learn to resist them. 

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is good for your physical and mental health.

It helps control anxiety and, it has been found that it is often at the root of your OCD symptoms, by helping your mind refocus when obsessive thoughts and compulsions affect you, you can gain some control.

Physical activity also distracts you from negative things that can affect your well-being, and it can help you to focus on positive aspects of your life. 

Check out these At-Home Workouts from BarBend:

Treatment for OCD

The most effective treatment for OCD is cognitive-behavioral therapy. Continued exposure to your obsession can lead to response prevention.

Cognitive therapy is another method that can help you respond in a more healthy way to obsessive thoughts.

Professionals can get to the root causes of a person’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in away others may not even think of doing it.

Visiting a therapist can give you a huge advantage given that they can help you to develop a better understanding of OCD and create a plan for managing it.

You can also consider short-term residential programs that are designed to help the patients cope with the symptoms.

If you are suffering from OCD, you can get help from experienced professionals. 

Medication in the form of antidepressants can also be used together with therapy to treat obsessive-compulsive behavior.

However, medication alone is not the only solution to this problem.

Family therapy can also help you deal with social issues that may trigger your symptoms. It will motivate family members to support their loved ones to deal with OCD.

Group therapy is another viable option since it provides encouragement, and support, and reduces the feelings of isolation to help the affected person address the challenge. 

Manage Stress

If you are suffering from OCD, you need to master different techniques to manage stress.

One thing you should know about stress is that it can be the trigger or make your symptoms worse.

If you are stressed, you will lose focus, and when your mind wanders, you are likely to be overpowered by obsessive behaviors.

Reduce stress by practicing relaxation techniques, or meditation. Be sure to get enough sleep as a way of coping with anxious feelings and anxiety disorders

Seek Support

Once you know that your challenge is obsessive-compulsive behavior, you should seek support from family and friends.

Feel free to share your situation; you will realize that you are not alone.

Once a problem is shared, there is likely to be a solution. Isolation will aggravate your condition, so make sure you stay connected to people who can give you support in time of need.

You can also get helpful ideas from members of OCD groups if there are any in your area. 

Challenge Obsessive Thoughts

You must learn to challenge obsessive thoughts and resist them whenever they arise.

Don’t allow the thought to linger in your mind because it can cause unpleasant feelings.

When you begin to feel something negative building up in your mind, try to redirect your thoughts to other things. It is also a good idea to avoid different situations that can trigger obsessive thoughts.

However, if you continuously expose yourself to the triggers, you can learn to resist them. 

Avoid Alcohol and Nicotine

Alcohol and nicotine are not only bad for your health, but they can trigger anxiety symptoms.

Many people believe that alcohol reduces anxiety, but the effects are short-term.

Nicotine is a powerful stimulant that can keep your brain active for a long time. Even when you are supposed to be sleeping, nicotine will keep you awake, which leads to higher levels of anxiety. 

Obsessive-compulsive behaviors can impact your well-being in many ways.

Negative thoughts can affect the normal functioning of your brain.

However, there are different measures you can take to address this situation. These tips can help you overcome the symptoms.