Master Your OCD
OCD Family Support
Hair Pulling/Skin Picking
OCD Groups!

How to do exposures at home using this method

compulsions ocd Aug 02, 2023
OCD compulsions

A simple concept to help you with your OCD and anxiety treatment

Hello you wonderful people. I’m going to teach you an exposure trick that works for anyone. I talk a lot about using exposures as a way to help you recover from OCD and anxiety and I inevitably get asked, “okay cool” - so how do you do it?

Well, it’s a tough question to answer, because each person may be doing variations of the same type of exposure. What triggers one person, will be easy for another.

But let me share with you one sure fire way to do an exposure that ANYONE can do. It’s choosing to do not do the compulsion.

Seems simple right? Well, if it were that simple, no one would be struggling with this. But let’s think about it for a moment, if you weren’t doing any compulsions would OCD or anxiety be as big of a problem?

So here’s what I mean by not doing a compulsion. These are the things that you may do that you don’t really want to be doing. These are like, checking, cleaning, reassurance seeking, ordering things, counting, tapping, praying, and rumination.

You do these because OCD says you do them or else. You will feel anxious if you don’t do this. Your threat will come true if you don’t do this. You won’t feel comfortable until you do this.

How to start treatment for OCD by doing exposures

What you do is spend time writing down all the compulsions you do. Rank them from easiest to hardest. Pick the easiest to remove from your life and do it. Change routines, build confidence, choose (because you always have a choice) to not do it.

What happens is that by not doing the compulsion, you are going to feel more anxious. (MORE ANXIOUS? WHY WOULD I WANT THAT?) Well, you want your body to tolerate anxiety and the comfortable feelings it provides to prove that you didn’t have to do anything to fix it. The anxiety reduces on it’s own and the urge to do this compulsion eventually fades.

When you’re super comfortable with the elimination of one, do it again for another, and another, and another. You are essentially doing an exposure by not doing the compulsion.

Get it? While it can be helpful to focus our time facing a fear AND practicing not doing the compulsion. For some, they get so stuck not knowing what to do. That’s where this method comes in.

If I stop running from a fire that’s not really there, I will adapt to the alarms. They won’t feel important. I won’t be falling for the traps anymore.
Will this work the same as me doing exposures? Well, yes, actually. First and foremost, choosing not to do compulsions breaks the cycle of OCD. It interrupts the reinforcement loop and weakens the grip that anxiety has on our lives. Over time, the anxiety associated with our triggers reduces, leading to a significant decrease in overall anxiety levels.
Another incredible benefit is that we regain control over our lives. OCD can often dictate someone’s actions, making them feel like they're prisoners of their own minds. But by choosing not to do compulsions, we take back that control.
Moreover, this practice strengthens our resilience. As we repeatedly confront our fears and resist the urge to perform compulsions, we prove to ourselves that we can handle the anxiety. We become more confident in our ability to face future challenges, not just related to OCD but also in other aspects of life.
Oh man, I better get in the comments and give Nate a piece of my mind. He thinks it’s so easy to stop compulsions and doesn’t even tell us how to do it.

Well, you’re right. Peace! Just kidding. Come back!

You’ve written the compulsions out, you’ve ranked them from easiest to hardest to remove. You’ve started with one. Anytime you feel the urge to do it, don’t do it. Sit with the anxiety, fear, and answer any threat with uncertainty or agreeing. Will I get sick? Maybe, sure, I don’t know, we’ll see.

Will I do something wrong? Maybe, sure, I don’t know, we’ll see. Will I ruin my future? Sure, maybe, I don’t know, we’ll see.

You get it? The same statements every time. Teaching the brain, you’re no longer figuring this out. You’re going to feel like you’re risking big time, but that’s what you’ve got to do.

There is reward with risk. The reward is freedom. You’ll find out that the threats have been most likely false all along.

For a worksheet to help you recognize these compulsions and learn OCD treatment step by step, I’ve got it all outlined in my online master your OCD course. I’ll link that below.

I want to know what compulsion you’re willing to give up today? Let me know in the comments.

It's time to recover. Let me help you!

Master Your OCD 

A guided step-by-step OCD course that teaches you how to lower anxiety, overthinking, and compulsions.

Learn all the OCD tricks and create a customized game plan to stay one step ahead. 


Try for free

Join my Patreon!

-For OCD sufferers, parents, spouses, etc.

-Monthly LIVE Q&A with Nathan Peterson

-LIVE chat with others

-Early access to YouTube videos

-Get discounts on Merch

Sign up now

Rise From Depression

Self-guided course to help you kick depression to the curb and live life the way you want to. 

Learn the evidence treatment skills that is proven to work for depression.


Try for free

How to Support Someone with OCD

Finally learn how to help your loved one with OCD.

Build confidence, set boundaries, and work together effectively.

Sign up now

Overcome Hair Pulling & Skin Picking

Step-by-step course that teaches you how to stop pulling hair and stop picking skin.

Learn the evidence treatment skills to help you overcome your BFRB.


Try for free


Ready to slay your OCD like a hero?

Let me show you LIVE how I do OCD treatment step-by-step. It's authentic and real. See the question and answer at the end.



Sign up now

OCD and Anxiety Shop

To help remind yourself of your treatment goals, check out the OCD and anxiety merch.


Show yourself that you're worth it and that you can do hard things.



Visit the shop