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How to stop a compulsion for OCD and Anxiety

anxiety compulsions ocd Oct 05, 2022
OCD compulsions with anxiety

You know what a rubber band right? People used to use them snap on their arm every time they had a thought about doing something I didn't really want to do or a way just stop a thought. the problem is, it doesn't actually work that way. snap on the wrist it's not enough to get our brain to stop thinking.

Go wash your hands. "snap" Was that bump on the road a person? "snap" Do I really love my partner. "snap" What if I'm attracted to them? "snap" 

After the painful experience, it is natural for us to check to see if it worked. That's actually bringing more attention to these intrusive thoughts. Instead it's teaching our brain that it has more value. We don't want to use this trick. 

Do this to stop an OCD compulsion instead

I say we use this rubber band in a different way. Think about your compulsions. These things that your anxiety tells you you must do or complete or else you'll feel even more anxious or maybe you won't stop thinking about it. These compulsions could be, washing your hands, asking for reassurance, checking forums, going to the doctor often, rumination, and even praying.

These compulsions become such a pattern that it can be hard to break. It seems as if the more you attempt to not give in to the compulsion the more you feel driven towards it. That tension starts to grow, your brain will not let go of the thought. Think of this rubber band. Instead, this thing is huge. it's wrapped around your body is attached to that compulsion that you feel like you need to do.

You may be super motivated do not give in to this compulsion. Your brain says, but what if the door isn't locked. You are attached to the store with this rubber band. You say, I am walking away I will not do this. But what happens when we stretch a rubber band? It gets tighter! The tension increases. It is like this opposing force pushing you back the door to perform that compulsion. It's a constant reminder tricking you into thinking that it is important. It's stuck, you have a hard time moving forward because the brain says you can't until you do it. It doesn't take that long. just release this tension and thought in doubt and just go check. If you do, guess what happens.

Sit with the anxiety and stress

You've loosened this rubber band, it doesn't feel as heavy. But, you know that you must walk away from the door again, thus, causing more strain on the rubber band and more doubt. it almost feels impossible for you to move forward but you have all the power in the world. 

Do you know what happens to a rubber band when you keep pulling? It snaps!  When does rubber band finally breaks, then comes freedom. It takes a lot of hard work for this to happen.

And this is how you do it.

Commit to not do any compulsions for anxiety or OCD

You commit! No really. If you have even a small stran of thought or back-up plan to go do this compulsion you will likely give in to it. You must fully commit to not checking that door again. not trying to solve a perceived threat, not ask for reassurance. commitment means you are walking so far away from this compulsion this rubber band snaps. You're going to feel that tension, uncomfortableness, the doubts, the questioning, but it can't last forever. showing this confidence and moving on with your life helps you snap this band. Continue moving through your day, even with anxiety.

This commitment and confidence is shown by how you are going to respond to it. If you're choosing to not check the door to see if it's locked, you are continuing finish your movie and as I thought continues to bug you, you are responding to it with confidence. I am for sure not checking the door tonight. I am accepting the uncertainty maybe I left it unlocked. Maybe something will happen, maybe not. I am 100% willing to risk something bad happening. There is no back-up plan or if the stud doesn't go away. I will sit with this uncomfortable feeling for as long as it takes, minutes hours, doesn't matter. 

The cool part is that when is commitment is made and you actually follow through with it, your brain is learning. It's hard, but you taught yourself that your brain doesn't always tell the truth. because more times than not the catastrophe the brain has placed upon you doesn't happen but we're always willing to risk small percentage where it actually might happen. 

Break the chains of OCD

Just get through the initial moment of resisting this compulsion, and then it gets easier. You make a commitment for all time, not just tonight. This opposing force will keep pushing you back to doing whatever the compulsion is. I think of this analogy, if I keep moving and commit This rubber band will break. I have to be willing to sit with this feeling for however long it takes. oh, OCD and anxiety are really great at quickly reconstructing a new rubber band. If it hooks you again, don't fret, just repeat what you did before and break that darn rubber band. it will eventually stop trying to tell you that this compulsion is important. 


Stopping these compulsions are obviously easy. I've found one method really can help you on this journey. My clients rave about it! I made a video on this trick here! You'll need to go watch this to enhance your skills even more! 

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