You know why you wash your hands all the time or do your little rituals. It’s one of the OCD symptoms in adults.
It’s not that you like to do them, but you feel compelled to do so.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms in adults can be exhausting and make it really hard to get through the day. And even though you know the symptoms are the result of anxiety, it’s still hard to keep yourself from following through with the compulsions.
Here are six practical tips that you can use for managing your OCD symptoms.
1. Stop for a Moment and Pause
When you recognize the obsessive-compulsive disorder getting activated in your brain—pause. Take a moment to mentally detach from the situation. And consider what is happening.
Is this something you need to stress and have anxiety over? Or is this really just simply another example of your OCD symptoms?
Keep in mind that at first questioning yourself may be very difficult to do. But you can at least stop yourself and take a moment to pause. Doing so allows you to “freeze-frame” for a moment and take in the whole picture.
2. Try to Relax
OCD and anxiety can cause you to feel more on edge, more stressed, and just plain more anxious. If you let it spiral even further, you will only get more anxious and have a harder time calming down.
That’s why it’s important to relax, such as through breathing exercises. They really work on two fronts. First, they allow you to inhale more oxygen, which helps your body to physically relax. Second, by focusing on your breathing, you divert your attention away from the source of the anxiety.
3. Think Calm Thoughts
This may sound simplistic, but thinking of calm thoughts can really help. If that means imaging yourself on the beach, great. Go for it!
Really the sky is the limit as to what you may find relaxing and calming. It could be anything from racing BMX bikes, reading a good book, drinking a warm beverage, meditating on affirming words and quotes, or playing video games.
4. Create Some Distance
While this may sound like avoidance, creating space between you and your anxiety can help you from following through with the compulsion. Over time, you may even learn to be able to sit with the trigger and not let it affect you.
However, for now, a little space, even a few feet, can help you cope with your obsessive-compulsive disorder.
5. Find the Humor in the Situation
The problem with OCD symptoms in adults is that you treat them very seriously, which only heightens the fact you are struggling. What if you turned the tables and approached obsessive-compulsive disorder with humor instead? Laughing at the situation, or even at yourself, can help a lot.
Laughter is calming and relaxing. We feel better when we laugh and are more open to different ways of thinking. Imagine how different this is from your OCD impulses, which traps you into having just one or two ways for dealing with anxiety!
6. Talk About What Happened
When you do have an episode of OCD, it’s important to talk about it. This can mean expressing yourself to a trusted friend or family member. The idea is to get what you are feeling of your chest so you are not holding on to those anxious emotions any longer. And that will make it easier to process and create change.
OCD symptoms in adults are not always easy to manage. They require a lot of mental energy and cause a lot of stress too. However, by using the above-mentioned practical ideas, you can better manage your anxiety symptoms and reduce the impact of obsessive compulsive disorder.
If you would like to know more about my approach to treating OCD symptoms in adults, please don’t hesitate to contact me.