If you suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), you may find it hard to control your irrational urges and unwanted thoughts. This may mean double-checking the locks and other things repeatedly or being overly afraid of contamination (washing hands frequently or carrying a hand sanitizer every time). For some, OCD may mean an obsession with symmetry and order or hoarding things they don’t use.
If compulsive behaviors interfere with your life, it is important to get professional help. Modifying your lifestyle is also beneficial in managing your anxiety and thoughts.
Regular Physical Activity
Exercise strengthens your mental health and refocuses your brain, which can help control OCD thoughts and behaviors. It's ideal to have at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. If you can’t exercise for a single period, you may divide it several times a day — like ten minutes in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
Connection with Others
Sometimes, your OCD behaviors can make you feel isolated, which will then aggravate your symptoms. It's best to talk to your family and friends to make your worries less threatening. LifeCraft Counseling LLC and other Denver counseling centers also suggest talking to a therapist to learn healthy ways in responding to obsessive thoughts. They can teach you some relaxation techniques to lower your stress levels.
Right Amount of Sleep
Lack of sleep can make you feel tired and cause more anxiety. It can also aggravate irrational thoughts and OCD symptoms. When you have enough sleep, however, you will find it easier to think clearer and keep your emotional balance. These are important in managing your worries and dealing with OCD and other anxiety disorders.
Resolving Underlying Issues
For some OCD sufferers, obsessive behaviors like excessive hoarding or washing of hand are ways of dealing with trauma. For post-traumatic OCD, it is better to address the underlying issues before trying cognitive approaches. Seek professional help if a trauma or another problem is the reason for your disorder.
These are just a few of the ways to manage your symptoms. It is also a good idea to write down your worries and thoughts to know how repetitive your behaviors are. Writing the same ideas several times may also help you fight the urges or make the thoughts disappear sooner.