Obsessions are a core symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder, also known as OCD. These obsessions can manifest as unwanted, distressing, and uncontrollable thoughts. The contents of these thoughts can vary but are often disturbing in nature. OCD is an anxiety disorder, and these intrusive thoughts stem from anxiety. These inappropriate thoughts do not mean you are a terrible person.
Typical OCD Thoughts
Every person experiences OCD differently. But classic symptoms and common obsessions include:
- disturbing ideas (e.g., thoughts of murdering a spouse or child)
- a constant fear of contamination and fear of germs
- Disturbing sexual behaviors and religious figures MOC the hundred percent that might include sexual assault or inappropriate sexual acts
- contamination fears with environmental toxins (e.g., lead or radioactivity)
- Fear of harming or causing emotional distress to inanimate objects
- Fears of forgetting or losing something
- Intense fear that something horrible will happen to a loved one
- obsessive fears about doing something extremely embarrassing (e.g., screaming out an obscenity at a funeral)
- Strong need to reorder things until they feel “just right.”
Three ways to stop worrying
research has shown that disturbing thoughts pop into most people’s minds every day. Most people can go throughout their day without giving that thought a second thought; this intrusive thought can be distressing for people with OCD.
People with OCD develop compulsions to relieve the anxiety created by these daily intrusive thoughts.
People with OCD may try to suppress intrusive thoughts though often it may come back worse. This behavior leads to a cycle of thought suppression which will cause more intrusive and disturbing thoughts.
Along with cognitive therapy and medication, self-help strategies may be beneficial if you learn to cope with and control obsessive thoughts and feelings of anxiety. Therapy can also help resolve compulsion symptoms.
Find a Distraction
Try going for a walk for temporary relief. Do something you love, like listening to music, playing video games, or reading a book for at least 15 minutes to take your focus away from your obsessive thoughts. It is essential from time to time to delay attention from those thoughts to become less urgent.
Journal Your Thoughts
Jot down your worries as soon as they occur. Seeing just how many intrusive thoughts you have may help you recognize a pattern. Note-taking may improve your sense of control. Jotting your thoughts enables you to figure out your repetitive behaviors and the types of obsessions you have. Jotting your ideas down can help improve your mental health condition.
Self-care is an essential thing in daily life. It could help reduce destructive repetitive behaviors and improve your quality of life. It can also give you relief from anxiety and relief from your daily life. Reducing stress by eating right, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep will improve your overall health and, in turn, can help you cope more effectively with your obsessive thoughts.
Use Relaxation Techniques
Meditation, deep breathing, mindfulness exercises, or even just a warm bath are techniques that can help you keep your stress levels in check.