How to Stop Mild Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior

A tip to reduce or eliminate mild obsessive-compulsive anxiety

Posted Jun 05, 2016

The Mayo Clinic defines obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as: “Unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions).” OCD is a form of anxiety disorder. Someone might wash her or his hands repeatedly, or check the door lock over and over, or scrutinize unimportant details again and again, worried that something might be amiss.

Root causes of obsessive-compulsiveness are complex and often deep-seated. Possible underlying emotional states may include:

The fear of the unknown.

The fear of negative outcomes.

The fear of not being in control.

The fear of failure.

The fear of rejection, shame, or embarrassment.

The fear of annihilation.

In the great majority of cases, obsessive-compulsiveness is one's anxiety (based on irrational thinking) rather than reality influencing behavior.

Here’s a quick tip to help reduce or eliminate mild obsessive compulsion, excerpted from my book (click on title): “How to Reduce Anxiety & Increase Certainty in Difficult Situations - A Practical Guide”. In cases of severe obsessive-compulsiveness, seek medical and mental health professionals for support.

When you find yourself ruminating or obsessing over an activity, give yourself an “anchor code” to stop the negative pattern, and provide control and security.

For example, if you feel the need to wash your hands several times unnecessarily to be sure they’re clean, simply wash your hands once or twice, notice that they’re already clean, and say to yourself the anchor code (which can be a word or words such as “clean!”, “good!”, “good enough!”, “done!”, “check!”, “success!”, “complete!”, “secure!” or anything else that provides a strong signal), knowing that every time you give yourself this code, the situation is under control, and it’s okay to go do something else.

A good anchor code interrupts an obsessive thought pattern, and provides fact-based security for new action!

Preston Ni, M.S.B.A. is the author of (click on titles) “How to Reduce Anxiety & Increase Certainty in Difficult Situations – A Practical Guide”, and “How to Let Go of Negative Thoughts & Emotions”.

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© 2016 by Preston C. Ni. All rights reserved worldwide. Copyright violation may subject the violator to legal prosecution.