Monday, May 11, 2015

Moving Forward Despite Anxiety-

  This is the hardest part of fighting the OCD bully...coping with the anxiety that accompanies the effort.
    The good news is that eventually, it lessens and goes away.  The more we do something we need to do but causes fear, or the more we don't do a ritual or compulsion, also spurred on by fearfulness, the better our brains and emotions adapt to this new behavior despite the anxiety. No, it is not pleasant to feel anxious and tense, and very tempting to give in to the OCD bully's trap of rumination, rituals, and compulsions, that in a strange sort of way, make us feel safe. We might have gotten accustomed to hiding from our fears and/or doing certain rituals to ward off anxiety. But deep inside, we know it is not a happy nor beneficial way to be.
    So, pick one of your fears and.or rituals that brings a moderate level of anxiety if you have to face it - maybe a 5 ( from a 1 to 10 rating.) As an example...if it means getting on a train or bus and you are petrified of doing so, then take the train or bus only for one stop this week whenever you can.
     If it means not counting how many steps you walk up or down...then don't count any for one time today and increase that to three times by the end of the week.
    You WILL feel anxious facing down the OCD bully's prodding to stay stuck in obsessive behavior, but it will get better as you get used to facing what seems scary and threatening.
    Remember, the kinds of fears, thoughts, and rituals, are many and vary from person to person, so it is difficult to list examples of all of them here. You know what you are struggling with this week. Hopefully you can apply this exercise to your particular fears and/or obsessions.
     When we face a fear or resist a compulsion, it is a personal victory that will spur us on to gain more freedom from the OCD bully.


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