Right now I’m writing this blog post about reducing obsessive compulsive behaviours because I’m doing it as we speak. I like repetitions and even numbers, that way I know I’m doing tasks correctly and being safe. My therapist asked me to see how I felt if I only checked once. No repetitions.
Anxious. That’s how I feel.
I suppose the theory behind exposure tasks is absolutely solid: the more you are in anxiety provoking scenarios the more of them you can tolerate. It seems so logically to simply wean off doing things that aren’t helpful to me, but let me tell you, it’s pretty damn hard when you actually do it.
So far these are how I have managed my discomfort:
1. Leave the room. Being physically distant from where you tried out the different behaviour means you are less tempted to go back and “even out” afterwards
2. Tell someone. Hearing from others that the fears are in your mind is a useful reassurance when you feel on edge
3. Accept anxiety. You’re uncomfortable, just like me right now! But that’s normal. Having feelings makes you human. Just let them be.