Self-Help & Home Management Strategies for OCD
By Eric Van Buskirk
Anxiety is a normal and essential response in the human body, signaling our nervous system in reaction to feelings of endangerment. It’s important to recognize that the distinction between healthy anxiety and an anxiety disorder is the reality or validity of those feelings of danger. The way we deal with anxiety also directly influences the nature of the disorder. In the case of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), onsets of anxiety can be anything from mildly disruptive to a serious impairment depending on personality types.
What is OCD?
As the name implies, OCD is the development of obsessive compulsive behaviors in response to recurring onsets of anxiety brought about by a variety of causes. Signs and symptoms can be anything from random occurrences in one’s daily life to unwanted memories popping up occasionally. Due to the persistence of the onsets of anxiety, the subsequent obsessive compulsive behaviors can consume alarming amounts of time and energy. Ultimately, OCD can have profound negative influence on a person’s ability to achieve goals and maintain relationships.
Taking Control of Your Life
While it is always best to seek a qualified mental health professional for treatment of anxiety disorders, there are a few safe and popular strategies to ameliorate the symptoms of OCD independently. In this post, we discuss three of the easiest methods for coping with obsessive compulsive behaviors without leaving the safety and comfort of your home.
- Knowing Your Disorder is Owning Your Disorder The most important step to understanding OCD is getting all the facts. OCD is a chronic disorder, and as such is not a condition that can be cured. However, it’s helpful to be as educated on the subject as possible. Becoming an expert on the disorder teaches daily management skills that can be used in tandem with therapy and medication prescribed by a mental health professional. Together, the three can go a long way in helping a person control the negative impact of OCD on his or her life.
- Proper Diet: The Universal Ounce of Prevention While the inextricable link between hunger and mood is common knowledge, it’s also very often taken for granted. Whenever we grow hungry, the drop in blood sugar causes simultaneous feelings of enervation and crankiness, exacerbating feelings of anxiety. A healthy diet over five or six small meals throughout the day is invaluable for staying in balance. Nuts, seeds and grains help to keep nutrients and minerals at ideal levels while complex carbs like fruits and vegetables can keep blood sugar levels steady.
- Stay Away From Stimulants of Any Kind Caffeine is most commonly found in coffee, energy drinks and pre-workout supplements. While caffeine does make a viable pick-up-and-go for individuals without OCD, it can significantly dial up onsets of anxiety. The same can be said for the nicotine in cigarettes, yohimbe in thermogenic diet pills and so on. This being the case, people suffering from anxiety disorders in general should avoid stimulants as much as possible in order to stay balanced.
A Healthier Lifestyle in General
There are plenty of other ways to independently manage the symptoms of OCD: regular exercise to keep cortisol levels in check, establishing a sleep routine to ensure you stay well rested and never skipping a dose of medication under any circumstances. OCD cannot ultimately be treated or cured, but its symptoms can certainly be managed professionally and proactively. With consistency, individuals with anxiety disorders can ensure they have as little negative impact on their lives as possible.