I have been receiving a lot of e-mails lately from people asking for advice and decided to compile a list of the 10 most important things that you can do to set yourself on the road to recovery. Some of them might resonate more with you than others. Here they are:
Look for professional help.
It is always a good idea to look for professional help. Especially if you already suffer from anxiety or depression. You might also need medication or you might not. Medication helped me to stabilise my thoughts and moods which in turn helped me to realise the full benefits of therapy and self-help.
Strive to change your mindset.
If you are only focusing on your symptoms and thinking only about “the problem” or hanging questions, it will be very difficult to find solutions. You need to strive (from the word struggle) everyday to slowly change this mindset.
Do not compare yourself to others.
There is no point in comparing your relationship to other people’s. There is no point either in comparing your symptoms to other people’s (specially if you are trying to understand if you have rOCD or not!). Every relationship is different and everyone is different.
Take one day at a time.
Try to focus on today. There is no point in thinking too much about the past and above all the future as this will only lead to more depression and anxiety.
Train yourself in Mindfulness
Let’s get this one right. Mindfulness is much more than a technique. It is a way of life. Read more about it. Watch some videos on YouTube. Listen to a podcast. Above all commit yourself to change. I If you are serious about recovery then one day will not be enough. One week will not be enough. One month will not be enough.
Overthinking is not the solution
It might seem difficult to believe but the more you think about things with the intent of trying to solve them, the more it will make you anxious. If your thinking process is broken, you cannot use it to fix itself!
Learn a breathing exercise
If your anxiety is sky high, try a breathing exercise. But you can only do this if you know one!
Do not look for a quick fix
Ask yourself an honest question – “how long do I think it is going to take me recover from rOCD?” Another good question is ” what is recovery?”
Do not create enablers
If you find yourself talking endlessly with your best friends or family about your rOCD doubts be careful to not make them enablers. An enabler is someone that inadvertently fuels your OCD and overthinking. You might also be turning to them for reassurances which are almost never good when you have OCD.
Commit to change
YOU and ONLY YOU have the power to change. Accept and embrace this responsibility. You can get better. Take control of what you can control. You can learn to control what you think, how you think about it and for how long you think about it. You can control how much time you spend online looking for reassurances. You can control how much time you spend on mindfulness exercises everyday.