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Self-help for OCD tip 2: Take care of yourself

Self-help for OCD tip 2: Take care of yourself

Self-help for OCD tip 2: Take care of yourself

A healthy, balanced lifestyle plays a big role in keeping OCD behavior, fears, and worry at bay.

Practice relaxation techniques

While stress doesn’t cause OCD, a stressful event can trigger the onset of obsessive and compulsive behavior, and stress can often make obsessive-compulsive behavior worse.

  • Mindful meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and other stress-relief techniques may help reduce the symptoms of anxiety brought on by OCD.
  • Try to practice a relaxation technique for at least 30 minutes a day.

Adopt healthy eating habits

Start the day right with breakfast, and continue with frequent small meals throughout the day. Going too long without eating leads to low blood sugar, which can make you feel more anxious.

  • Eat plenty of complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Not only do complex carbs stabilize blood sugar, they also boost serotonin, a neurotransmitter with calming effects.

Exercise regularly

Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment that helps to control OCD symptoms by refocusing your mind when obsessive thoughts and compulsions arise.

  • For maximum benefit, try to get 30 minutes or more of aerobic activity on most days. Aerobic exercise relieves tension and stress, boosts physical and mental energy, and enhances well-being through the release of endorphins, the brain’s feel-good chemicals.

Avoid alcohol and nicotine

Alcohol temporarily reduces anxiety and worry, but it actually causes anxiety symptoms as it wears off. Similarly, while it may seem that cigarettes are calming, nicotine is actually a powerful stimulant. Smoking leads to higher, not lower, levels of anxiety and OCD symptoms.

Get enough sleep

Not only can anxiety and worry cause insomnia, but a lack of sleep can also exacerbate anxious thoughts and feelings. When you’re well rested, it’s much easier to keep your emotional balance, a key factor in coping with anxiety disorders such as OCD.