Obsessive-compulsive disorder is anything but enjoyable. Sufferers spend a lot of their time maneuvering their lives around avoiding the anxiety associated with the condition, which means they end up without much energy or opportunity to take advantage of what life has to offer. While combating OCD is best done in partnership with an appropriate healthcare professional, there are three things those with OCD can bear in mind to help them on the path to a life beyond it.
Countless studies have lauded the benefits of a healthy diet and a good amount of exercise in easing stress and giving the mind a good foundation on which to focus on overcoming a condition such as OCD. Indeed, healthy diet and exercise are shown to lift mood, which in turn lowers the intensity of worry caused by OCD. Of course, many sufferers may find that their ability to stick to a healthy diet and keep the motivation to exercise going are directly impacted by OCD patterns of behavior, but this further underlines the importance of breaking the unhealthy cycle that feeds into the condition.
This practice involves understanding when worrisome thoughts related to OCD begin to creep in and doing something pleasurable to counteract these thoughts. When you recognize that you're falling into obsessive thoughts, and understand that ignoring them until they pass is the key to overcoming them, it's important to occupy your mind with something nice, whether it be listening to music, reading your favorite website or going for a walk. It's important not to use this as a simple distraction technique, however, and to be honest and check back in with yourself after doing the activity for a short time, say 15 minutes. Hopefully, you'll be feeling calmer and more in control of your thoughts after having done something enjoyable for some time.
It's easy to say, but keeping a healthy sense of humor is very important for sufferers of OCD. So much time can be taken up by worrying and obsessing that there's often little time to just have a good laugh now and then and remember that there's enjoyment to be had in life. There's nothing funny about the anxiety related to OCD, but by ensuring that you don't simply retreat inside your shell to avoid any uncomfortable situations, and instead surrounding yourself with friends and situations that make you laugh, makes it easier to keep a positive outlook. This is crucial when undertaking practices such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. As the great American social reformer Henry Ward Beecher once said, "A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It's jolted by every pebble on the road."
You may notice a trend in the above processes: They all relate to raising levels of happiness and avoiding unhelpfully negative thought processes. Indeed, although OCD has a powerful hold over those it affects, it does come down to a case of mind over matter, and keeping these practices in mind while undergoing treatment with a professional will help to ensure success in overcoming the condition for good.