Tip #5 Slooooow Down

ROCD fuels anxiety and anxiety fuels ROCD. And all these are fuelled by OVER-THINKING. I wrote a bit about this in my brain shovel post (tip #3)

In order to get better from ROCD and anxiety, we need to recognize when we are over-thinking things too much…and need to SLOW DOWN.

Imagine this:

Your brain keeps spinning trying to find an answer. The more it spins the more confused and frustrated you get. And this is how your anxiety is being fuelled. By OVERTHINKING. The technical term for this is RUMINATION. It is well known that rumination is at the root of depression and anxiety.

You will not feel better or find the answer by thinking too much. In fact, it is only going to make it worst. You will start to feel better when you learn to STOP thinking. This is only a short term fix. But this is where you need to start to put yourself in a healthier position to start your road to recovery.

How to stop over-thinking or ruminating (changing your focus). The first two are short term fixes. The last one is more long term and is related to mindfulness.

1) Learn to identify when you are engaging in this negative behaviour. I good question to ask is “how long have I been thinking about this today?” If it is more than 20 minutes, I would say that is too much…

2) Find something to distract you – music, tv show, go outside for while, see some fail videos on youtube. Find your own coping strategy!

3) If you get pulled in again into overthinking, GENTLY bring your thoughts to something else. Don’t be mad about it. Be nice to yourself. This is a long term skill that needs to be practised to be effective. More about this on a later post.

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6 comments

  1. Thank you so much for writing all this down. It’s the first thing that’s made any sense at all to me about what I’m going through.

    Is there any way you can add a menu or table of contents to make it easier to navigate the posts start to finish? They’re all listed backwards on the front page and so there’s a lot of back and forth.

    Again – really. Thank You.

    1. Hi, thanks for the words. When I first created the blog, I did look at different options on how to structure it in a navigation friendly way. I soon realised that this might not be the best option as people will try and absorb as much as possible in a short period of time. So I tried to slow them down and help them digest the information slowly as I think this is more productive in the long term. I couldn’t slow down very much in my high anxiety period and ended up spending a lot of money buying books without reading them too much…but I will see if I can improve navigation without accelerating too much…

  2. I have panicked feelings when I try to stop thinking or when I distract myself. It actually “feels” better to keep thinking than to stop. It’s as if I’m afraid to NOT be constantly thinking. Like I’ll miss something important if I’m not vigilantly focused on my “problems”. Have you experienced this?

    1. That is a compulsion that you have developed – it does provide short term relief to be analysing and overanalysing things. Which is not going to be very good for you in the long term as it only reinforces the obsessions…The question that you need to ask yourself is if this over-thinking as solved your ROCD problem or not. Maybe if I show this picture, it will help
      http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro00/web1/Hollander.html
      I haven’t read the text, just googled the picture…

  3. First of all, I would like to thank you for putting this blog together with all your experiences on the matter. I think I’ have been an ROCD sufferer since my early 20’s, as well as and HOCD one, which is not a nice mixing. Right now, I have been feeling like crap, like I don’t feel anything for my wife and that makes me feel like crap. We have been having some difficulties during the last year as we had the most beautiful baby in the world which changes everything, on top of some financial problems that have caused some tension. We are committed to look after our marriage and make thins better, but some times I feel like maybe we could be better if we split, that I would be better by my own and having a go with another partner, find my self “fantasising” on raising our son without living together, keep looking at her to find that I used to like etc, etc. I feel anxious because It feels real, and keep thinking where all my feelings have gone. I am so afraid to realise that everything is done between us even when finishing the relationships is not an scenario for me. Somehow I feel everything I feel for her is still there, but cant find it.

    I have been seeing a psychologist to treat my OCD but having been there in the last year. Typical mistake: once you start feeling better, you let go. I am so scared because it feels so real right now, but, as I said, don’t want it to end. It is scares me because I feel anxious, but not thinking all the time about the matter, it is pure anxiety.

    I just wonder how someone can embrace those thoughts or feeling without making it worse. It just makes me more anxious.

    Sorry if this is too much for a first post, but I kind of struggling here.

    I would appreciate any comment.

    Thanks!

    1. No worries. rOCD can be very overwhelming at times. The trick is to get the right type of help and adopt the right behaviours. Take one day at a time. And yes OCD will drive you into overdrive. The solution for this is learning not to engage with your thoughts. This is a skill that is learned and developed very slowly.

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