For me, getting better from ROCD means thinking and focusing less and less on our anxiety and discomfort on our daily lives. And slowly enjoying life with our partners more. But in order to do this we need to learn how to take some time off from ROCD.
I will start with bad ways of taking time off. If you have learned a bit about CBT and psychotherapy techniques maybe you have learned about thought stopping and worry time.
Thought stopping is “forcing” yourself to stop thinking about something that causes anxiety with the help of a sensory cue. An elastic band on wrist that is stretched and released every you want to stop a thought. This kind of helps you snap out of the thinking rut. Worry time is scheduling a particular time of the day to worry about something and every time you think about your worries you remember that you have a worry time and postpone the action.
Even though these techniques are useful in other types of mental disorders, from personal experience I do not think they are very useful in the long term in ROCD.
OK, now for the good way of taking some time off. Let’s say, an ROCD thought comes in. You either engage with it or not (i.e. discuss with yourself if it is true or not). You decide not to engage with it. You leave there and do not pay any attention to it. If you do, you just say to yourself “that is an interesting thought” and carry on what you were doing. You do not attribute it a good or bad value. It is neutral and it is just a thought. If it comes back again and again, remember that it is just a thought and do not engage. It is just a little child wanting some attention.
Remember: this is a skill that you will learn over time. Doing it once will not cure away ROCD. Give yourself plenty of time to master this skill. Try it for a week and drop me an email to let me know how you are doing.