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5 tips for mental preparation to the holiday season

The holidays can be a tough time for people for a number of reasons. Studies have shown that the holidays can take a toll on people’s mental health, especially if they are struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions.

First, there is the pressure to spend time with family and friends, which can be difficult if relationships are strained.

There is also the pressure to buy gifts and make plans, which can be difficult for people who are struggling financially.

And finally, there is the pressure to be happy and festive, which can be difficult for people who are dealing with personal problems or who are simply feeling down. All of these pressures can lead to stress, anxiety, and even depression.

OCD and the holidays

OCD can be a mental challenge during the holiday season for several reasons. For one, the holiday season is generally a busy time of year, and people with OCD may have a hard time keeping up with their usual routines and rituals. This can lead to feeling anxious or stressed, which can exacerbate OCD symptoms.

Additionally, the holidays can be a triggering time for people with OCD due to all the holiday-related activities and events (e.g., gift shopping, decorating, attending parties).

This can make it difficult to stick to one’s treatment plan and can cause an increase in OCD symptoms. Finally, the holiday season is often a time when family and friends get together.

For people with OCD, this can be a triggering and stressful event. This is because they may feel like they have to “perform” for their loved ones and bePerfect. This can lead to a lot of anxiety and stress.

I have OCD and during the holiday season, I find it difficult to be around all the people and the hustle and bustle. I tend to want to stay in my own space and not be around others. I also have a hard time with all the food around and the temptation to eat everything. I try to stay on my diet and exercise routine, but it is hard with all the holiday parties and gatherings. I am also aware that I need to be careful of my spending during the holidays, as I can get carried away. Overall, I find the holiday season to be a difficult time for me, but I try to make the best of it and enjoy the time with my family and friends.

Paul M.

OCD and the holiday season: some tips

For people with OCD, the holiday season can be a difficult and stressful time. The holiday season can be a trigger for OCD thoughts and behaviors. OCD can make it hard to enjoy the holidays and can make it difficult to participate in holiday activities. Here are some tips for dealing with OCD during the holiday season:

  1. Be prepared for triggers. If you know that certain holiday activities or situations are triggers for your OCD, be prepared for them. Have a plan for how you will deal with the trigger.
  2. Stick to your treatment plan. Don’t let the holiday season throw off your OCD treatment plan. It’s important to stick to your treatment in order to keep your OCD under control.
  3. Reach out for support. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by OCD during the holiday season, reach out to a friend, family member, or therapist for support. Talking about your OCD can help you feel better and can help you find ways to cope with your symptoms.
  4. Take a break from holiday activities if needed. If you’re feeling really overwhelmed by OCD, it’s OK to take a break from holiday activities. Don’t feel like you have to force yourself to participate in holiday activities if it’s too difficult.
  5. Focus on the positive. The holiday season can be a difficult time for people with OCD, but it’s important to focus on the positive. Spend time with loved ones, enjoy your favorite holiday foods, and take some time to relax.

    Be kind to your mind, try it:

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    3 tips for using mindfulness to help OCD

    When I was first diagnosed with OCD, I was really scared. I had no idea what was happening to me or how to deal with it.

    But my therapist suggested I try mindfulness, and it has completely changed my life. Mindfulness has helped me to be in the moment and to not worry about things that are out of my control.

    I used to obsess over everything and I would constantly worry about what could happen in the future. But now, I’m able to focus on the here and now and to let go of those worries. I’m also able to be more present with my family and friends.

    I used to miss out on a lot of things because I was so focused on my OCD. But now, I’m able to be in the moment and to enjoy my life. I’m so grateful to have found mindfulness and to have made it a part of my life. It has truly helped me to heal and to live a more joyful life.

    Sharon, Canada

    Mindfulness benefits

    When it comes to mental health, mindfulness is often heralded as a powerful tool. And for good reason – mindfulness can offer a number of advantages for people struggling with OCD anxiety. Here are just a few of the ways that mindfulness can help ease OCD anxiety:

    1. Mindfulness can help break the cycle of anxiety.
      For many people with OCD, anxiety can become a vicious cycle. The anxiety leads to obsessive thoughts and compulsions, which in turn leads to more anxiety. Mindfulness can help break this cycle by teaching you to focus on the present moment and accept your thoughts and feelings without judgement. This can help you to start to see your anxiety in a more realistic light, which can ultimately lead to reduced anxiety and fewer obsessions and compulsions.
    1. Mindfulness can help you to manage your anxiety in a more constructive way.
      Mindfulness can also help you to manage your anxiety in a more constructive way. Rather than trying to fight your anxiety or suppress your thoughts, mindfulness teaches you to accept them and work with them. This can help you to develop a more constructive relationship with your anxiety, which can lead to improved mental health in the long-term.
    2. Mindfulness can help you to identify and challenge your anxiety-provoking thoughts.
      Another advantage of mindfulness is that it can help you to identify and challenge your anxiety-provoking thoughts. Once you become more aware of your thoughts, you can start to question whether they are really true or helpful. This can help you to start to see your anxiety in a different light, which can lead to reduced anxiety and fewer obsessions and compulsions.

    Easing OCD anxiety

    If you’re looking to ease your OCD anxiety, mindfulness can be a helpful tool. Here are a few tips to get you started:

    1. Make time for mindfulness.

    One of the best things you can do is to make time for mindfulness. Dedicate a few minutes each day to sit quietly and focus on your breath. Once you get used to this, you can start to extend the length of your mindfulness sessions.

    1. Be patient.

    Mindfulness can take time to master, so be patient with yourself. Don’t expect to see results overnight – it takes time and practice to see the benefits of mindfulness.

    1. Find a mindfulness method that works for you.

    There are a number of different mindfulness methods out there, so find one that works best for you. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, so experiment until you find a method that you’re comfortable with.

    Combining mindfulness with CBT

    It is well known that mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are both effective treatments for a variety of mental health conditions. What is less well known is that these two approaches can be combined to create an even more powerful treatment.

    Mindfulness is a form of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) that focuses on the present moment. It teaches people to be aware of their thoughts, feelings, and body sensations in order to gain a better understanding of themselves. CBT is a type of therapy that helps people to identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors.

    When these two approaches are combined, people are able to learn how to be more mindful of their thoughts and feelings, and how to change their negative thought patterns and behaviors. This combination of mindfulness and CBT can help people to reduce their stress, anxiety, and depression, and to improve their overall mental health.

    Be kind to your mind, try it:

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    10 most common obsessions of OCD

    There are many different types of OCD, and each person with OCD may have different obsessions, or things that trigger their OCD. However, there are some common obsessions that many people with OCD experience.

    I obsessively worry about making mistakes. I also obsessively worry about being embarrassed or humiliated. These obsessions cause me a great deal of anxiety and distress. I have to do certain things to try to relieve my anxiety, such as washing my hands over and over, checking and rechecking things, arranging things in a certain way, and avoiding people and places that I fear will trigger my obsessions.

    Thomas, MI

    Here are 10 of the most common OCD obsessions, and a brief explanation of each:

    1. Fear of contamination: This can include a fear of dirt, germs, or other substances that might cause illness. People with this type of OCD may obsessively wash their hands or clean their homes to try to avoid contamination.
    2. Fear of harm: This can include a fear of injury or death. People with this type of OCD may obsessively check things like appliances or locks to make sure they are safe, or avoid activities that could be potentially dangerous.
    3. Fear of losing control: This can include a fear of losing control of one’s emotions or actions. People with this type of OCD may obsessively check themselves for signs of anxiety or anger, or avoid situations that could trigger these emotions.
    4. Fear of making mistakes: This can include a fear of making mistakes at work, school, or in other areas of life. People with this type of OCD may obsessively check their work or re-do tasks to make sure they are perfect.
    5. Fear of dirt and germs: This can include a fear of contamination by dirt, germs, or other substances. People with this type of OCD may obsessively wash their hands or clean their homes to try to avoid contamination.
    6. Fear of being judged: This can include a fear of being judged by others for one’s thoughts, feelings, or actions. People with this type of OCD may avoid social situations or obsessively seek approval from others.
    7. Fear of harm to others: This can include a fear of harming others, either physically or emotionally. People with this type of OCD may avoid contact with others, or obsessively check on them to make sure they are safe.
    8. Fear of losing things: This can include a fear of losing important possessions or forgetting important information. People with this type of OCD may obsessively check their belongings or make lists to try to avoid losing anything.
    9. Fear of change: This can include a fear of change in one’s life, such as a change in job, relationship, or living situation. People with this type of OCD may avoid making changes or obsessively plan for every possible outcome.
    10. Fear of the unknown: This can include a fear of what might happen in the future or a fear of the unknown. People with this type of OCD may avoid new situations or obsessively plan for every possible outcome.

    Be kind to your mind, try it:

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    5 CBT based techniques to help you with confidence

    Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. It’s most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems.

    CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are all interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap us in a vicious cycle.

    CBT can help us to break out of this cycle by identifying and challenging negative thoughts, and learning to react to situations in a more positive way. Here are five CBT techniques that can help you to boost your confidence and self-esteem, and approach challenges and decisions in a more positive way:

    1. Identify your negative thoughts

    The first step is to become aware of the negative thoughts that are holding you back. These might be thoughts such as “I’m not good enough”, “I’ll never be able to do this” or “I always make the wrong decisions”.

    2. Challenge your negative thoughts

    Once you’ve identified your negative thoughts, it’s time to start challenging them. Ask yourself whether your thoughts are really true, or whether there is another way of looking at the situation. For example, if you’re thinking “I’ll never be able to do this”, ask yourself “What evidence do I have for this?” or “What if I give it a try and it turns out better than I expect?”.

    3. Practice positive self-talk

    Start to counter your negative thoughts with positive self-talk. This might be something as simple as telling yourself “I can do this” or “I am good enough”. When you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, take a step back and reframe your thoughts in a more positive light.

    4. Set yourself realistic goals

    Setting yourself small, achievable goals can help you to start feeling more confident. When you achieve a goal, it will help to reinforce the positive message that you can do things and that you are capable. Start with something small, such as taking a different route to work, and then build up to bigger goals.

    5. Take action

    The final step is to take action and put your new-found confidence into practice. This might mean saying “no” to something you don’t want to do, or speaking up in a meeting. It’s important to remember that you might not get it right every time, but that’s OK – the important thing is that you’re taking action and making progress.

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    Can changing the way you think help you cope with OCD?

    It is now well documented that negative thinking habits affect people’s ability to deal with mental challenges. Multiple studies in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy show that OCD symptoms can improve by working on appraisals and adaptive thinking.

    However, it is sometimes unclear what is the cause and what’s the effect: does OCD fuel negative thinking? or does negative thinking fuel OCD?

    Common belief looks at OCD as some kind of an entity with its own mind. Trying to battle and control this entity is tiring and often fruitless.

    One approach Cognitive Behavioral Therapy suggests is to look at OCD from a different angle – by dividing the cognitive process to two: controllable and uncontrollable thoughts.

    When dealing with OCD, we can have all kinds of thoughts – some disturbing or annoying. One useful approach is letting these uncontrollable thoughts go by, without trying to control or change them.

    There are two parts to this approach though: following these uncontrollable thoughts, we can have additional thoughts – that continue and build upon the negative story and strengthen it. These thoughts are actually something that we can control.

    To give an example: I had a disturbing thought about me doing something bad. This thought was uncontrollable. I’d better just let is go and forget all about it.

    Immediately after it, pop additional thoughts: maybe I’m a bad person? What if I did something bad? These thoughts seem as a logical progression from the original uncontrollable thought, but they are actually part of the story I’m telling myself.

    So how do I avoid getting into the story?

    Here we can use another technique. We give the story a name. Let’s name this story – “The story of me thinking disturbing thoughts and getting freaked out about being a bad person”. From now on, when I will have these thoughts, I will ask myself – “Do I want to tell myself the story of me thinking disturbing thoughts and getting freaked out about being a bad person?”

    Is the answer yes? then maybe I do actually want to get into this story. But I have to now know that this was my choice. It is not some kind of external or uncontrollable entity that caused me to get into the story. It was me!

    Is the answer no? Great, let’s try to not get into this story then. This was just a thought, and while it was disturbing and hard taking it in, I can cope with it.

    Obviously, these are just suggestions. There are many techniques. For example, by using our OCD app, we can learn to let go of negative thoughts, and offer alternative, more adaptive thoughts that can come instead and replace the negative thoughts.

    The main conclusion? Focus on the controllable, and make your new year helpful and supportive.

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    OCD vs. Anxiety: key differences

    Mental diagnosis can be difficult, in part because the differences between individuals’ internal experiences can seem quite nuanced. Per community request, here are some of the key differences between OCD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

    OCDGeneral Anxiety
    Characterized by
    compulsive or ritualistic
    responses to…
    Compulsive, ritualistic
    coping mechanisms
    are not typical.
    neutralize, erase,
    replace, or stop…
    Characterized by
    worrisome attempts to
    problem-solve in
    multiple areas of life.
    unwanted and repetitive
    thoughts, images,
    and doubts (aka: obsessions)
    accompanied by
    physical symptoms.
    which are often
    hypothetical or
    unrealistic in nature.
    Worries focus on
    relatively realistic
    negative outcomes.