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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 CBT tips to help boost confidence

    Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that helps people change their negative thinking and behavior patterns. CBT has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.

    I was always a shy person and I never felt confident enough to speak up in a group or to put myself out there.

    I always felt like I was inadequate and that I wasn’t good enough. As a result, I never got the jobs I interviewed for because I was too scared to sell myself or to speak up.

    I felt like I was always missing out on opportunities because I wasn’t confident enough to take them.

    I decided to try CBT after reading about it online. I started by challenging my negative thoughts and beliefs about myself. I told myself that I was just as good as anyone else and that I deserved the job just as much as anyone else.

    I made a list of all of my positive qualities and accomplishments, and I read it every day to remind myself of how great I really was. I also started practicing visualization techniques, picturing myself nailing the interview and getting the job.

    I would see myself walking into the room with my head held high, shaking everyone’s hand confidently, and answering all of the questions perfectly. After doing this for a few weeks, I started to notice a difference in the way I felt. I was more confident and I felt like I could actually do it.

    I went into my next interview feeling prepared and confident, and I got the job! I’m so grateful that I found CBT and that it helped me to overcome my lack of confidence.

    Maria S.

    3 CBT based tips

    One of the CBT techniques that can help boost confidence is called cognitive restructuring. This involves identifying and challenging negative thoughts and beliefs that are contributing to low self-esteem. For example, if you believe that you are not good enough, you can challenge that belief by thinking of times when you have been successful.

    Another CBT technique that can help with confidence is exposure therapy. This involves gradually exposing yourself to the things that you are afraid of or that make you anxious. This can help you to confront your fears and to learn that you can handle them.

    Finally, CBT can also help you to develop healthy coping and problem-solving skills. This can involve learning how to deal with stress in a healthy way, how to set realistic goals, and how to communicate effectively. These skills can help you to feel more confident in yourself and in your ability to manage your life.

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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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    OCD, PTSD, and how to cope with both

    After my car accident, I was diagnosed with PTSD. I was having intrusive thoughts about accidents and feeling like I was in danger all the time. I was also hypervigilant and always on the lookout for potential threats. My friends and family were trying to be supportive, but I felt like I was struggling to cope on my own. I still have days where I struggle. I am hopeful that with time and continued progress, I will be able to fully recover and live a normal life again.

    Corinne, Canada

    If you’ve experienced trauma, you may feel like you’re never going to feel normal again. The combination of OCD and trauma can add additional hardship.

    When someone is obsessively thinking about a traumatic event, they are re-living the trauma over and over again in their mind. This can lead to flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts.

    The person may also start to avoid anything that reminds them of the trauma, which can make it difficult to function in daily life. This can all lead to a downward spiral of anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts.

    There are studies that show the relationship between OCD and PTSD.

    5 symptoms of OCD and trauma

    1. Unwanted, intrusive thoughts that are difficult to control or stop.
    2. Excessive worry and anxiety about everyday situations.
    3. Compulsive behaviors or rituals that are performed in an attempt to ease anxiety or prevent certain thoughts from occurring.
    4. Avoidance of certain people, places, or things that trigger memories or thoughts of the trauma.
    5. flashbacks or intrusive memories of the trauma that can occur at any time.

    Recovery

    Studies about PTSD and OCD define recovery as strongly related to thinking and rituals: “effective treatment of trauma-related OCD is defined as the reduction in obsessional thoughts and compulsory rituals“.

    The good news is that there are treatments available that can help you recover and heal. One of these treatments is called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

    CBT is a type of therapy that helps you change the way you think about and react to your experiences. It can be used to treat a wide variety of mental health conditions, including trauma.

    Here are some of the ways that CBT can help you recover from trauma:

    1. It can help you understand your reactions.

    CBT can help you understand why you’re feeling the way you are. It can also help you see that your reactions are normal and that they don’t have to control your life.

    1. It can help you change the way you think about your experience.

    CBT can help you challenge the negative thoughts and beliefs that you have about your experience. It can help you see that your experience is not who you are.

    1. It can help you change the way you react to your experience.

    CBT can help you learn new ways of coping with your experience. It can help you deal with your emotions in a healthy way.

    1. It can help you connect with others.

    CBT can help you build supportive relationships with others. These relationships can provide you with the social support you need to heal.

    1. It can help you take care of yourself.

    CBT can help you develop healthy coping skills. These skills can help you take care of yourself physically and emotionally.

    If you or someone you know is struggling with OCD, PTSD or a combination of the two, it’s important to seek professional help.

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    3 Tips for improving your confidence if you have OCD

    People with OCD often have issues with confidence because they are constantly doubting themselves and their abilities. This can be extremely frustrating and debilitating, as it can prevent them from enjoying activities or participating in activities that they used to enjoy.

    I have ocd and it really affects my confidence. I tend to second guess myself a lot and it really holds me back from taking on new challenges. I’m always worried about making mistakes and it really affects my ability to just go for it. I’m constantly doubting myself and my abilities, and it’s really frustrating. I know that I’m capable of so much more, but my ocd just gets in the way.

    Mark Romanoff

    Why people with OCD struggle with confidence?

    There are 3 main reasons why people with OCD can have issues with self esteem and confidence:

    1. People with OCD often have intrusive and unwanted thoughts that they cannot control. These thoughts can be very distressing and can make it difficult for them to feel confident in themselves.
    2. People with OCD may also have compulsions that they feel they must do in order to reduce their anxiety. This can lead to them feeling like they are not in control of their own lives and can make it difficult to feel confident.
    3. People with OCD may also avoid situations or activities that trigger their OCD symptoms. This can make it difficult for them to participate in activities that they enjoy or that could help them build confidence.

    20 examples for common negative thoughts related to confidence

    1. I’m not good enough.

    2. I’m not smart enough.

    3. I’m not pretty enough.

    4. I’m not thin enough.

    5. I don’t deserve to be happy.

    6. I don’t deserve to be successful.

    7. I’m not worth anyone’s time.

    8. I’m not worth anyone’s love.

    9. I’m not lovable.

    10. I’m not good enough for anything.

    11. I’m not talented enough.

    12. I’m not special.

    13. I’m not worth anything.

    14. I’m not worth anyone’s attention.

    15. I’m not worth anyone’s respect.

    16. I’m not worth anyone’s love.

    17. I’m not a good person.

    18. I’m not a worthwhile person.

    19. I’m not a lovable person.

    20. I’m not a good enough person.

    10 Examples for negative thoughts related to confidence that are specific for people with OCD

    1. I will never be able to control my OCD.
    2. I’m so ashamed of my OCD.
    3. I’m disgusting because of my OCD.
    4. I will never be able to lead a normal life because of my OCD.
    5. I will always be alone because of my OCD.
    6. I will never be able to have a successful career because of my OCD.
    7. I will never be able to have a happy and fulfilling life because of my OCD.
    8. I am a burden to everyone because of my OCD.
    9. I am worthless because of my OCD.
    10. I will never be able to be happy because of my OCD.

    So what can I do to improve my confidence?

    Cognitive behavioral methods are a way of increasing confidence by reducing negative thinking and self criticism. The way it works is by changing the way you think about yourself and your abilities. Instead of thinking negatively, you focus not just on your positive qualities and accomplishments, but more importantly, on supportive interpretations of situations. This change in thinking leads to improved self-esteem and confidence.

    The first step is to become aware of your negative thoughts and self-criticism. Once you are aware of these thoughts, you can start to challenge and reframe them. For example, instead of thinking “I’m not good enough,” you can tell yourself “I am good enough.” Once you start to reframe your negative thoughts, you will start to see an increase in your confidence levels.

    3 tips for building confidence

    1. When you feel low confidence, write down your negative thoughts, so you get to better understand your challenges.
    2. Challenge and reframe the negative thoughts. Try to find additional ways to approach a specific negative thought or situation.
    3. Studies show that maintaining LOW self-esteem is actually a very laborious and consuming habit. Just by reducing your self-criticism, your confidence will increase.

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    6 meditation tips for people with OCD

    If you’re one of the many people who suffer from OCD, you know how difficult it can be to manage your symptoms and live a normal life. But there is hope!

    Meditation has been shown to be an effective tool in managing OCD symptoms. Here are six tips to help you get started:

    1. Choose a comfortable place to sit or lie down. You may want to close your eyes and focus on your breath.

    2. Start with a few minutes of meditation each day and gradually increase the amount of time you spend meditating.

    3. Be patient and don’t expect immediate results. It can take some time to see the benefits of meditation.

    4. When you have intrusive thoughts, try to observe them without judgment. Accept them as part of your experience and let them go.

    5. Practice mindfulness in your everyday life. Pay attention to the present moment and your surroundings. This can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings.

    6. Seek professional help if you feel like your OCD is severe and impacting your quality of life. A therapist can provide you with additional support and guidance.

    “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James

    “If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” – Amit Ray

    “Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.” – Buddha

    OCD.app gives users short 15-second meditations on supportive and helpful thoughts. These brief relaxation moments conclude the daily exercise and reinforce the learning while allowing your brain to wind down.

    Be kind to your mind, try it:

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    OCD test: to check or not to check?

    People who deal with OCD can often feel the urge to check. Constant checking can become a ritual.

    Checking comes in many forms: making sure the door is locked, checking body temperature, monitoring relationships and checking to see if harm was done to self or others.

    Due to the nature of constant checking, people who are diagnosed with OCD are advised to resist the urge to check. However, when treating OCD with CBT, or when self-managing OCD with a CBT based app, users are sometimes asked to take a self assessment that “tests their OCD” – in other words, take an OCD test.

    The question that arises is therefore: is it advised to take the self-assessment and “check” my OCD? Or does it have the potential to negatively affect our ability to deal with OCD and improve?

    Professor Guy Doron, co-founder of GGtude and the expert behind GG OCD app, says that it’s OK to take the assessment when advised by a professional psychologist. However, re-doing the OCD self assessment is unhelpful. “As a guide, just complete the assessment and go on to complete the daily exercises,” Prof. Doron adds.

    Living with OCD is challenging. But thankfully, it’s also a treatable disorder and professional help can be an effective way to reduce checking and checking urges. 

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    Can a mobile app help cope with OCD?

    In the past, people coping with OCD who were looking for solutions had limited options. You could go see a psychiatrist, whose tools are psychotherapy and medicine. Later on, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) introduced new protocols that proved to be effective for OCD.

    Nowadays, the gold standard for OCD remains CBT therapy, however there are new tools that use this methodology remotely or digitally. More often than before, people who want to solve a problem often search for an app that solves this problem. For example, if you want to improve your physical fitness, you may use an app for that.

    Apps have great potential as e-learning and training tools, because they are accessible, immediate and relatively easy to form habits with.

    So, when looking for an app to help deal with OCD, what should you look for?

    The 4 OCD app “must haves”

    1. Evidence based

    There are many products that promise the world, but not many of them are researched using academic methods and peer reviews. You want your app to have at least some sort of research backing and credibility. If possible, it should have actual on-product studies that are published in well known academic journals.

    2. Beyond articles and videos

    The power of apps is that they “applications” – meaning that they actually do stuff and not just serve as a browser. We are bombarded by information, but apps have the ability to transform the most relevant information into practice using daily tasks and activities.

    3. Great user experience and customer support

    You don’t want an app that someone uploaded to the app store ages ago but doesn’t provide support for. Search for apps that are being updated regularly, that provide with easy to use and intuitive user interface and that help you do what needs to be done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    4. Privacy minded

    The last thing we want is that someone will use our private information for any purpose other than help us improve our coping with OCD. That’s why it’s important to use apps that clearly label their use of user data and their tracking policy.

    Most credible mental health apps know that and respect user privacy, but it’s always a good idea to check out this information. By the way, if an app uses anonymized tracking codes to drive downloads via marketing channels, it isn’t necessarily a problem. What is important is that the data isn’t shared and no identifiable user information is being shared across apps and platforms.

    Be kind to your mind, try it:

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