So what should you do if you find yourself engaging in obsessive-compulsive behavior?


If you think that obsessive thoughts, compulsive tidying or keeping things in order is interfering with your daily functioning, you should definitely talk to a qualified counsellor.


However, there are some things you can do before your first session.


First, think about when do you behave in an obsessive-compulsive way? Are you stressed, upset or tired? What is going on for you at that moment? Obsessive-compulsive behavior is often used as a defense against unwanted thoughts or feelings. Thinking about what these feelings are and dealing with them will help you stop your OCD behavior.


Secondly, think about being in control. What does it mean for you? Do you have a feeling that you have to control everything in your life and that letting go off control will result in some kind of catastrophe? Keeping constantly busy, completing repetitive tasks, planning etc. are different ways of keeping control of our lives. If you will reflect on your need to control things and how relevant it really is, you might find different ways of being in charge yet allowing yourself more freedom.


Another important aspect to think about is perfectionism. How important it is for you to be perfect in everything you do? What would it feel like not to be perfect? Is it possible to measure perfection? Often perfectionism is a pattern we learned in childhood in response to parental demands. It is an admirable quality to always strive to do your best, but it can also become a barrier to your creativity and stop you having fun.


Reflecting on these and other patterns of your behavior might help you gain more insight into the reasons behind your OCD and also help you develop new ways of being.