We all have thousands of unwanted thoughts popping into our heads every day. These are just thoughts. They are not facts. They come and they go and we don’t pay much attention to them.
Many of us have distressing unwanted thoughts popping into our heads from time to time. Usually we don’t take these thoughts seriously and just let them pass. However sometimes we can’t let go of these thoughts and they cause more and more distress for us, and we think that we can’t cope with these feelings.
We would do anything to make the feelings go away. So we do something (it could be checking something, putting the knives back in the drawer, crossing fingers, saying something silently etc); and the distress leaves us, giving short term relief. However the next time we have an unwanted distressing thought we feel compelled to repeat what worked for us the last time, and so the vicious cycle goes on and on; getting worse as time goes on. This can lead to a lot of avoidance in your life, making your comfort zone very small.
The typical OCD cycle is shown below.
I can help you by challenging the meaning of your distressing unwanted thoughts, and enabling you to tolerate some anxiety. Through experience you will gain confidence and be less distressed by the unwanted thoughts and able to begin the process of breaking the vicious OCD cycle. You will then be able to able to begin to expand your comfort zone leading to a more enjoyable life.