Written by Steve
How To Obsessive Checking And Create Inner Peace And Calm
Obsessive checking like all other forms of OCD is linked to anxiety but because the brain learns through the process of doing and repeating.
You will soon create a secondary problem because your obsessive checking will become a well practiced and well establishedhabitual habit which can prove hard to break.
I have suffered for years with the need to obsessively check things over and over again so I know how frustrating and stressful this problem can become, not to mention all the time it steals from you, but I also know it is treatable.
The exact reasons that initially cause obsessive checking is not known, but there are a few underlying characteristics that can contribute to it, which may include:
- Having critical, strict or overly dominant parents or peers
- Over-thinkers and introverts
- The need of certainty and wanting to feel safe all of the time
- Slumping of the shoulders and the sense of defeat
Breaking the the fear links, habits and associations
Although OCD is linked to anxiety you will also need to work on unlearning your old checking habits and changing them to better and less time consuming checking habits.
The more you check the more you doubt yourself and because OCD works the same way as addictive types of behaviors.
You might have found out is that you need to keep doing more and more checking to get the same levels of relief and reassurance from your feelings of discomfort as you got before when you were checking things less often.
Which can result in the feeling that you need to check things even more just to give you the reassurance and relief that you want.
OCD is like having a dominant and affirmative inner voice inside of your head which is being driven by the fear or worry of something bad happening to you or your family.
This can leave you feeling powerless and submissive and force you into giving into the demands of your dominant inner OCD voice and at the mercy of your anxiety and those powerful and intense compulsion.
As that dominant inner voice and those intense feelings become more powerful, overwhelming and demanding you will become weaker and more submissive.
Those fearful and doubt creating what if thoughts and images in your mind are known as obsessions which triggers the feelings and compulsions that force you into doing your checking rituals and behaviors.
You perform all the rituals to give you a sense of relief, certainty and reassurance so you can dissolve the obsessive feelings and prevent the bad thing from happening.
The trouble is, the more you check the more you question and doubt yourself which will force you into the trap of checking even more.
Your obsessive checking will be more severe and harder to control at times when you're feeling overly stressed, tense, tired or frustrated.
The reason why I think obsessive checking is linked to over-thinkers and introverts is because when most people start to perform their checking rituals.
They tend to go into a trance like inner state where they either focus on their obsessive or anxious thoughts or they allow their mind to drift off onto something else.
Anxiety is actually a sign of creativity and intelligence and when you put this creativity to good use then you will be able to achieve great and amazing things.
OCD has also been linked to perfectionism and the need to feel safe, secure and always feel in control and these are some of the main things that are driving your obsessive checking rituals.
The trouble is all the repetitive checking just steals your time but it does not give you the reassurance that you want.
All it does is, all excessive checking causes a sense of a loss of control and creates the continual seeds of doubt that feeds you the compulsions and obsessions.
Which will cause more anxious questioning in the mind which will force you to seek for more reassurance and relief from the anxiety and compulsions and at the moment the only way you can get that relief and reassurance is by giving into the demands of your OCD.
Performing all the checking rituals may make you feel like you have done enough to avert the imagined bad thing from happening and the important thing here, is the "imagined disaster." because the danger usually only exists in the mind.
Although it makes sense to be careful, sensible and cautious to a degree and there is nothing wrong with checking things once or twice to make sure because you don't want to become reckless and careless.
The obsessive and excessive checking is not necessary and you should not always trust, buy into or be led and dominated by your imagination and instead decide it is time to let go of all your fears, worries and anxieties.
Recommended Obsessive Checking Treatment
Obsessive checking is driven by anxiety, habits and stress but you also have the other side of obsessive checking where you go into that inner trance like state where times seems to standstill and you switch yourself off from the outside world which is often overlooked but it is something you have to be very important to be aware of if you want to cure your obsessive checking.
I personally know that you can enter into this trance like daydream and hypnotic state where you can lose touch with time.Because of the natural trance like hypnotic state you enter when you're performing your checking rituals.
Self-hypnosis has been proven to be successful to treat obsessive checking because it uses the same process and mechanism that forms your OCD and your anxious associations to reverse and heal your obsessive checking.
Give up the resistance
The worst thing that you can do with any form of anxiety and OCD disorders is to allow yourself to get frustrated and annoyed with yourself and get involved with a battle with your mind and body.
When people have anxiety, OCD or unwanted or anxious thoughts they tend to try and battle with the thoughts in their head and they spend all their time trying to stop, suppress or resist their thoughts and feelings.
All that does is cause you more stress, anxiety and emotional overwhelm which makes your OCD and anxiety worst and harder to manage and overcome.
Another thing people tend to think, when they feel anxious or when they have unwanted thoughts is; they start to think that they are not normal or there must be something wrong with them.
The truth is, everybody gets unwanted and anxious thoughts and anybody can develop OCD so it is a good idea to try and normalize it and then work on overcoming it.
Overcoming obsessive checking takes time and you will experience set backs along the way often because you will be feeling overly stressed, frustrated or tense.
The more you can do to relax and reduce your stress the better. Another thing to do is to accept you obsessive checking and cease resisting it or trying to force it to stop.
You instantly know if something is turned off in a fraction of a second, so the biggest problem you have is trusting your own ability to check and know that things are turned off or locked.
Again, stress and tension can play havoc with your short term memory and the more you check things the more you will disrupt your natural instinct to know whether or not if what you're checking is off or locked.
So the longer you take and the more you check something the more you will start to interfere with this natural process and ability to check something quickly and move on and forget about it.
When you're checking something, you know straight away if the device is off or the door is locked so it can help if you keep affirming to your mind that the thing is off or locked.
When you're doing your checking rituals although it is your aim to stop all of the excessive checking you need to do it at a pace that suits you.
To start off with, aim to reduce the amount of times you check things and keep telling yourself that you're safe now so, all the checking is unnecessary.
Do not resist your checking, accept it and do not rush because it is not about trying to force yourself to stop it or carry on trying to defeat it, because that approach simply does not work at all.
In fact it is far better not to want to stop your checking and instead just accept it and work on cutting the amount of times you check things.
The secret is all about relaxing, relearning your mind and just cutting down the amount of times you check things.
Your mind learns from the process of doing and repeating so this just needs reversing and undoing bit by bit without resting it.
When you're doing your checking, keep out of your head and keep externally focused, just be aware of what is going on and relax your shoulders and do your visual or physical check once or twice.
All the time,keep focused on what you're checking then move onto the next one if you're checking more than one thing.
If you're mind tries to drag you back to re-check and you start to feel uncomfortable and the compulsion start to intensify.
Be firm with your mind so you start to become the dominant voice instead of the being dominated, embrace the feelings and compulsions and refuse to go back, the feelings will subside.
Tips to help you relieve your stress and anxiety and reduce your checking times
There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel safe and it is OK to be sensible and a bit cautious, as the old saying goes.
"It is better to err on the side of caution"
It is OK to check something once or twice. But it is not healthy or necessary to keep on checking and rechecking.
Especially as there are much better things you could be doing with your valuable time and energy, like:
- Setting yourself a goal
- Adding more meaning and purpose to your life
- Thinking about your hobbies, passions and interests
- Using your creativity and putting it into good use
If you find your OCD checking is controlling you and you find yourself constantly checking and rechecking all of the time, then it is time to do something about it.
If you carry on battling with your obsessive checking, it will drive your crazy, it will control you, run you ragged and it will leave you feeling annoyed and frustrated.
You have probably heard the saying.
"What you resist, persists"
Resisting and fighting your anxiety and obsessive checking is futile and it will leave you feeling frustrated and defeated each and every time, you try.
If you really want to overcome your OCD and checking, you first have to stop fighting and resisting it.
Just give up the fight and stop resisting it, totally.
This means; no more trying or wanting to stop your thoughts, feelings and your checking.
Accept it and surrender to it, just let it think it has won and from now on, do not ever allow it to bother you.
Doing this will give you a great sense of relief, meaning no more battles with it and no more stress and wasted energy.
This alone, can begin to free you.
By this, I don't mean carry on allowing it to bully, control or dominate you and I it definitely doesn't mean that you have to carry on checking and rechecking.
But by letting go to all that toxic and negative resistance, you will feel much calmer and in control of the situation.
This will allow you to think clearly as well as freeing you to rewire your brain and reduce your checking.
So please, for your own wellness and well-being and peace of mind.
Give up all the fighting, resisting or trying to stop it or get rid of it.
Because you are way more powerful and smarter than your OCD and once you realize this.
It will become obvious to you that there is absolutely nothing for you to fight or defeat.
Yes, you want to overcome your checking and rechecking and of course you want to train yourself to check less and less, but stop the resistance.
The best way to overcome any emotional or obsessive behavioral problem is to:
- Accept it and let go of it
- Remove the root cause of the problem
- Rewire your brain
- Find better and more relaxing ways of doing things
The root cause of your obsessive checking and the one thing that is guaranteed to make it worse, is trying to resist or suppress it, the other the danger association.
The danger association really lies within your imagination and it is being fueled by the fear of what might happen, if you do not do all your checking.
I've been there, and I know it only takes one thought or imagined disaster, to force you to go back to recheck.
How many time, have you known something is turned off or shut, yet you keep on going back to ease your anxious mind, only to find out that the thing was off or shut?
The amount of times that I have gone back after I had left the house to see if I have locked the door, is ridiculous, and guess what, every single time it was shut.
Next time you are doing your normal checks, don't get lured into the OCD trap, cycle and battle with your mind and body.
Stop trying so hard and stop trying to force the issue, just low down, relax and take your time.
But this time don't do what you've always done and try not beat it or force yourself not to check.
Instead, relax and be OK with it and then work at your own speed and a pace that suits you to try and reduce your checking times and the amount of times that you check things.
without you knowing, you have developed a checking and rechecking problem through the continually process of doing and repeating.
Each time you do your checks, you're constantly reinforcing to your brain that your checking rituals are necessary to prevent something from happening or to keep you, others or your family safe.
To break these fear driven associations, habits and patterns of behavior. It is essential for you to reprogram and relearn your brain through repeating and doing the right things.
One way to achieve this; is to use the same process and mechanisms of the mind that created your checking rituals and problem in the first place.
Allow for setbacks
During your recovery you're going to have setbacks, bad days and relapses, if you do, try not to make it a big deal.
Because, it is important that you do not beat yourself up or get annoyed or frustrated with yourself.
Your thoughts, urges and compulsions can feel very strong and overwhelming at time.
But you are way more powerful, and once you know this. You will be well on your way to recovery.
Here's the thing, your thoughts, feelings and compulsions can not persist, if you do not give them any of your time and attention.
You might feeling a bit uncomfortable for a short while, but if you accept them and you allow them to have their brief moment, they will soon leave you alone.
So instead of trying to resist or hold on to them, because you have nothing to gain by holding onto your suffering.
Just acknowledge and embrace them, then release them and just let them flow through your body and away all by themselves.
Bare in mind. It is much better to be prepared to accept and put up with a few temporary strong feelings and emotions for a while.
Than it is to spend the rest of your life, being a victim and slave to them and the sooner you learn to accept a bit of mild brief discomfort.
Then the sooner those feelings of discomfort will pass and fade away.
Another thing that people do when they're checking is they go internal and even start focusing on other things.
The key is to relax, get out of your head and focus on what you're doing.
Instead of trying not to check things, relax, chill out and be happy with checking things.
Even though you want to reduce the amount and the length of times you check things.
There is no need for you to rush to check things and there is no need to get annoyed or upset with yourself, either.
In-fact there no need to do much at all to start with, other than to keep on;
- Reassuring and affirming to yourself that your safe
- Tell yourself that what you're checking is off and letting yourself know that all the checking is unnecessary
Then when you're feeling more relaxed and at your own pace and in your own time.
Try and begin to reduce the amount of times you check things and try to introduce a bit of logical thinking.
The truth is, you instantly know or you can easily tell if something is on or off, locked or unlocked or open or closed.
Therefore; although it is fine to be sensible and cautious and only you can decide what you think is the right amount of times you check things.
Checking things repeatedly, over and over again does not offer you the certainty that you're looking for, in-fact the more you check the more you doubt yourself.
2) Stop trusting your imagination
As we have already mentioned OCD checking is fear and trauma based which is being driven by your imagination.
Your body responds instantly to your imagination and your imagination can trick you into thinking something bad might happen and control your actions and behaviors.
That's how powerful your imagination is and with the backing of your intense and strong feelings, it can make your life a misery.
But here's the thing. Your imagination is not always right, it just predicts what might happen, so it is important that you do not always trust your imagination.
Your imagination is based on your external representation of your reality, not your external.
If you often feel the powerful urge and compulsion to go back and recheck something that you have already checked, then you're obeying your imagination.
For instance: If you are worried about your house setting on fire, which causes you to check whether your cooker is tuned off.
After you have checked it, your mind can create an imagined image in your mind of your house setting on fire.
This can set the alarm bells ringing and it can trigger strong urges and compulsions that can force you to go back and recheck.
Even though you know that your oven is turned off.
Your anxiety and all those what if thoughts can create uncertainty in your mind which can cause you to question and self doubt yourself.
Even though you logical know that the device is off or locked. You OCD can trick you into thinking that you might have left something on or unlocked.
OCD can cause you to trust and react to your what if thoughts and imaginations more that your logic and what is true in reality.
When you're having those what if thoughts and imaginings.
Just pause for a few seconds and try not to react and be bullied by them.
Without going back all the time, unless your really unsure.
Let yourself know that everything is off/shut and reassure yourself that whatever happens you'll be OK or everything will be fine.
For further help, checkout this article and how to end repetitive and anxious thoughts.
Improve your imagery recall and short term memory
Those who suffer with OCD checking, tend to doubt themselves and they seem to have less confidence in their ability to remember whether things are off or shut.
Some research suggests that obsessive checking can be caused by an imbalance between their long term memory and short term memory process.
This could mean that a person without a checking condition, will take a quick glance at something and then they will move onto something else.
In the case of someone who suffers with checking and rechecking it may because they have got themselves stuck in a loop.
This is where there long-term memory could be dominating the persons brain to such an extent that their behaviors and reactions are being run by their memory, instead of their sensory input.
To try and improve your image memory. Try this tip to help you to improve your imagery and short term memory recall
Lets say your worried about leaving your front door open or unlocked:
- Take a deep breath and relax your body
- Take your time to check whether the door is closed and locked, Try not allow your mind to wander onto something else, just relax and stay externally focused. Pull the handle down and see if the door is locked, you can do this twice if it helps you and keep focused on the door
- As you walk away or sit in your car, keep looking to see if the door is closed
- Once you leave your house or apartment, if you have any thoughts and compulsions, feel them and allow them to pass. Try not to go back. If you do go back, accept it and try not to get annoyed or frustrated
- If you're still have what if thoughts and imaginings, tell yourself you know it is locked, if there is anybody at home, just text them to reassure yourself
You can use this technique on all the other things that you check and once you are certain that the device or things is off or shut and the reality is, you know in a split second, walk away.
Use your own thoughts and words to change your input through the use of logic instead of fear.
The secret is for you to become stronger, more dominant and more powerful and to allow your OCD to fade, become weaker and lose its dominance and control over you.
If you're going out for a day, you're at work or college or you're on holiday when one of those thoughts and imaginations of doubt, suddenly creeps into your conscious awareness.
Then this can fill your mind with self-doubt and it can drive you crazy and ruin your day or even whole holiday.
It only takes one thought or image to enter your mind, to trigger a sense of emotional overwhelm, stress and enough uncertainty to drive you crazy with worry and dread.
The feelings can be so overwhelming that you may even get so far and you will feel as if you just have to go back and check.
If you have a mobile phone with a camera.
One way around this is to take a photo of the things you would normally check, so it will prevent you from ruining your day or holiday or prevent you from going back home.
The reality is. If you have already checked something once or twice. Then those things are off, locked or you have not forgotten something important.
This means even if you think you didn't, the reality is, you did. So there is no need for you to keep checking or no need for you to go back.
The only reason why you go back an check is because of the anxiety and fear that something bad will happen, if you don't.
Going back and checking might give you some temporary relief and peace of mind, but it is not the solution.
Because in the long term, all you're doing is feeding the anxiety and obsessive behaviors and you're reinforcing the need to go back and check.
If you're out for the day or longer and you really feel overwhelmed you can either accept the worse case scenario or you can leave a spare key with your family and ask them to go to your house or apartment and check for you.
Breaking bad checking habits
To break the habit you can set how many times you feel that is sensible and right for you and stick to this new habit.
Or you can try to gradually reduce the amount of times you check thing's, if for example you check the gas appliance 10 times, reduce it to 9 for twenty consecutive times in a row.
Then set a new target of 8 and bring it down until you have reached a level you are happy with.
Once you have checked things for the amount of times you have set yourself, make a decision and stick with it.
Once you have checked something at the limit you have set, move on and do not go back. If you feel anxious or the compulsions and feelings are trying to overpower you.
Just relax, take a few deep breaths, release any tension and let the feelings fade away all by themselves, do not try and resist or battle with your thoughts and feelings, just let those feelings carry on and leave them alone.
Once you have checked something for the amount of times you have set yourself. If your mind and feelings are trying to make you go back or carry on checking.
Be firm with yourself. Say to yourself silently but firmly, repeatedly:
"I know the device is off, shut or locked, I am safe".
For example. If you're checking to see if the gas is off.
Silently and firmly, affirm to yourself.
"I know and I am absolutely certain, the gas is off"
Remember it is not about rushing or resisting, it is all about taking your time, relaxing and reducing the amount of times that you check.
OCD Checking Emotions-Reduce your stress and release your tension
Our short term memory and our ability to make quick and decisive decisions can be compromised and affected by stress and tension in our minds and bodies.
Stress and tension in the mind and body will confuse your mind and make it more harder for you to make a decision on whether you have checked something.
Stress and muscle tension are both linked to your fear response and survival and protection mode.
Your feelings and your OCD checking emotions are linked to the emotion that is associated with fear, which can make your checking and the urge to recheck, much worse.
Relaxation and inner peace and balance are the key, because at times when you're feeling stressed or tense, your brain interprets this feedback as something bad is about to happen, otherwise why would you be in fight or flight mode.
This can cause the emotional part of your brain and your senses to scan your environment for threats and risks.
This will put you on high alert to danger and because your senses cannot find a real external threat your mind will create an imagined one.
This will make it even harder for you to check things and the things that normally take you too long to check will probably take you a whole lot longer.
By reducing your stress and tension, you will feel more calm and relaxed and you will feel safe and securer.
Seek professional help
People who suffer with OCD, often feel too ashamed and embarrassed to seek help.
They can also tend to think that they are somehow crazy or not normal, which is absolutely not true.
Do not feel ashamed or embarrassed to speak to somebody or seek professional help.
The more you check things the more you doubt yourself
If you have Obsessive checking disorder then on thing that you will have to work on is overcoming all the self doubt.
Because if you keep on repeatedly check things over and over again.
Then this suggests that you doubt your ability to turn things off or you doubt your ability to check things once or twice then move on.
The more you check something the more you doubt yourself and as I know from my own personal experience, after a while you go into a kind of a daydream like state where you become more internally focused.
All the self doubt is causing you to go to extreme measures, before you can obtain the calm and reassurance that you want.
The thing with doubt is. The more you doubt yourself, the more you will feel the urge to check things and you will start to lose your trust in your ability to make a quick decision.
The amygdala, which is directly connected to the fear center of your brain. Deals with and controls your anxiety and fear responses.
If your amygdala recognizes anything that it remotely associates with danger or potential danger ahead.
It will trigger a powerful chemical and physical reaction in your body to ty and alert you to the potential danger or risk.
This process is designed to get you to take action so you can avoid the danger or prevent it happening before it occurs.
In the case of obsessive checking. The danger is, maybe a fire, someone breaking into your house, being poisoned by gas, missing a big occasion, losing something, developing an illness etc.
If you have obsessive checking then this means that the emotional set point has been set to high and your amygdala is responding to things that are not threatening or when there is only a very low degree of risk.
It also means that, your amygdala is not switching off, after you have checked things the normal amount of times.
You can attach anxiety to just about anything, unfortunately you have attached anxiety to all the things that you're checking.
What can be learned can be unlearned
Your brain follows the same old patterns based on
- What it has learned
- What been taught to do through your self conditioning and your negative experiences
- What it is used to doing
When you constantly repeat a habit over and over again. You brain gets used to reacting and doing things that way.
Without you realizing it. Through a process of repetition and learning.
You have taught yourself to think obsessive thoughts, react fearfully and you have conditioned your mind that you need to check things a certain amount of times in order to prevent something bad from happening.
Unfortunately. If you suffer with OCD then you have accidentally rewired your brain to have obsessive thoughts, feelings and reactions that are tricking you into thinking and feeling, you need to perform all these rituals and compulsive behaviors..
The rewiring of your brain is possible through a process that is called neural-plasticity.
If you want to stop your obsessive checking then you have to through a process of practice and repetition.
Change the way your brain is used to doing things so in time it does things, they way you want it to do.
To successfully make those changes. You have to be prepared to put in the time and effort that is required, because you need to put in the time and effort in order to make the changes effective.
The more you practice feeling calm and relaxed and the more you train yourself to check things less and less, eventually this will become the new way of doing things for you.
Neurol-plasticity involves, forming new connections, memories and associations in your brain.
Why you react with anxiety and compulsions. Happens, because you have formed negative and fearful neural associations and negative memories, with checking or the thing that you're worried might happen.
In the case of obsessive checking. You would replace your old anxious associations and fears, with new calm associations and feelings.
Because neural-plasticity is what allows the forming in the brain of new associations, patterns and memories.
Which will allow you to train your brain to learn new positive things, new calmer associations and new ways of feeling and responding.
Neural-plasticity can be used in the case of OCD which will allow your brain to change and react differently, which will prevent all the anxiety, urges and compulsions.
As you begin to replace the old anxious feelings and compulsions with new positive and safe feelings.
You old habits and negative responses will begin to fade as you use them and respond to them less and less.
This is why it is extremely hard to overcome your obsessive checking if your brain is still hardwired to associate danger, fearful responses or something bad will happen, if you don't do all your checking rituals.
The more you practice a new behavior.The more it will become a new habit and a new and calmer way of feeling and responding.
So you know longer feel the need or urge to obsess and constantly check the same things over and over again.
Self-hypnosis to stop OCD Checking
Self hypnosis is a reliable, natural and safe way of rewiring your brain so you replace your old negative habits, anxieties and fearful feelings and associations with new calmer and better ways of feeling and responding.
The Hypnosis Downloads Stop Obsessive Checking is a great way to help you to, reduce your anxiety as well as helping you to break those tedious, painful and time consuming, obsessive checking rituals, habits and patterns.
This inexpensive and effective self help treatment which is made by professional therapists can be used in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
The Stop Obsessive Checking recording will allow you to change your brain to feel and react in a more pleasing and calmer way.
Each time you listen to this recording you will lower your anxiety and you will begin to lose the urges and compulsions to constantly check.
Leaving you feeling calmer, more in control, not to mention all the peace of mind and free time you will save to put to better use.
The big advantage of this recording is it will deeply relax you and then it will reprogram your mind.
When you go into your checking rituals, you will enter a trance like state.
- This recording will help you break free from that trance state where you switch off and spend ages, even hours repeatedly checking
- It will help you to stop doubting and ease you into trusting your perceptions and judgement, so you can check once or twice then move on without being dragged back and tricked by your feelings, mind and compulsions
- It will help you detach the anxiety away from the checking
If you decide to purchase this recording. You must give it time to work, Far too many people tr something once, then they give up to quick.
When used regularly. The stop obsessive checking recording, will give you back all that lost time and free you up to enjoy the good things in life, allowing you to focus on all the better things, that you could be doing with your time.
There is a reliable and effective program which you can access through the link below which has been created by a former chronic sufferer of OCD who found a cure for it.
He is now a world renowned expert in this field.
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