it's no secret that i'm obsessed with reality shows. but my love for them moves beyond survivor and the amazing race. i can watch shows like Obsessed and Intervention for hours on end if allowed to do so. i guess partly because i can relate on some level and also because i support the fact that people are speaking out about addiction and panic disorder and OCD. its important for people to see what it's really like because a lot of times we feel misunderstood or scared to talk about it.
something that is very prominent with people that have OCD or anxiety is rituals. rituals offer a sense of comfort to a person. we feel a doom or gloom outcome is upon us and rituals, in our minds, help ward off that fear. when my anxiety got really bad, i became obsessive about accidentally setting my house on fire. i would check the stove, microwave, outlets, hair dryers - anything - for what felt like hours. i couldn't leave the house without knowing that i had sufficiently checked each plug and appliance at least 50 times. sometimes i would even write down that i checked everything or i would snap a pic of my stove with my cell so i could refer back to it if i became concerned that i hadn't checked the stove well enough. my husband even made me checklists to try and help. nothing worked. it was because the rituals of obsesssive checking helped alleviate the anxiety of "setting my house on fire" or what it really was... the fear of messing something up or leaving something unchecked and unattended or forgotten.
so i got to thinking... what if we became just as passionate about healthy rituals? with my stomach being a big issue for me -it's always the first thing affected by stress- i am obsessive about eating things that work well for me. here's some more i've recently brought into my life:
* meditating to calm my busy, hectic mind
* journaling to help keep my ideas organized and not stuck occupying my head all night
* working out daily in some way, shape or form in order to get out excess energy that could potentially build into anxiety
* green tea sipping to help keep healthy antioxidants in my body
* nightly power walks with my husband and pup - we catch up this way rather than while being half absorbed in a TV show or worse yet, working through the night
* time to tune out- i go in my bedroom, turn on my music and just chill with no phone, email, facebook or twitter
so not all rituals need to be negative or unhealthy. let's bring some into our lives that help make us feel better and be better everyday.