How To Cope With Intrusive Thoughts


In the realm of mental health, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a complex and often misunderstood condition.  In this blog, we aim to shed light on the...

In the realm of mental health, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a complex and often misunderstood condition.  In this blog, we aim to shed light on the intricacies of OCD and provide practical advice on how to manage the relentless cycle of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.


What is OCD?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is characterised by persistent, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviours or mental acts (compulsions). These obsessions can range from fears of contamination to concerns about order, symmetry, or even aggressive or inappropriate thoughts. Compulsions are the rituals or behaviours that individuals with OCD perform in an attempt to reduce the anxiety caused by their obsessions.


Tips on breaking the cycle:


Knowledge is power. Understanding the nature of OCD is crucial for individuals and their support systems. Recognising that these thoughts and behaviours are a product of a medical condition, not a personal failing, is the first step toward healing.


Mindfulness and Meditation:

Cultivating mindfulness can be a powerful tool in managing OCD. Mindfulness techniques can help individuals observe their thoughts without judgment, allowing them to disengage from the cycle of obsession and compulsion.


Establishing Routines:

Creating structured routines can provide a sense of predictability and control, reducing the likelihood of anxiety-triggered obsessions.



Writing down obsessive thoughts can serve as a way to externalise them, making them feel less overwhelming. Additionally, tracking triggers and responses can be a valuable resource for therapists.


Physical Activity and Relaxation Techniques:

Engaging in regular physical activity and relaxation practices such as deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation can help regulate stress levels and promote mental well-being.


Therapy and Counseling:

Seek professional help. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), particularly Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), has been highly effective in treating OCD. ERP involves gradually facing feared situations without engaging in compulsions, allowing individuals to learn that their anxiety diminishes over time.


Dealing with OCD is a journey that requires patience, persistence, and a comprehensive approach. You can test different techniques when facing intrusive thoughts to see which technique works best for you.

If you would like to enquire about mental health care at Cardinal Clinic, you can call us on 01753 869755. Alternatively, if you wish to refer yourself for mental health care, you can complete our self referral form.

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1 in 4 people in England need mental health support*

We’re here to ensure you do not have to face it alone.

If you feel like you need professional help, we’re a private mental health hospital in Windsor with nurses on hand 24 hours a day who provide expert clinical treatment.

You can call Cardinal Clinic on 01753 869755 for confidential help and advice or send us an enquiry.

*McManus, S., Meltzer, H., Brugha, T. S., Bebbington, P. E., & Jenkins, R. (2009). Adult psychiatric morbidity in England, 2007: results of a household survey.

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