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How to Stop Compulsive Behavior

How to Stop Compulsive Behavior

Compulsive behavior is a repercussion of an underlying problem. Find out how to stop this behavior by dealing with your innate fears and emotional pain.
PsycholoGenie Staff
If compulsive behavior goes undiagnosed for a long time, it begins to affect your every activity. People suffering from such behavioral disorder, feel an unsuppressed need continue their behavior relentlessly. Little do they realize that it is a disorder, impending their regular functioning. There are two types of compulsive behavior, namely, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and drug addiction. The former causes victims to think or do certain unwanted things and the latter needs no explanation. In most cases, such behavior is a result of a painful incident in the past. Treating the root cause is the only way to stop compulsive behavior, and is more important than merely treating superficial symptoms.

How to Control Compulsive Behavior

Confront Your Fears
As mentioned earlier, such behavior is a manifestation of a fear, lack of confidence or some other emotional pain. Confront these thoughts and find out what has caused them. Addressing these psychological maladies will help you realize that these are long gone incidences and do not hold much relevance to your life now. Confronting your fears by writing them down or talking about them to someone, will help you control your impulses and keep your reflexes in check.

Control Your Cognition
Cognition is the psychological result of learning, reasoning, and analyzing, which forms your perception. Go back to what your learned from the incident that impacted you so greatly. Jot down the reasons you gave yourself to come to terms with it and analyze what you derived from it. This will lead you to a trail of thoughts that cause harmful compulsive behavioral patterns. Many a time emotional wrecks, take a recourse in psychotropic drugs that give a euphoric feeling. This subdues the stress or pain and makes the victim happy, but only momentarily. It is this instant gratification that gets addictive and results in compulsive habit. Thus, address your cognition and strengthen your power of perception in a positive manner.

Control Anxiousness
Every time you turn to an act of compulsive behavior, stop yourself and find another distraction. Break this habit, by investing your energy in a more constructive activity. Giving into irrational impulses would be going back to a potential threat. Assure yourself that you will be fine without another dose of drug or another act of compulsion. Avoiding an act as such for about three to four times, will give you confidence to get out of your habit.

Four Steps
A little research on the Internet will tell you about the famous Four Step Theory of dealing with compulsive behavioral disorders. The theory has been stated by noted psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz. The famous author of 'Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior', says there are four steps to get over compulsive urges. They are as follows:
  • Relabel: This is the first step which asks the patient to recognize the thoughts causing OCD.
  • Re-attribute: The second step asks the victim to realize the gravity of the thoughts and rationalize them.
  • Refocus: Focus your thoughts on other activities. Distraction as such will help you overcome such harmful behavior.
  • Revalue: Do not undervalue the impact of compulsive habits in your life. It is a grave problem, which needs to be dealt within all seriousness.
If you urge to change such degenerative behavior, you will do everything in your capacity to change it for a better lifestyle. Consult a psychologist and be honest about your disorder to your family. Having a trustworthy support by your side, as you cope with such a problem, will go a long way in establishing better bonds and recovering faster too.