If you’re like most people with OCD you can get pretty exhausted and overwhelmed. OCD can send you in never-ending circles while you try to feel certain about something. And no matter how hard you work to get that sense of certainty, it’s impossible to feel it for any length of time. There are lots of steps you can take to beat OCD. But first, let’s make sure you know and practice the first step. This step can’t be skipped!
A shrug communicates “Whatever happens, happens.” How does it work out when you try to control the uncontrollable? Being attached to a certain outcome is exactly how OCD grabs hold of you. For example, perhaps OCD has you paranoid about what people think of you. If you are attached to everybody liking you then maybe you’ll try to control what people think about you by being the funniest person in the room. But, people will think what they want to think whether you are funny or not. And you know this! You can’t control what people think! So no matter how funny you are, there is no relief because you’ll never feel 100% certain you are liked.
Remember, OCD is the doubting disease! You can either keep trying to get certainty-to no avail. Or you can end this vicious cycle and shrug at the worry. Maybe you worry, “What if they think I am boring?” Instead of trying hard to make them think otherwise and only failing because you’re trying too hard, SHRUG and say, “Whatever! Maybe they think I’m boring, maybe they don’t. Until someone says I’m boring to my face…I don’t care.”
I know that shrugging won’t always work. OCD can feel very intense at times and the urge to do whatever it takes to get rid of the anxiety can feel very strong. But before wasting all that time and energy, just try to always make shrugging your first attempt to “boss it back.” If you put any time or energy into trying to control the worry, you’ll end up suffering. Even if you get some relief, it won’t last.
Shrugging will raise your personal threshold–you’re ability to handle anxiety. If you are willing to be anxious, OCD has no power over you.
The higher your threshold the less time you’ll spend trying to control the uncontrollable. I’m not saying it’s easy to just shrug at what can be intense anxiety. Just make it the first thing you try when “bossing it back!”