Perfectionism and OCD: Understanding Addictive Patterns and Natural Methods to Overcome Them
Mental health conditions, such as perfectionism and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) are very closely related when it comes to the symptoms and behavioural patterns that are associated with each.
* OCD is any persistently recurring thought, action, or impulse that is uncontrollable.*
The incessant need for perfection can also be seen in light of an uncontrollable, obsessive disorder in analyzing the feelings and the repetitive thought-patterns and beliefs that are at the very root of this challenge. (eg."I'm not good enough, I need to get it right.")
Feelings lead to thoughts, and thoughts lead to those compulsive behaviours. Attempting to 'get it right.' 'Never good enough.' Actions that lead to inactions which cause disruptions to life. Perfectionism can easily be seen as an off-shoot to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, as it is defined.. The persistent, recurring need to be perfect. The fear of failure. The shame of getting something "wrong." The roots of perfectionism run very deep and quite frequently stem from childhood events. Some symptoms of this are chronic fear and anxiety.
As with any mental health condition, there is always a biochemical response that is elicited by the brain every time the thought or impulse resurfaces. In this way, the body becomes habituated over time to the behaviour - the state that turns into thoughts, that turn into emotional patterns and behavioural outcomes. While there may be a reasonable or likely cause at the root of these conditions (from a nature vs. nurture perspective), the body, over time, will simply need to get its "fix." This is why some people who experiences these challenges sometimes find they come and go periodically.
People who suffer from these challenges can and should truly be met with an abundance of compassion and understanding, as the body has developed a chemical addiction and it is out of their immediate control.
Perfectionism and OCD have been likened to addictions, because they possess these same addictive qualities. Keep in mind, the body is always giving a biochemical response (happy, sad, etc.), even from the standpoint of a normal, day to day human experience. If that pattern gets interrupted and redirected, there is incredible potential to overcome or alleviate the patterns present in perfection and OCD.
Tony Robbins, a very well known Self-Help author and powerful personal development coach, addresses the idea that when you interrupt a pattern, any pattern in behaviour or emotion, you have the opportunity to change it. One of the main keys to this is interrupting the pattern when the associated trigger arises.
For Example: Similarly, someone with a chemical addiction, such as a smoker, will often want to find and replace the old habit with a new and healthy one.
Here are two simple alternative health solutions to provide assistance in overcoming perfectionism and OCD. There is no "one-size-fits -all" for any healing method. So, for anyone who is interested in taking a more holistic, mind-body-spirit approach to their health and wellness, these may be of great value to look into:
1. EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique): This is a derivative of acupressure or acupuncture. It is based around the meridian points on the body, designed to release any stored negative energy connected to certain key points along the body.
2. Meditation: Meditation of any kind is a practice of quieting the mind, and allowing thoughts and feelings to be present without becoming identified as the sole definition of oneself. Even taking five minutes a day to sit, relax comfortably, and to slow down the breath and gain self-awareness can have tremendous benefits on a person's life.
The greatest gift anyone suffering from perfectionism and OCD can give themselves is self-acceptance. Self-judgment is the juice for anyone who feels they "aren't good enough." It may be a frightening undertaking, but getting past the fear of true self-acceptance and learning to love yourself no matter what is a superb foundation for your health and wellness.