What You Can Do To Relax When You Have OCPD
People with personality disorders like Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) often experience anxiety and stress, which makes relaxing difficult. Here is a list of ways to relax when you have OCPD:
1. Breathe deeply and slowly
Breathing deeply and slowly will help calm your body down. If you’re anxious, that’s probably because you’ve been breathing quickly or shallowly. Slowing down your breath will slow your heart rate and increase the calming effect on your whole system. If possible, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. This will maximize the amount of oxygen getting into your system while releasing carbon dioxide at the same time: something we don’t want.
2. Drink some water
Water is the best beverage, and it’s also good for you if you’re feeling stressed out and tired. Why? It has no calories and has been shown to calm anxiety and stress in various studies. Studies show that healthy people who drank two cups of water instead of a caffeinated drink experienced brain function similar to someone at rest compared to when they drank the caffeine drink.
3. Get some sun on your skin
Stress can cause your blood pressure to rise, so getting the sun on your skin will help lower it again. You don’t need to tan or burn yourself; just go outside during daylight hours for 10-20 minutes. If you have dark skin, more time is needed. Get the sun on your skin and let your body start to relax.
4. Take a hot bath or shower
Taking a nice hot bath is one of the most pleasant ways to relax. It’s even better if you add bubbles, salts, and oils to your bathwater. Taking a shower can be just as relaxing if it includes some warm water and steamy air. You don’t need any added extras: just warm water and steam will do the trick!
5. Listen to some music
The right kind of music at the right volume can help you relax when you’re feeling stressed out or anxious about something in your life. If possible, turn off all non-essential lights in the room where you’ll be listening to music so that the room is fully dark. Relaxing music can be instrumental or have some soft vocals included, but it should not be a song with a strong beat or lyrics that will get stuck in your head and interfere with letting go of stress.
6. Have a massage
Massage has been used throughout history to relax tense muscles and minds alike. If you can afford it, consider booking an appointment at a nearby spa where they offer massages for patrons. You’ll need to do this well in advance, though, as spas are often busy and appointments fill up fast! In lieu of going to a spa, you might also consider asking someone else if they’re willing to give you a neck/back/foot rub.
Exercise is a great way to get your body in shape and can also be used when you’re feeling anxious and stressed out. Try going for a brisk walk in the morning if possible: not only will it help you physically, but it’ll help you mentally by giving you an outlet for all that extra energy and stress. If walking isn’t your thing, think about other forms of exercise like biking or jogging instead. The key is simply to find something relatively active (including strenuous sports like rock climbing) and do it often enough to make sure you stay fit.
8. Talk to someone
Talking about your problems can help ease anxiety, stress, and sadness caused by them. Not only does talking take away some of the burdens from carrying around stress, but it provides you with an outlet for all your pent-up worries and can help you come up with solutions to the issues that are causing the stress in the first place. You don’t necessarily need to talk to someone you know personally either: it could be a friend or family member that’s willing to lend an ear (or a voice on the other side of a phone line) when you’re feeling stressed out about something.
9. Engage in some mindfulness practice
Mindfulness is being consciously aware of what’s going on around you and within yourself while keeping your emotions in check throughout. It’s been shown to have positive effects on anxiety and depression so try setting aside 10 minutes a day where you sit or lie down somewhere quiet, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. If any thoughts enter your mind about the stress you’re feeling, try to think about them without attaching too much importance or worrying about them. Eventually, you’ll start to feel more relaxed as the practice gets easier over time.
10. Get outside for some fresh air
Stress can cause certain smells to be extra intense than they usually are, which could make you feel even more stressed out depending on how sensitive your sense of smell is. Getting outdoors where there aren’t any strong smells can help keep that anxiety under control until it subsides naturally. Plus, getting outside in the sun (see #3) at least briefly will help boost mood and increase vitamin D levels if taken advantage of!
11. Have a cup of tea
An age-old method for relaxation is to unwind with a warm beverage: it’s comfortable and cozy and can also help soothe stress and anxiety if you find the right kind of tea. If possible, avoid caffeine as it’ll keep you keyed up, but try herbal teas like chamomile or green tea instead (both contain antioxidants that may reduce anxiety). You might even consider trying some other low-risk ways to de-stress around your house, such as soaking in a hot bath with soothing bath salts, lighting candles around the room, watching TV before bed (but not when you’re stressed out), etc.
12. Learn how to meditate
Meditation is another way to get the relaxation you need without relying on anything else. It can take some time and dedication, but it’s a completely natural way to find peace and reduce the stress that doesn’t put any additional undue strain on your body. If you’re up for learning how to meditate properly, it should be relatively easy to find guided meditation videos/audios online: just search “guided meditation” together with whatever other keywords might be relevant (e.g., anxiety, sleep, etc.) in order to narrow down your results.
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