An orange roller coaster loop « Blog

If you have OCD, you know the feeling of being stuck in a thought loop.  You’re going about your day when suddenly it strikes you, a thought you can’t escape and before you know it you’re trapped in an OCD thought loop.

Maybe you're stuck wondering if you turned off the stove, or if that bump in the road was really just a bump. Thought loops can look like wondering if a memory really happened, or how quickly you would start having symptoms of food poisoning if you didn't cook meat correctly.

What do you do at a moment like this, when you can’t seem to escape the spiral of your own mind?

Thankfully, there are a few things that can help. How to stop OCD thought loops:

Label it to yourself as an OCD thought loop

Sometimes the first step to dealing with a thought loop can be just to label it accordingly.  Call your thought loop what it is and feel the power of calling it by its name.

Practice non-engagement or acceptance of uncertainty

When a thought loop is actively summer-saulting in your brain, it can be hard to leave it be.  But that’s what this step is all about.  Practice non-engagement or accepting the uncertainty of the thought. This may be uncomfortable at first, but practicing non-engagement can help you to put more space between you and your thought loop and help you see it for what it is.

How to stop OCD thought loops roller coaster.

Ground yourself in the present moment

The power of being where your feet are cannot be underestimated.  Ground yourself in the present and get quiet.  Feel your current moment and take solace in it.   Take a mindful moment to recognize your surroundings and be present with them just as they are.

Try sensory stimulation

Hold an ice cube in your hand, go for a walk, and feel the cool breeze on your skin.  Anything that gives you a tactile sensation and promotes non-engagement.

Reach Out

How to stop OCD thought loops, you don’t have to handle your thought loops in a silo.  When you are dealing with thought loops, it can be helpful to hear from others to know you aren't alone. Support groups can be a great way to connect with others dealing with similar issues.

Finding a therapist with specialized training in OCD is an important step to managing thought loops, take a look at our resource directory.


  • Ryan

    Perfect advice! Letting thoughts be there without compulsions is the best way forward. Thank you!


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