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Letting Go of Guilt

Guilt can be an expression of an imbalance in our relationship with others or related to expectations that we set for ourselves. We can feel guilty about not being a perfect parent, child, or partner, unkind words, as well as injustice in the world. It really isn’t very hard to find things to feel guilty about all day long.

Sometimes guilt can be positive, it motivates us to bring balance and equality to our relationships. Talking about our sense of guilt with others can also help us to become clear about where our own boundaries lie in how we relate to each other.

Guilt can hold us back though and even make us physically ill. A good way to start tackling guilty feelings can be to examine whether the guilt is justified or not. There are different ways to deal with justified guilt, but there really is very little point in hanging onto feelings of guilt that are unjustified.

So what causes it? Science has shown that biological factors are implicated with OCD, the neurotransmitter serotonin suggests this. Then there are studies suggesting that the condition could be inherited and can appear as a result of environmental influences or traumatic events.

And so does anxiety cause OCD?

Common behaviours can include guarding against danger, continual washing of hands, repeatedly checking doors are locked or appliances haven’t been left switched on and obsessive showering. It can also manifest as constant counting, hoarding or fear of contamination. Because these behaviours are usually unwanted, they can take up a great deal of time and energy and cause considerable mental distress. People with displaying OCD aren’t always aware of what has caused the condition, but it’s almost certain there will have been an event or experience in the past which created deep anxiety.

The cause may not be a single or specific event – it could be something as general as a perception that the environment or world isn’t safe in some way – and because the subconscious mind is our inner protector, it creates anxiety – in this case, OCD – to keep us safe.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) A focuses on the thoughts and exaggerated feelings of responsibility and then looks at healthy ways to respond to these thoughts. Hypnotherapy assists the client to identify the obsessions as thought processes and then work to adapt the behaviour of compulsions to bring about positive change in thinking patterns on a deeper level giving back control and reducing symptoms associated with OCD.

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