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Practice 5: Create a Short Repeating Recording of Brief Obsessions

If your obsessive thoughts take the form of a word, a group of words, a sentence, or block of sentences that is repeated again and again, you might benefit from repeatedly listening to a short recording of that message. You can use a digital recorder or your smartphone. Learn how to set the playback on repeat, so that it will plays the same message continuously.

To practice this technique, write down the sentence or narrative exactly as it comes spontaneously into your mind. Then record it on your device. Listen to the repeating message for forty-five minutes or longer each day. While listening, try to become as anxious and distressed as possible. Just as with Daily Worry Time, becoming distressed is one of the most important components of this technique. Use the recording daily until the content of the message no longer distresses you.  Even if your discomfort decreases within a few days, continue the practice for at least a week.

This practice works on the principle called habituation. This simply means that when you confront your fears and your discomfort simultaneously and continually, you will become less anxious. That's why I ask you to persist in your practice every day for such a long period, and, while you're listening, to become as distressed as possible.