Altering Habits

2 min readAug 21

Habits stifle cognitive and creative growth. People who do everything by habit are essentially living like zombies (except for the eating brains part, hopefully). OCD is a collection of powerful habits that can rule your life. But even when I got rid of my OCD, I found I was mindlessly engaging in habits, perhaps left over from the OCD. For example, I realized I was washing the lid to my blender the same way each time: Brush, scrubby side of sponge followed by soft side of sponge, just to be thorough.

And so, I intentionally changed the way I washed my dishes. I talk about it here:

Habits should be interrupted, played with and changed, in order to keep your mindful awareness active, and in order to free yourself from the entrapment of OCD.

Suggested practice:

Be mindful of your behavior throughout the day. When you find something you tend to do the same way every day, go about it differently. Try folding your towels in thirds instead of fourths (if they still fit in on the shelf that way). Or put your spoons, forks and knives right side up instead of upside down in the dish rack. This practice of breaking a habit can be done with small things that you may not even associate with your OCD — habits that your brain won’t resist too strongly when you alter.


Essays, stories & poetry about OCD, culture and society, by Eric. OCD-Free the book: