You know that feeling of shock that happens when you first jump into a pool of cold water? There’s a name for that!

Curglaff (noun): the shock felt when plunging into cold water

Doing exposures can feel like jumping into really cold water. Initially it does not feel good. We, understandably, want to get out and warm up. What we miss if we get out is our bodies amazing ability to adapt to the cold. If we stay in that pool and swim around long enough, our body will get used to the temperature, that initial shock will fade, and we won’t feel as cold anymore. This is similar to the experience of doing exposures. Initially anxiety screams at us to not jump in (avoidance) or to immediately get out (do a compulsion), but if we stick with the exposure long enough often enough, we learn that exposures are not dangerous, compulsions are not necessary (they are actually fuel for OCD to survive and thrive), we can do hard things, and OCD doesn’t need to dictate our life or actions. So embrace that curglaff feeling and jump in!