Depending on its severity, obsessive checking can be a form of obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD. Unrealistic levels of anxiety become attached to checking locks, gas or even the positions of things until checking takes over your life entirely.
The more you check the less you remember
It's ironic that research actually finds that the more you check something the less clear your memory becomes over whether you did what you were supposed to do or not! So the more you check, the less certain you become, so the more you check. A vicious circle if ever there was one!
You compulsively check as an attempt to assuage anxiety. It is the fear of not checking and all the possible imagined consequences that not checking might produce that drive you to check and check and check.
A natural tendency gone awry
We all forget whether we've done something sometimes, and need to go back and check. But if you find yourself obsessively checking many times on a fruitless search for the comfort of certainty then something needs to change. Obsessive checking is stealing your precious time and energy. It may even be taking over your life.
We all have basic needs to feel safe and secure and avoid too much anxiety. However anxiety can become attached to anything even when it serves us no interest to be so anxious. The very attempt to assuage anxiety, the obsessive checking, actually causes the problem just as alcohol may be an attempt to reduce bad feelings but its over use creates a problem in itself.
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