ERP breaks this vicious cycle by gradually exposing you to the things that you are avoiding and that trigger your obsessions, whilst you resist the urge to carry out your compulsive activity. Remaining in the exercise without carrying out the compulsion means that your distress/anxiety reduces naturally. As your anxiety or distress naturally reduces, the strength between your obsession and compulsion also reduces. You start by confronting easier situations
and then more difficult ones. Each time you carry out an ERP exercise it becomes easier and easier and the anxiety or distress gradually subsides.