Tips For Coping With Health Anxiety
Health anxiety involves intense anxiety and worry about one’s health, usually to the point that it produces significant distress or interferes with one’s day-to-day functioning.
If you are feeling unwell or have noticed new, unusual health symptoms, it’s normal to worry and correct to be cautious. However, health anxiety goes beyond what we might consider a ‘normal’ concern for your health in that it can cause debilitating worry that can have a negative impact on all areas of your life.
Health Anxiety Symptoms:
- Worrying that you’re in ill-health
- Routinely checking for symptoms of illnesses, such as looking for lumps or physical sensations like tingling or numbness
- Reading and making research for health information online and keeping up with the latest health news
- Avoiding watching medical-themed TV shows if there’s a serious illness storyline
- Taking on the role of an ill person by avoiding certain activities as if you are ill
- Being concerned that doctors have missed something when testing you
- Regularly asking others for reassurance that you’re not ill
How to Overcome Health Anxiety?
Try not to self-diagnose
If you’re worried about a medical condition, you may think seeking out more information (for example, searching online) will help alleviate that anxiety. Think back to other times you’ve done that. Chances are, seeking to fill those holes yourself only made the anxiety worse. If you look hard enough, you’ll end up finding something to confirm any anxious thoughts you’re having.
Practice stress management
Everyone experiences stress in their lives, and how you manage it can have a significant impact on your mental health and wellbeing. If you struggle with health anxiety or another mental health condition, managing stress can be an effective way to lessen your symptoms.
You should learn to identify what elevates your stress levels, and find stress management techniques that work well for you. Consider meditation, yoga, relaxation techniques, or other intentional activities to calm your mind and ease the intensity of your worries.
Be mindful to live in the now
When you live in fear of getting ill, you effectively spend all your time in the future rather than the here and now. If you’re worried about getting ill, acknowledge that thought for what it is – just a thought about getting ill, rather than an actual prediction – and return to the here and now.
Although each person is different, and some people experience social anxiety, spending time with friends and family on a regular basis may help you manage your anxiety.
Socialization can help relieve stress, encourage feelings of laughter and togetherness, and decrease loneliness.
Everybody experiences worry from time to time. But if your anxiety isn’t going away or is beginning to impair your daily activities and routines, it may be time to seek the support of a professional. If you’re concerned about your mental health, start by reaching out to Dr. Carla that will help you by ruling out any physical issues, as well as develop a care plan tailored to your unique needs.