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10 Ways to Soothe Your Health Anxiety
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, health has become more of a concern than ever. For some, that can be a push to make healthier lifestyle choices, while for others, it can become an overwhelming source of stress. Health anxiety is a condition where individuals are excessively worried about their health and possible illness. This concern, while helpful in small doses, can become debilitating if it starts to affect your day-to-day life. It may be difficult to read bodily cues, leave the house, and calm racing thoughts. If you struggle with health anxiety, explore these 10 strategies to help you soothe your concerns and regain a sense of control.
While knowledge is power, sometimes an excess of it can cause more harm than good. It’s very tempting to fall down the rabbit hole of online symptom checkers, but searching every possible disease related to your symptoms can exacerbate health anxiety. Instead of self-diagnosing, consult a healthcare professional for accurate information and diagnosis.
One way to ease your health anxiety is to take care of yourself. Maintaining a consistent, healthy diet and incorporating regular exercise not only supports your physical health but can help ease your anxiety in general. By nourishing your body you encourage a positive connection between your mind and body, contributing to a more balanced and resilient mindset.
One of the most effective methods of easing health anxiety is to see a licensed therapist. It’s just as important to take care of your mind as it is to take care of your body. By seeing a qualified professional, they can provide you with the tools you need to address and manage health anxiety. Therapists are trained to explore the root causes of your anxiety, providing you with coping methods and strategies to help you overcome these challenges.
Combat your anxiety by reaching out to your loved ones and building a supportive social network. Discussing your health anxiety with friends and family can be a source of strength and comfort you need to confront your fears. They can help you reframe your concerns, find practical solutions to your symptoms, and ground you while you navigate overwhelming feelings.
It’s natural for anxiety to lead to worst-case-scenario thinking. To prevent your thoughts from spiraling, practice mindful thinking by envisioning realistic outcomes and developing a plan for the worst-case scenario. Challenging unhelpful thoughts can help reduce worry and provide a more balanced perspective.
If you struggle with health anxiety, it’s easy to misinterpret the signals your body sends as something else. It’s important to recognize these bodily responses as normal. Remind yourself that sensations like breathlessness after exercise or muscle soreness are typical reactions and not necessarily indicative of a serious health issue. If something does seem to be out of the ordinary, reach out to a healthcare professional. They’ll be able to reassure you and give you the accurate assessment you need.
Avoid fixating on a particular symptom or area of your body, as this can intensify health anxiety. Excessively worrying about something is called rumination. It may cause you to exaggerate the symptoms or falsely identify symptoms of anxiety as illness. Break the negative feedback cycle by redirecting your attention to activities or thoughts that bring joy and fulfillment.
One way to break the cycle of health anxiety, is to engage in mindfulness practices such as journaling, meditation, or mindful breathing. These techniques enhance self-awareness, grounding you in the present moment and reducing the tendency to ruminate on health-related concerns. It can also help you recognize what triggers your health anxiety and provide you with the groundwork you need to overcome it.
Your body is working hard to keep you alive. It knows how to fight viruses and bacteria, how to keep your heart beating, and oxygen in your lungs. Combat health anxiety by trusting in your body’s ability to take care of itself. It is equipped to fight off infections and maintain vital functions. If there is an issue beyond its capabilities, you can trust that medical professionals will have the knowledge and guidance you need to restore your health.
Having a health professional available whenever you have a concern can be very helpful when struggling with health anxiety. A concierge practitioner is available around the clock to provide reassurance, advice, and peace of mind. These healthcare professionals are dedicated to improving their patient’s health by providing customized, ongoing treatments to help them toward optimal health. Concierge care could be a great match for anyone struggling with health anxiety who wants to overcome their fears.
By incorporating these strategies into your routine and seeking professional guidance, you can effectively manage health anxiety and embrace a more fulfilling life without fear. At Dr. Myra’s practice, we provide a combination of concierge care and functional medicine to help our patients achieve better health and peace of mind. Join our concierge care practice at Dr. Myra’s and take the first step towards a healthier, anxiety-free future. Dr. Myra is here to guide you on your journey to well-being.