Did you know that anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders in the U.S. affecting 40 million adults? If you suffer from health worries, you’re not alone.
Do you find your health worries getting in the way of day to day life? Do you wish you didn’t spend so much time thinking about your health?
In this article, explore what to do about health worries, and how to combat them. Read on to discover just how you can decrease your worries, and feel more fulfilled and happy again in life.
What Is Health Anxiety?
Health anxiety is where you find yourself overly worried about your health. Whether you’re concerned about the results of x ray labs, or have the thought that your symptoms are something serious, these can fall under health anxiety.
Common symptoms can include:
- Worried about your heart
- Thinking there’s something wrong with you medically
- Nervous about cancer that hasn’t been found
- Concerned about tumors
These are some of the common symptoms, but they don’t include all of what you might be experiencing. If you have health anxiety, you’re worried about something serious wrong instead of just a cold.
Worries Aren’t Always Health Anxiety
It’s common to have concerns about your health, but that doesn’t mean you have health anxiety. If you’ve experienced problems in the past, it’s common to be nervous that the problem will reoccur.
If you have health anxiety, you can have normal symptoms and think that you’re experiencing health issues. For example, do you notice that if you have a common cold you worry that it’s something more serious such as pneumonia?
How to Treat Health Anxiety?
Whether you’re experiencing health worries or anxiety, it’s treatable. Do you notice yourself constantly at the doctor’s office or emergency room?
Think to yourself about how much time you’re losing in your day by running to the doctor’s office. Do you notice yourself being retested for the same problems?
It might be a good idea to seek help from a therapist. What you speak to your therapist about will remain between you and them, and you can keep your meetings discreet if you don’t want others knowing.
Your therapist will work with you and provide cognitive behavioral therapy. This form of therapy can work well with treating health worries you might be experiencing.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy works by:
- Understanding how to cope with stress and anxiety
- Learning how to respond to your symptoms and sensations
- Changing harmful thoughts
- Stopping to ask for reassurance that you’re ok
If you’re suffering from health anxiety, you could be experiencing other mental health conditions that your therapist can help you manage. For serious symptoms, you might need to look into medications you can take.
When you’re taking a look at your thoughts, ask yourself if they’re an assumption, or if they’re true. Be honest with yourself if you feel you’re jumping to conclusions.
Are you not giving yourself credit for being able to cope? How do you cope with non-health issues?
While it’s easy to start worrying about labs and testing when you’re sitting down, keep busy. If you do regular exercise for your emotional and physical health, it’ll keep your mind busy instead of letting your mind race with different troubling thoughts.
Get Enough Sleep
Make sure that you get enough sleep every night. Ways to improve this can include not drinking caffeine, having a dark and cool room, and not using technology before bed.
Get into the routine of going to sleep at the same time every night. Consider keeping a journal that you write in each night before bed.
It’s important to remind yourself that anxiety and worrying can make situations worse than they really are. Take a look at what you’re good at handling, and how you can apply those rules to your health worries.
Embrace the Unknown
First, write down your worries. Take a look at them and decide if they’re really worth worrying about. It’s time to accept your worries in order to move past them.
When you accept the unknown, your worrying is diminished. Accept that uncertainty does exist, and instead, focus on what you can enjoy and control.
Meditation is a great way to calm your thoughts and relax. Find a comfortable and quiet place in your home where you won’t be disturbed.
Put on soothing music if you’d like, and close your eyes. As your eyes are closed, focus on your breaths in and out of your nose, and feel yourself relax.
Do this for however long you’d like. To make it even more relaxing, you can light some candles, or have aromatherapy with different scented oils.
Reduce Checking Online
Do you find yourself constantly looking up your symptoms online to try and figure out what’s going on? Instead of feeding into your anxiety or worries, ignore them, and let it pass. Resist the urge to check.
It’ll take time since you’ve become used to checking online. Ease into it by allowing yourself a certain amount of time to check it the first day. The second day, reduce it to less time and so on.
Learning to Cope With Health Worries
Now that you’ve explored the different ways to cope with health worries, you should be well on your way to decreasing your concerns. Would you like to read more about home and health? Check out our other articles today for everything from the signs of domestic violence to a detox with your beauty regimen.