It is important to take good care of yourself using the principles of healthy living. Good nutrition, regular check-ups and healthy living are all ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle. One can become too concerned about health and get caught up in a cycle. When one health problem is resolved, another comes up. After a while, these worries can become overwhelming and exhausting.
The individual eventually realizes that the cycle of health anxiety has impacted their quality of life. This intrusive anxiety is a dark cloud that hovers over everyday life. It is important to understand why it is happening, its purpose and how to stop it.
Reasons for Health Anxiety
If one examines the pattern of behavior, it is easy to see that health worries serve a purpose. This is often caused by the brain distracting the person from certain emotions that they find difficult to deal with.
The brain seeks distractions for many emotions, including anger, grief, or fear. Because one is so concerned about their health that it becomes overwhelming, there is very little space to deal with an upsetting emotion.
All other thoughts are covered by health worries. This provides a distraction from any unsettling emotions. Once one worry is resolved, another will take its place to cover the unresolved emotion. Each health concern serves a purpose. It masks the real upsetting emotion which can be much more difficult to deal with in the long-term.
Recognize and acknowledge the existence of the Health Anxiety cycle, which is characterized by one worry following another in an unending loop. Recognizing this cycle is the first step towards resolving the problem.
– Seek out your primary physician to determine if there is a physical reason for the health concern. Before assuming that it is health anxiety, always rule out any physical causes.
You may notice that your health concerns settle when you are absorbed in a topic, a job, or cause.
– Identify your patterns. Are you experiencing twinges of symptoms that seem to jump from one part of your body to the next? Are you prone to overestimating physical intrusions, and jumping to conclusions that they are dangerous or should be reported?
Find interests that engage your whole being. You can lose yourself in activities that leave you with little time to think inwardly. Boredom is not the way to go if you are suffering from true illness. Health problems are not always as immediate as health anxiety. Boredom and a lack of interest are two reasons why health worries can be more severe. Intelligent minds need to be challenged and have goals.
– Physical activity is a powerful tool to combat health concerns. Moving and exercise can stimulate the body and mind in a positive manner. When activity is part of your daily routine, you release endorphins and boost your Serotonin levels. Walking, dancing, tennis, swimming, and jogging are all good activities that can bring about positive results.
Good nutrition is essential for good health. This helps to eliminate negative thinking that can often be linked to health concerns. Serotonin levels naturally increase when you eat well, and blood sugar levels stay stable. This helps to calm an overreactive mind and reduces health anxiety.
Talk to your brain and tell it to stop worrying about health. You always have the option to choose what you think about.
As negative thoughts fade, the mind will automatically calm down. This behavior instantly makes the brain embarrassed and causes it to stop thinking negative thoughts. This is similar to a child who gets caught with his hand in a cookie jar. This intrusive behavior is stopped by embarrassment at being caught.
– Avoid “what if” thinking. This is a sign that you have a high level of anxiety. Watch the cycle end by changing your “what if” mindset to “so how”.
Remember that worrying does not solve problems. Particularly, health worries will only drain and exhaust both mind and body. You can change your life by making a conscious effort to shift the way you think. You can stop being a victim of yourself and become free from the enticing habit of worrying.