One of the most normal feelings in the world is the feeling of being stressed out. Life is stressful and anyone who tells you that it isn't being honest. Your stress is going to depend on a variety of factors, but there are some clear signs that will tell you that you are stressed - and your body will tell you for sure. 

How To Avoid Falling Into Health Anxiety & Hypochondria

When you feel sick, it’s important to be proactive about caring for yourself or seeking medical treatment where necessary.

When you feel sick, it’s important to be proactive about caring for yourself or seeking medical treatment where necessary.

It’s also important to recognize that most people, if not all, do have concerns about one day becoming sick or encountering a health experience they would rather not go through. No one invites a health issue, which is why their onset can be so tiresome.

However, falling into health anxiety or hypochondria is never really a good way to ‘be on guard’ compared to usual rational planning, and as the latter consideration can be a real symptom of difficult anxiety, it may be that addressing the causes involved with this straight way is essential.

In this post, we’ll discuss how to avoid falling into that mindset and what you can do if you feel yourself starting to worry too much. Furthermore, we’ll discuss how to best express that stress so it doesn’t become a habit, as well as how you can put things into perspective so you won’t catastrophize every smaller issue.

Let’s consider what that may look like in practice:

Get A Professional Medical Opinion Before Anything Else

It’s important to draw the line between ‘making certain that I have the right medical advice and information at all times’ and ‘visiting the doctor no matter what even if we’re not certain anything is wrong, or exaggerating the symptoms we’re feeling.’ Some people can avoid the former for fear of being seen as the latter, but if you have a genuine curiosity or you wish to make sure you are fully informed, then you deserve to have that provided to you.

On top of this, an approach towards constantly looking to the medical authority and making certain the right specialist gives his or her opinion (you can go to multiple specialists if you feel this is necessary), will help you avoid self-diagnosing from advice on the internet. 

It’s very easy to visit online discussion forums or to expose yourself to YouTube videos about certain conditions and become convinced that you have the exact same issue as someone there. But you might not. And chances are your possible experience at least differs slightly. When you prioritize medical help, you put all of that to bed and can avoid catastrophic thinking, which is another important habit to build.

Try To Put Things In Perspective

If you’re prone to anxious thinking then you know that thought-loops, worries and fears can seemingly circulate in your mind, particularly if encountering a health issue you’ve never experienced before.

But it’s important to avoid the doomsday thinking that can come when even a small issue is experienced because it doesn’t help you. Many practitioners speak of the benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy, a technique used to help break up thinking cycles so that you become better and more aware of your mental habits and then seek to think of something else, or to become active or focused on another activity.

Putting things into perspective can help, also. Odds are, you’ll be checked out and a medical solution will be available. If there’s an onset condition, then you may be able to change your lifestyle to accommodate for it. In the rare likelihood that the condition will change your life quite significantly, then many solutions exist to help you curate the best quality of living. This might sound like cold comfort, but you’d be surprised just how far you can go with a positive attitude even with difficult news.

This sounds easier said than done, of course, and we hope it doesn’t come across as dismissive. But an approach like this can help you better put problems in the right category – such a treating a recurring health condition with care, or still retaining your dignity and self-worth despite your new considerations. It will all make a profound difference to how you view that process and how you process that internally.

Seek Help For Your Mainline Anxiety

Health anxiety is often an indicator of a wider problem with anxiety in general – especially if it’s chronic, difficult to get through, and seemingly quite irrational. For example, worrying about a health condition is relatively normal when it crops up for the first time, but worrying overly about the smallest ache or pain in your body is not healthy or natural.

Seeking help for this may mean addressing your anxiety first and foremost, by approaching a worthwhile counsellor, speaking to your doctor, and making lifestyle changes if they’re relevant and sustainable – such as getting out in nature, meditating, getting more exercise, and avoiding bad habits like drinking regularly.

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

This might sound dismissive, but it’s sometimes best to avoid sweating the small stuff. For example, if you need a dental filling, or if your eyesight seems to be getting worse with age – sure, this marks a decline in your general function but it’s still slight, normal, and absolutely expected as you age. Ear infections are not contagious – even if they do suck, for lack of a better word.

The same goes for encountering new health checkups based on your age, such as how men after forty are often recommended to go in for a prostate examination to potentially catch developing cancer early. This can be new and uncomfortable for many men, and quite embarrassing, but saving your life isn’t exactly embarrassing or anything to be fearful of, it’s the ideal outcome.

Make Small Confidence-Boosting Adjustments To Your Lifestyle

It can be good to know that if you take care of yourself, even a medical issue can be seen as surmountable and worthwhile to focus on. So for example, if we keep a healthy diet, get enough hours of sleep each night, take time to supplement correctly, stay out of the sun, limit our drinking and make sure to be checked out when an issue occurs – you know that you’ve done everything you can. 

So – this can help you avoid that sense of guilt whenever a health issue may come along, and believe it or not that makes a big difference. This isn’t to say those who don’t get ‘perfect sleep’ each night somehow deserve or should feel like health conditions are justified, only that this can erode the belief that you’ve somehow caused it, and your emotional responses will be much healthier and appropriately placed.

With this advice, we hope you can avoid falling into health anxiety and hypochondria in the best possible way.

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