If you’ve enjoyed my blog

Health Anxiety: Easy tips to keep things under control

Sharing is caring!

Disclaimer: these are tips for people who have been diagnosed with health anxiety and are not suffering from anything else.

I’ve been suffering from health anxiety for years and years and here are a few things I try to do to keep it under control. Mind you, this isn’t a miracle cure to anything, but it prevents me from spinning out of control (I think).

  • Try to make a daily list of all the symptoms that you are experiencing and don’t censor yourself. Just write everything down and be consistent. If you’re anything like me, your symptoms will change almost on a daily basis. My chest pain will usually transform into a feeling of tight throat when I manage to convince myself that I’m actually not going to die of a heart attack. That way, I can focus on my throat cancer. The list will help you realise that your symptoms don’t really make any sense.
  • Instead of just googling a particular symptom that’s bothering you, google “your symptom + anxiety.” You’ll soon realise that your headache is more likely a manifestation of your anxiety than of a brain tumour.
  • This one is the hardest for me but: trust your GP and be completely honest with them. I’ve noticed that sometimes when I tell my GP about my symptoms, I don’t fully disclose that I’ve been feeling anxious lately or I’ll omit to talk about more realistic symptoms that might make her suspect that I’m anxious. Health anxiety can make me manipulative and sometimes I’ll just tell doctors what I think they need to hear to confirm that I’m about to die. Bad move.
  • Call its bluff. Think you’re having a heart attack from the 17th time today? Well, this time, just lay there and see what happens. Nothing happens? Exactly. Anxiety talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk. It’s not that powerful. Don’t look up to it.
  • Read blog posts or forum threads about health anxiety so that you can see that there are literally millions of us. This isn’t some kind of weird or rare mental disease, it’s actually quite common and boring 🙂 It’s comforting to see that many other people experience those super dark and dirty twists of the mind. You are not alone.

youarenotalone.gif

  • In the same vein as the previous tip, try to Google how beneficial the things you do are. Let me explain: if you take magnesium supplements or like to eat a certain type of fruit or nut, just look them up on Google and see how good they are for your health. Hopefully, it’ll help you think that not everything you do is life-threatening.
  • Try to keep some sense of perspective and humour about your health anxiety. Being able to laugh about it (even if it’s days later) gives it less power.
  • Eat healthier (I don’t do it, but I know it works) and work out (ditto).
  • GO SEE A THERAPIST.

US therapist directory

UK therapist directory

If you suffer from panic attacks, I’ve also written a post giving tips on how to stop them.

I hope this helps.

 

 

Feel free to pin this:

HOW TO DEAL WITH HEALTH ANXIETY

 

 

20 Comments

  1. July 11, 2018 / 5:41 pm

    I’m such a hypochondriac that sometimes I think I just need to get rid of the internet altogether, I Google a minor ache or pain and it has me thinking I’m dying!

    • Kate
      Author
      July 11, 2018 / 5:45 pm

      Oh yeah, the Internet is the DEVIL lol

  2. July 11, 2018 / 1:29 pm

    Call its bluff. Think you’re having a heart attack from the 17th time today? Well, this time, just lay there and see what happens. Nothing happens? Exactly. Anxiety talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk. It’s not that powerful. Don’t look up to it. – my therapist taught me this technique, to learn to call its bluff and it’s almost a miracle technique. I had so many panic attacks last year when I thought I was going to die… this year? None that I can remember.

    • Kate
      Author
      July 11, 2018 / 3:28 pm

      My therapist taught me that too. At first I thought he was daft and that it was a risky move, but I tried it anyway (call it despair) and realised how powerful *I* was.

      • July 11, 2018 / 5:40 pm

        Paha, I know, right? You just think: what did you suggest? But it’s like treating your boggart (in this case panic attack) as something ridiculous and calling it ridiculous. It’s a wonderful technique. This is such a great post, I hope everyone reads this.

        • Kate
          Author
          July 11, 2018 / 5:45 pm

          Thanks. Means a lot to me 🙂

  3. July 11, 2018 / 11:56 am

    Keep the diary! Yes they say that about RA too. Write it all down and then present it to a doctor. I don’t think they take anxiety and everything that comes with it seriously enough and just give pills. There’s a reason why you’re anxious and a cause to it usually and it should be kinda treated as individually and holistically as possible. Great post and lots to think about Kate xx

    • Kate
      Author
      July 11, 2018 / 1:06 pm

      Thank you so much <3

  4. July 1, 2018 / 1:45 am

    Katedaysaweek…I love your blog title! In case I have yet to tell you  Thank you so much for following my blog! I am new to blogging, so my site is a work in progress…hehe! I hope you’ll always find something there that will brighten you day. I will post anything that is related to hope, happiness, kindness, courage, self-esteem, self-care, sense of purpose, serenity, etc., etc. I will include photos, songs, videos, articles, original musings, top-10 lists, etc. Having said that, it’s time for me to go see what your site is all about. Happy blogging!

    Darryl~
    p.s., I am an individual that has overcome anxiety and depression, so I periodically look to learn how other people are dealing with it as well.

    • Kate
      Author
      July 1, 2018 / 4:46 am

      Hi Darryl,

      Thanks for your comment and thanks for understanding the pun!
      Do write about how you overcame anxiety and depression, I’m sure you could help a lot of people!
      I wish you all the best.
      xx

      • July 1, 2018 / 5:47 am

        I include tidbits about how I overcame many of the challenges I’ve faced in my life on my website. But to mention a few, just for you, it includes things such as becoming confident in my self (not worrying what others think of me), realizing the power of being vulnerable (and having the courage to be vulnerable), radical acceptance, being grateful for what I have, being kind to people everyday, and more than any other single thing, it was discovering who the man in my heart truly is. My website is my way of trying to help others.

        • Kate
          Author
          July 1, 2018 / 9:21 am

          Great, I’ll check it out!

  5. May 20, 2018 / 12:47 am

    Oh my goodness, I hadn’t heard of health anxiety till now, and so glad I read this. I don’t think I suffer from it per se, but I have ongoing conditions (diagnosed) that do get worse as a result of the stress caused by worrying over the symptoms. It’s a vicious cycle… 😮 Well done on finding a way to keep it all under control! 🙂

    • May 20, 2018 / 1:08 am

      Oh really? Health anxiety is a bitch 🙂
      Of course it’s normal to worry about diagnosed conditions. Health anxiety is more like being convinced that you’re terribly sick or dying and deep down inside you know it’s highly unlikely but you can’t help yourself. My health anxiety usually appears when my “regular” anxiety has reached its peak and is trying to find more ways of screwing with me lol. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

      • May 21, 2018 / 5:20 pm

        You’re very welcome! What you said about GP appointments really resonated with me. I always worry that they’ll tell me it’s all in my head. 😮

        • May 21, 2018 / 5:53 pm

          I understand… Now I try to force myself to ask the stupid questions I wouldn’t have dared to ask before. It’s part of their job to reassure people and answer questions. I don’t know what makes us think it’s shameful to ask for more details 🙂

Leave a Reply