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Health Anxiety & How To Diminish Health Fear

Abolish Generalised Anxiety

Health Anxiety:

Have you been struggling with health anxiety?

Recently I’ve been helping several anxiety clients who have found that their health anxiety has started to take over their life. And maybe sometimes it drifts away for a while, yet when it strikes the anxiety and panic can go through the roof.

In those moments of anxiety and panic, they are sure that something bad is happening to their health and either that stress starts to affect their work and relationships or they are back and forth to medical practitioners for test after test, only to find that nothing is wrong.

So how can you successfully start to calm your health anxiety?

Living with Health Anxiety

A client I recently worked with told me that as soon as he felt any ache or twinge he immediately started to panic that it was cancer. And the more he thought it might be cancer, the more his anxious mind generated all sorts of worst case scenarios that fueled the panic.

Another client told me how he would get slight twinges in his chest that then escalated in moments into a conviction that he was about to have a heart attack or that there was some sort of heart disease that hadn’t yet been diagnosed.

Many of the people I work with can find that when they are busy and distracted their health worries and symptoms seem to disappear, restarting only when they are doing nothing, bored or any other quiet moment. And, of course, in many ways, the symptoms experienced become a bit ‘chicken and egg’ – you start to feel tense and a bit worried, which triggers your breathing to change and your heart rate to increase, which makes it feel like your chest is tight which starts you thinking there is something wrong with your heart, which makes the tightness feel worse….and so on and on…

And just to be specific about it – if you think that there may be a problem then it is always important to go and chat to your medical practitioner.

End panic attacks help from aboloish anxiety

Yet if they have told you that your health is fine and you believe that you are struggling with anxiety about your health then you may wish to try the ideas below.

4 Ways to Diminish Health Fears

If you struggle with health anxiety, put these 4 strategies into place:

1. Avoid Self Diagnosis

The internet can be the source of a wealth or knowledge and information, all available in seconds. Yet even ignoring how reliable a lot of the information may be, attempting to self diagnose using ‘Doctor Google’ is only likely to fuel your worry.

The fact is that most symptoms listed on a website can apply to a whole range of things, some worse than others. And just because you are experiencing a symptom that matches a general description of what could be present, doens’t mean that what you are experiencing is that thing.

I’ve been guilty of this myself in the past over a sore knee from running that didn’t seem to be improving. A quick read of a few injury websites and I was more than half convinced I would never be able to run again (how was I even managing to walk?). One visit to a qualified physiotherapist and a couple of tweaks later and I was back into my training in about a week.

The best advice – leave the diagnosis to the experts.

2. Look After Yourself

If you sit stationary at your desk all day, it’s hardly a surprise if your back aches a bit. If you drink twenty cups of strong coffee a day it’s no wonder that you get heart palpitations. If the furthest you walk is to the TV and back then no wonder when you climb those stairs you feel light headed and breathless.

You get the picture here – if you don’t take care of yourself then you will likely suffer more aches and pains. Look after your body and it will be a smoother journey all day long.

3. Make Time To Relax

Anxiety and panic tend to escalate when you are stressed and exhausted. And once you start to feel anxious, your mind will always find something to ‘stick’ that emotion to. If that thing has always been anxiety about your health then guess what…you’ll start to notice that symptom, it becomes exaggerated in your mind as you focus on it more and more and so the anxiety adds more fuel to its own fire.

The more you relax the less your mind is on overdrive and seeking something to pin it on. The more you relax the easier you will find it to think clearly and calmly and the better you will feel.

Grab your copy of my Creating Calm audio and make sure you find twenty minutes a day to just relax and give your mind some time off from the stresses and strains of life. Your mind and body will thank you for it.

4. Trim Those Thoughts Before They Grow

When I work with people to overcome their health anxiety, we always include some strategies and techniques to stop those fear infused thoughts before they snowball out of control.

There are many ways we do this yet two of my favourites (because you can easily do them where ever and whenever) are:

a) Take control over your breathing – hold your breath for 5 seconds and then breathe out for a count of 11 and then in for a count of 7. Keep repeating a count of 7 in and 11 out. The key thing is that your out breath is longer than your in breath which stimulates your relaxation response.

b) Get the thinking part of your brain working – when we are governed by our emotions we can’t think straight. We lose perspective and logic. So to calm that fear, get your brain to do some thinking – you could recite the alphabet backwards in your head, count backwards from 300 in units of 3, or any other method that means you have to put some thinking in there.

Abolish Anxiety Help

I’d love to know how you apply these into your life and the success you enjoy so please leave a comment below.

And maybe you have a different strategy that works for you and that you can share with others – because that piece of knowledge could make a huge difference in someone else’s life today.

And if you know one person who would benefit from applying these steps then open up your e-mail, copy and paste this page and send it over to them today.

Dan Regan

Abolish Anxiety

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