Overcome extreme health anxiety with these simple steps. It IS possible to live your life without constant worry about the future – this blog post explains how.
Today, I’m going to talk to you about something that’s definitely affected me in my life before – it’s health anxiety.
Watch the video or continue reading below…
If you want to overcome extreme health anxiety in your life, the first thing is to understand that a lot of us who experience health anxiety feel that our health anxiety is extreme.
So, when we’re talking about extreme health anxiety, I’m talking about worries about your health that really impact on your ability to live a full and happy life.
Thoughts that always get in about your health, related to your health, catastrophizing over every new symptom that seems to come up and always feeling like the worst is definitely going to hit you.
I don’t know about you but I always hear people say, “Oh, that will never happen to me.” And people with health anxiety feel like, “It’s definitely going to happen to me.”
So that’s the big difference there between people who have health anxiety and people who don’t.
People with health anxiety just feel almost like it’s their fate to get some kind of horrible illness that’s definitely going to be catastrophic and definitely going to be the end of everything for them.
I have some tips on how I have overcome extreme health anxiety in my life and you can definitely use these tips as well.
They’re completely natural.
Step 1: Understand that the reality is not a catastrophe. Even the “worst” is manageable.
The number one thing that I think really helps you to overcome extreme health anxiety is thinking that even if the worst was to happen – and no doubt, you know what the worst is – even if the worst was to happen, that’s still not a catastrophe.
Even the worst news that you could possibly get regarding your health is still manageable.
Bits of it are still manageable.
I know people that have been diagnosed with horrible illnesses and have been told that their prognosis is not good, and they’ve said to me, even in that, they still have bits of their treatment, bits of their life moving forward that they can still manage and still can control.
So that’s the first step to overcome extreme health anxiety. Know that it’s not like the world completely falls in around you even if you do get diagnosed with something horrible.
The truth is, bits and pieces of the journey ahead are completely manageable and you still have power over that.
And even if you were to get the worst news (which isn’t likely) there would still be bits of your journey that you would then focus on and so it wouldn’t be a complete and utter catastrophe things going out of control.
Step 2: Overcome extreme health anxiety by no longer seeking reassurance
The second step – and I think this is possibly the hardest step that people with health anxiety experience – is to stop constantly seeking reassurance.
I know that this is the hardest step for me.
Every new symptom that I would get, I’d be on Google and I’d be looking up my symptom.
What does this mean? What does this lump mean? What does this sensation mean? I’ve had a headache for the last five days, what does that mean?
And Google, I don’t know what’s going on with their algorithms but Google seems to know that the results that get the most clicks seem to be the most catastrophic results. Google really DOES NOT help you to overcome extreme health anxiety!!
So, results that show cancer, results that show stroke or heart attack or any of the other serious illnesses that you can think of, they’re always the one that kind of get the top spot in Google so they’re going to be the results that automatically flash up in your face.
That’s not good because 9 times out of 10 – or should I say, 99 times out of 100, your symptom could be put down to anything else.
Headache, for example, could be tension, tiredness, lack of water, staring at the screen for too long.
You’ve got a bump on the head and you can get a headache from that, wearing your hair too tight.
Sometimes, I find certain earrings pulling on my earlobes can give me a headache.
A headache can literally have thousands of reasons for it but if you just type “headache” into the Google search engine, you’re going to get these horrible, catastrophic results that crop up because the Google algorithm knows that those are what gets the clicks.
The other type of reassurance that people often try to seek out is reassurance from their family and friends, like, “Ugh, I’ve got that headache again.” You want to hear from people, “Oh, you just need a cup of tea,” “You just need a warm bath,” “You just need to take some pain tablets,” “Have a lie down and it will sort itself out.”
Sometimes, you go to people like, “I think I might have a brain tumor,” and you just want to hear them say, “It’s not likely to be a brain tumor. Have you got this other symptom? Have you got that other symptom? Have you got this other symptom?” And you say, “No, no, no,” and that’s very reassuring for you because it releases the dopamine chemical in your brain.
So when you’re seeking reassurance, that’s actually what you’re looking for, you’re looking for a short term hit of this dopamine chemical that makes you feel good again.
That’s why getting that reassurance can temporarily make you feel good.
That’s why down the track, once the dopamine’s worn off, you’re going to go seeking out your next hit again.
So your body will give you these symptoms again and you go seeking reassurance again so you get your dopamine kick again so that you then get back on to that cycle again of seeking reassurance and getting that reassurance and feeling good and it’s no good for anyone.
It will wear down your family and your friends and they’ll eventually get sick of you asking them again and again.
And it’s likely if you’re watching this video right now that you do have family members that are getting sick of you.
Maybe your partner is getting tired of you asking for that constant reassurance again and again.
And you know that all you want is that reassurance and you know that, really, you’re going to be okay, deep down but you’re wanting that dopamine kick.
So it’s up to you to stop seeking out reassurance.
It’s up to you to just stop it.
Just cut off that dopamine cold turkey, stop seeking reassurance from other people.
It’s a really important step in overcoming health anxiety. You can stop asking for reassurance because of this next step that I’m going to tell you about.
Step 3: List your symptoms to overcome extreme health anxiety
Set a monthly appointment with your doctor. Write every symptom down, and remove things as the symptoms resolve. Anything that stays on the list for the full month and hasn’t resolved is justified for medical attention.
A really good trick if you’re suffering health anxiety is to keep a list of every single symptom that you experience within a month.
So, every headache that you get, write down the date, write down the time, write down, “headache.”
If you find a lump – date, time, lump.
New aches, new pains, any new symptom that you get, you write down the date and the time and what this symptom is.
You then also set up a monthly appointment with your doctor. You agree with them that this is what you’re going to do, you come to them with your list.
Anything that stays on that list within that month is worth going to see the doctor about, right?
So if you’ve got a headache that lasts for a month, you need to go and see your doctor about it, that’s common sense.
If your symptoms come and go, you review this fairly regularly because you’ll be writing down every new symptom that you experience.
If and when you find a symptom has stopped, you cross it off your list and that’s really good reassurance and reaffirmation for you that your symptoms are coming and going because a symptom that comes and goes is not really anything that you need to worry about, especially for something catastrophic or untreatable which is what you’re worried about.
Anything that stays on the list, you go see the doctor about. It’s a really good opportunity to just talk to your doctor about how your health anxiety is going and they can review your symptoms and check them out and either reassure you or perhaps to tell you, maybe, “Come back another month. If you’re still experiencing this dizziness in another month, then we can look into it again.”
It’s just a really good way of containing your need for reassurance while also keeping an open dialogue with your doctor and really approaching your health anxiety in a very structured way.
Probably, what will happen for you is what happened for me with keeping this list.
It only took me about six months, I feel like, when it was at its worst that I started to feel like I didn’t need the list as much anymore. I wasn’t relying on it as much anymore.
I get a symptom and I’d be like, “Ah, I must write that on my list by the time I get home.” And by the time I get home, I’d forget what the symptom was so I’d be like, “Oh, well, if I’ve forgotten it, it’s not worth adding to my list.”
And little by little and gently by gently, I really did overcome extreme health anxiety.
Just setting up this little system is a really good way of containing your health anxiety, making sure that you don’t burden your family and your friends with your constant need for reassurance.
Keeping that need for the dopamine kick in check as well and keeping an open dialogue with your doctor which is so important.
The other thing that will help you with health anxiety is an MP3 recording of an ancient Polynesian forgiveness mantra. It’s called the Ho’oponopono and you listen to it several times a day.
It’s a really good healing mantra that goes in on an energetic level that helps all of the energy that’s attached itself to this health anxiety to release back to the universe.
So if you’re experiencing health anxiety, do follow the above three steps and also download the Ho’oponopono exercise and listen to that regularly as well.
Love + light