In the age of a global pandemic, developing anxiety around your health is normal. However, it is not common for people to have anxiety that causes them to question if they have cancer every time they have a headache. When health-related anxiety stops you from living a fulfilling life, it is time to develop coping strategies to ease your anxiety. Thinking logically about your anxiety can be a great way to ease health-related anxiety. Here are some ways to cope with anxiety around your health.
Think Through Your Anxiety
One way to overcome health consternation is by thinking through it with logic. This may sound easy, but it can be incredibly difficult to use logic when you are experiencing intense feelings of anxiety. Luckily, there is an easier way to get yourself thinking logically about your physical symptoms. When you feel physical symptoms, before you think of the worst possible scenario, try thinking of these first:
What Is the Best Possible Scenario?
When you have a headache, for example, what is your first thought? When you have intense health anxiety, your mind may immediately go to the worst possible place. You may think you have a tumor or brain cancer. Remind yourself that this is highly unlikely because these medical conditions come with a lot more symptoms than a simple headache. Now think of what a headache most likely means for you: Are you dehydrated? Have you eaten today? Are you overheating or overtired?
Talk to a Loved One About Your Feelings
If you are struggling to think through your symptoms on your own, try talking to a family member or friend about your symptoms. They are a perfect option to talk to because they can help you identify the most likely possibilities that are causing your physical symptoms. A loved one will help you identify if your symptoms sound like something serious or minor.
Ask Yourself: Did My Physical Symptoms Start Before or After I Felt Anxious?
Did you begin feeling tightness in your chest before or after you began feeling anxious? Remember, anxiety can create physical symptoms. If your anxiety increases quickly, the fast heart rate and blood pressure can feel like your chest is tightening. It’s important to pay attention to whether or not you felt anxious before your physical symptoms started. If you were, try to calm your anxiety before thinking of a more serious diagnosis.
No matter whether or not you felt physical symptoms before or after your anxiety began, your pain is real. Don’t let anyone tell you that your symptoms are in your head. Pain is pain. It doesn’t matter how it came about. What matters is how you handle it.
Don’t Let Your Anxiety Persuade Your Actions
Anxiety can persuade us to participate in destructive patterns of thinking and behaving. One example of this is searching the internet for a diagnosis of physical symptoms. If you feel pain in your lower back, and you search the internet for answers, you will find some minor explanations for it. The internet may tell you that you’re dehydrated, or you pulled a muscle. It may also tell you that you may have kidney stones or a kidney infection. As unlikely as those more concerning possibilities are, your anxiety will tell you they are the cause of your pain.
When you feel anxious about physical symptoms, do your best to avoid diagnosing yourself. As tempting as it is, remind yourself it is only going to worsen your anxiety.
When Logic Stops Working
Thinking logically doesn’t always work to ease your health-related anxiety. When this happens, remind yourself that you are still able to cope. If you aren’t able to think logically about your physical symptoms, try distracting yourself. Try participating in an activity that you enjoy. Write in a journal. Play a game. Maybe look into something new. Take time to meditate. By doing things to take your mind off of your anxiety, you are actively participating in calming your anxiety.
This is a valid option as long as it is paired with other strategies of coping. Remind yourself that immediately using distractions as a coping skill can lead to avoidance. Try logical thinking or therapy along with this strategy.
Talk to a Therapist About Your Anxiety
Therapy is the best option for someone who experiences intense health-related anxiety. A therapist can help you develop coping strategies that are most effective for you while also finding possible causes for your anxiety. In a judgment-free environment, you can begin working toward managing your stress and anxiety when you begin feeling physical symptoms or pain. Remember, your pain and your symptoms are real. Therapy will help you accept your feelings and help you cope with them.
Mindfuli knows how difficult it can be to cope with anxiety surrounding your health. By talking to a therapist or counselor, you can begin developing the coping strategies necessary to work through your anxiety. Anxiety should not get so bad as to inhibit your ability to live a happy life. You deserve a life that you are excited to live. Mindfuli can help you make and achieve this goal. Show yourself that you are capable of coping with your health-related anxiety. Don’t let anxiety stop you from achieving and happy and fulfilling life. It’s time to make a change. For more information about Mindfuli’s services, give us a call today at (866) 973-4415.