Illness anxiety is more common than you think. You are not crazy to think about catching diseases or feeling sick. Most of us experience it, and sometimes it gets the best of us too. If your illness anxiety is keeping you from enjoying life to the fullest and affects your daily routine, I suggest enrolling yourself for therapy. But while you figure that out, let me share some tips to manage your illness anxiety. These are tried and tested and are likely to work on most days.
Manage Illness Anxiety
You have to differentiate what you are truly experiencing and what your mind is making your experience. Ask yourself this. Have I been looking for illness-related symptoms? It happens with everyone. Sometimes you wonder if you have a headache or that you haven’t felt one in a long time, and a few minutes later, you feel one. The human mind is capable of making the body experience pain by sending relevant signals. Sit down with yourself and have the talk. Rationalize your fears and see if you have any rationale to support your thoughts.
When you keep looking for a symptom, it is most likely not to subside. If you keep wondering if that breast pain is still there, it will stay there. Here is one thing you can do. Give every symptom five days before acting on it. Let’s say you are feeling a weird sensation in your finger. Give it five days and see if you still feel that sensation. However, the goal is to stop looking for the symptoms.
Oh, I cannot emphasize enough on this one. Never look for your symptoms on the internet. Most illnesses have similar symptoms. For example, having a headache can mean you are stressed and can also mean you may have a brain tumor. And Google will show you all kinds of answers. Why encounter the possibility of a fatal illness when it can also mean nothing? Do not stress yourself by Googling your symptoms. If you REALLY need to find answers, get on a call with your family doctor.
This trick almost always works. When you are having a panic attack or feeling super anxious, hold the ice pack in your hand and keep it there for as long as possible. You can also use ice cubes or eat some ice if you want. The ice technique is a great grounding technique to distract you from your surroundings, even your body. Ice triggers a response similar to that of pain, forcing your neurotransmitters to focus on it. Illness anxiety can be super challenging, especially if you struggle with some health conditions or have suffered from diseases in the past. Don’t let it get to you. Be conscious of your feelings and take control of your emotions!