Health from Hypochondria (Health Anxiety)

Summary

Health anxiety is an illogical and obsessive fear of developing a major medical illness. It's also known as disease anxiety, and it used to be known as hypochondria. A person's fantasy of physical symptoms of sickness characterizes this ailment. Health anxiety not uncommon, as COVID-19 has set in our lives and refuses to go. We're worried about our health and for the safety of our loved ones. These practices where this anxiety proceeds to take over lead to a powerful sense of catastrophizing. In layman's terms: it's to envisage the worst-case scenario for an action or event, consider a situation or occurrence as a disaster, or have a potentially disastrous result. This expressive writing challenge is designed to take you through 21 days of self-reflection that you can use to overcome health anxiety. Upon enrollment, you'll receive a "tip of the day" for overcoming health anxiety; along with a thought-provoking question to help you uncover the root cause(s) of your health anxiety. Remember; you must commit yourself to life-long change. That starts by diving into your own psychology and taking responsibility for the way you think about this world. By forcing yourself to fully think through the questions and answer them; you begin creating new neural networks, new habits, and better outcomes in your life!

Introduction

Health anxiety is an illogical and obsessive fear of developing a major medical illness. It's also known as disease anxiety, and it used to be known as hypochondria. A person's fantasy of physical symptoms of sickness characterizes this ailment. 

You're not alone! Millions upon millions of everyday people, just like you, have started experiencing symptoms of health anxiety since 2020 with COVID-19 as the trigger. JournalOwl has partnered with psychologists and medical doctors alike to create thought-provoking journal challenges to help you uncover the psychology behind your everyday hurts, hang-ups, and problems. The beauty of our journal challenges is that you'll join a cohort of other people facing the same problem! 

Steps (8)

Step 1: Take Up A Hobby

Introduction

It's critical to take your focus away from a specific issue if you notice yourself becoming overly preoccupied with it. Turning your attention to activity is one of the simplest ways to achieve this.

Regardless of the activity, the idea is to pay complete attention to what you're doing. Some people refer to this as "mindfulness" and others simply say its the habit of staying busy. Whatever you call it, we recommend that you take up a hobby starting today if you don't have one. 

Painting, writing, walking, humming - whatever! For your first day, we want you to think long and hard about some of your favorite pastime activities. And we don't want to hear, "Well, I don't enjoy anything!" That's non-sense. There has to be something in this world that you enjoy doing today or enjoyed doing in the past. 

Step 2: Put On Your Headphones

Introduction

Try not to get into "autopilot" mode while listening to music. Instead, pay attention. If there are any lyrics, pay attention to them. Make an effort to recognize particular instruments. In your mind's eye, visualize the sounds or words. This exercise can assist you in bringing your focus back to the present moment.

Step 3: The 5-to-1 Exercise

Introduction

Examine your current surroundings and make the following observations:

  • Five things you can see
  • Four items you can touch
  • Three things you can hear
  • Two things you can smell
  • Something you can savor

Step 4: Recognize that thoughts are not facts

Introduction

Thoughts aren't the same as facts. We accept our opinions as facts. Instead, we should practice a technique called cognitive defusion.

We learn to recognize and question our negative ideas through cognitive defusion. This process of identifying and challenging takes time and effort. It is beneficial to engage closely with a qualified therapist or psychiatrist to build coping methods.

Step 5: Acknowledge Your Feelings Today

Introduction

Recognize how you're feeling. At this time, there is no right or wrong way to feel. The mere act of recognizing your emotions and sensations is a decisive first step toward lowering their intensity.

Step 6: Focus on the positive

Introduction

Scouring news websites and social media for as much information as possible on the coronavirus is probably not helpful and will likely increase your anxiety rather than alleviate it. Limit your news consumption to once a day at most, and make sure you're only reading news from reputable websites and sources.

Step 7: Don't Google Your Symptoms

Introduction

If you're worried about your health, Google is not your friend! A restless mind will scan for worst-case situations, so you're most likely just taking in all of the frightening information available. This indicates that you aren't getting a balanced view of things.

Step 8: Maintain a Normal Routine

Introduction

Make sure you sleep and wake up simultaneously every day. Give yourself something to look forward to each day; find a method to pamper yourself. Make contact with relatives and friends. We're social creatures, so find inventive ways to stay in touch if you're socially distancing yourself.

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