How to stop being a hypochondriac?
What is hypochondria?
Hypochondria, also known as health anxiety, is a complex issue that affects many of us from time to time. Hypochondria is when we worry about our health – but take those worries to extraordinary levels. Most of us will experience mild hypochondria at some stage in our life, but if we become preoccupied or obsessive about our health, and the symptoms of illness we imagine we have, this is when hypochondria becomes an issue. When the worries become overwhelming, and when they start to cause us distress or prevent us from behaving normally, then it is time to take action.
What causes hypochondria?
The causes of hypochondria will vary according to the individual. Most commonly hypochondria is found among four types of people:
- Those who are experiencing high levels of stress in other areas of their lives
- Those who have had serious illness or a recent death in the family
- Those who have had a carer or parent who worried obsessively about their health in the past
- Those who are worriers by their very nature (especially those with pre-existing anxiety or other mental health issues)
Vicious circle of hypochondria
You may want to know how to stop being a hypochondriac because you have found yourself in a vicious circle. You may constantly check yourself for symptoms until you find something to worry about, and then misinterpret your symptoms as something more serious than it actually is. You may be someone who seeks constant reassurance from friends, family and your doctors for your symptoms and yet the comfort you derive from such reassurance is too short-lived.
This vicious circle of hypochondria can eventually lead to panic attacks and depression, and this is very serious indeed.
How to stop being a hypochondriac
If you are becoming concerned about your own health anxiety, then there are a few things you can try. You can ask a medical professional how to stop being a hypochondriac or try the following techniques.
- Stress Management. Alter your lifestyle so that you are able to better manage your levels of stress. Stress from other areas of life may be causing your health anxiety, and so you should take action to address the issues you have at work or in your family. This may mean finding more time, becoming more organised or simply saying no, and refusing to take on any more responsibility. You need to find time for you, to do the things that you love to do.
- Relaxation techniques. Hand in hand with your stress management, you should take time out to relax. This may mean a gentle exercise class, such as yoga or Pilates, or you may want to learn how to meditate. Other ways to relax can include having a massage or taking a relaxing bath, curling up with a book, or going for a stroll in the country.
- Physical activity of any kind will help relieve you of some hypochondriac tendencies. It helps to calm your mood and improve the physical function of your body.
- Participate whenever you are asked to
- Avoid alcohol and artificial stimulants
- Avoid the internet
How to stop being a hypochondriac with Bach flowers
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