The constant worry and hypervigilance of the physical symptoms of the body can have a deep impact on our emotional and mental health. Health anxiety is the persistent anxiety of the sensations, and the symptoms shown by the body. Explaining health anxiety, Therapist Rebekah Ballagh wrote, ” Health anxiety is when you find yourself anxious, worrying, fixating on and hypervigilant to your own health and physical symptoms and sensations. ”
However, sometimes, the things that we do can make our health anxiety worse. Here are a few things:
The scan: When we are looking and scanning the body for pain, symptoms and sensations, we are bound to find it even it there is nothing. That happens because all the other times we found something when we scanned the body – this signals the brain that scanning means danger. This danger signal creates pain and sensations in the body.
The search: In health anxiety, one of the worse ways to deal with it is by searching about the symptoms on Google. Google or the Internet is not our friend when we have health anxiety. Often, we try to reassure ourselves by searching the symptoms on the Internet – this further creates a circle of worrying and constantly seeking reassurance that we are fine.
The worry game: This throws us into a game of worrying and stressing. While rational thoughts and trying to reason with worries can help for some people, more often than not, it can blow out of proportion and make us have anxiety.