10 - Hypochondria Stop: Tips For Managing Health Anxiety


If your life is dominated by worrying about your health, tips for  Managing health anxiety by googling symptoms, The illness you fear might not be the illness you have.


And being convinced that some illness is going to take you away from your loved ones then you probably have hypochondria,  also called health anxiety or illness anxiety. 


And blood sugar falls within a healthy range, Each shared their worries about moles on the skin, irregular heart palpitations, and numbness and tingling.


 paying attention to your body and noting any unusual changes can help you get ahead of any potentially serious health issues. And you probably want to stop it. In this article, I'm going to take you through.

10 steps used in CBT to get your tips for managing health anxiety under control.


People with health anxiety find themselves worrying a lot about getting ill, or that they might already be ill. Hi,  Dr. Tracey Marks an American Psychiatrist,  mental health education article,


 hypochondria also called health anxiety or illness anxiety is a debilitating anxiety disorder. CBT is the most effective treatment for health anxiety. 


In my most comprehensive article on health anxiety,  I share with you the steps by steps and tools used in CBT to stop or reduce hypochondria.

(Read more: 5 Ways to Overcome Health Anxiety


The first step is motivation. 

This article is packed with useful information so it's quite long so you're going to have to be motivated to read it all, but that is nothing compared to the motivation you will need to overcome your health anxiety.


You reading, there is no magical instant cure for hypochondria so it's going to take a lot of hard work over a prolonged period. So how do you motivate yourself?


You can start by getting a pen and answering the following questions. Where will I be in five years if I don't change how I manage my health anxiety? 


How does my hypochondria affect my relationships? What would life be like if I didn't have health anxiety?


 What does my health anxiety prevent me from doing that I would like to do now.? Put this list somewhere you will see it regularly to motivate yourself to keep working on your health anxiety. 

Step two 

To accept and understand that your symptoms suggest anxiety.

Instead of googling signs of a heart attack or Is my headache a brain tumor,  google physical symptoms of anxiety or watch my video '.20 anxiety symptoms Explained'


 This will help you see your symptoms from a different and less scary perspective. It will also help you challenge the anxious thoughts which we will talk more about later. 

Step 3. 

Understanding the anxiety cycle. 

I have covered this in many of my videos but it goes like this. You get a thought like what if I have a heart attack. The thought makes you feel anxious and the anxiety causes your heart to beat faster and stronger.


 To try to reassure yourself you check your pulse. It's fast which makes you think there is something wrong with your heart so you feel more anxious.


making your heart go even faster and you start to notice other symptoms like faster breathing and sweating so you feel more compelled to reassure yourself that you are safe.


 You take your blood pressure but it's high or you think it might be high which reinforces the anxious thoughts even more. And so it goes on. Let me know in the comments below if this sounds familiar to you. 

 Step 4 

Addresses the thoughts part of the anxiety cycle.

CBT identifies thinking errors. Common thinking errors in hypochondria are emotional reasoning and catastrophization. 


 In emotional reasoning, you conclude that a thought is true because of how you feel despite evidence to the contrary.


 In catastrophization, your anxious thoughts escalate into imagining a  catastrophe. Practice spotting these thinking errors. 

Once you've spotted the thinking errors, start to challenge them.  Filling in the health anxiety thought record sheet can really help you can print out the sheet from a  great website called

Getselfhelp.co.uk. I've put a link to this thought record in the description. This thought record helps you challenge your negative thoughts by rating how they affect your anxiety.


 looking for an alternative perspective, and then rewriting your anxiety after challenging the thought. Use this form regularly until being able to challenge your thoughts becomes natural. 

The questions at the bottom of the form are particularly helpful.  The thought record also has a column for behaviors.


 These are what are known as safety behaviors. In CBT safety behaviors are the things you do to try and make yourself feel safer. These are things like googling symptoms.


 constantly checking your body, or seeking reassurance from friends and family that you are not seriously ill. 


But as we saw from the anxiety cycle these behaviors don't make you feel safer. They just fuel the anxiety. 

 (Read more: 13 Ways To Cope With Health Anxiety


step 5 is reducing your safety behaviors

How do you do this? First, make a list of all your safety behaviors, and then each day keep a tally of how many times you use them.


 At the end of the week count up how many times you've used each one. For the first week don't try to reduce them just.

get used to counting them. In the second week just try to reduce them slightly. Don't try to stop them completely.


  One, it's quite impossible and two, it can be counterproductive.  The anxious brain accepts small gradual changes.


 it does not like big sudden changes. At the end of each week rate how your health anxiety has been overall.


 It will take a few months but as you successfully reduce your safety behaviors you should see your anxiety score reduce.  This is because you are removing the fuel that drives the health anxiety. 

Step six is behavioral experiments. 

Your health anxiety safety behaviors reinforce your negative thoughts but by experimenting with your behaviors you can disprove your negative thoughts which make them lose their power. Getselfhelp.co.uk has a behavioral experiment form. Print it out using the link I've put in the description. 

Here is an example. 

Let's say you notice the feeling of a  lump in your throat. You get the thought that it might be throat cancer.


 Normally you would immediately make an appointment to see your doctor but instead, you experiment by waiting two weeks before you book an appointment and in that time you resist seeking any reassurance. 


 You write down what you predict will happen then two weeks later you write down what actually happened. 


Then you reflect on what you've learned and rewrite your belief in the original thought. Behavioral experiments can also be used to target avoidance behaviors which also fuel health anxiety.

For example, despite the doctor confirming that your heart is fine, you might avoid exercise for fear of a heart attack. The experiment could be to go for a brisk walk or exercise at home. 


 When the experiment shows that you are not going to die, you can start increasing your exercise which is good for both your physical and mental health.

Step 7 is STOPP. STOPP is a technique used in CBT to interrupt negative thoughts before they take control of you. See my article on how to use STOPP. 

Step 8 is mindfulness. 

When worried about your health your mind goes to some imagined future scenario. Mindfulness helps you bring your mind back to the here and now. 


 Accept that you've had anxious thoughts about your health. Don't judge yourself.  It's just a thought. Now observe your environment. What can you see, hear, smell, or touch? 


 If you're in the middle of doing something like washing the dishes, do it mindfully.  Notice the temperature of the water and the feel of the bubbles. I will write an article on mindfulness soon but there is plenty of information on the internet. 


Step 9 is worry postponement. 

If your health worry is really strong just postpone the worry. You have promised your anxious brain that you will deal with its concern,  just later. 


When later comes you will often find that the worry has passed or is no longer so strong. If it's still strong use the health anxiety thought record from

step 4.Step 10. Accept setbacks. 

Be patient with yourself and persevere. It takes a long time to retrain an anxious brain. Safety behaviors will creep back in.


Some days your anxiety will feel as bad as ever but over time if you follow these steps regularly,  your health anxiety will reduce and you can get your life back.

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