It’s normal to be concerned about your health if you notice something unusual. But for some people, that concern is persistent and intense — even if they’re otherwise healthy.
Once called hypochondria, health anxiety creates unwarranted concern or worry, and it can make you fearful of having a serious health condition.
Health anxiety is a type of mental health condition, and it can sometimes cause significant distress. It’s important to know that health anxiety can be treated, and Psychology Beverly Hills can help.
Our psychologists and therapists are here to offer a few helpful tips to manage and overcome health anxiety so that you can enjoy your life more fully.
1. Practice stress management
Everyone experiences stress in their lives, and how you manage it can have a significant impact on your mental health and wellbeing. If you struggle with health anxiety or another mental health condition, managing stress can be an effective way to lessen your symptoms.
Learn to identify what elevates your stress levels, and find stress management techniques that work well for you. Consider meditation, yoga, relaxation techniques, or other intentional activities to calm your mind and ease the intensity of your worries.
2. Proactively manage how you relate to and seek medical care
Because health anxiety often makes someone worry that they may be sick or ill, medical tests and screenings might seem like a quick way to ease those fears. Unfortunately, while medical exams and check ups may provide some reassurance, it is oftentimes short lived and reinforces the original fear and worry.
This doesn’t necessarily mean people with healthy anxiety should avoid medical care, but rather, the process of seeking medical attention needs to be sought mindfully in a healthy and reasonable way.The goal to work towards is to seek medical care when needed and to learn how to trust yourself and prevent a doctor’s visit when it is not necessary. This is of course easier said than done but possible and a necessary part of managing health anxiety.
Additionally, maintaining and keeping up with regular routine health care, like annual physical exams and recommended screenings, or continuous treatment as instructed by a healthcare professional for people with medical conditions is also a way to manage overall health.
3. Seek help for anxiety (and other mental health conditions)
Many people with health anxiety also have other mental health conditions, and actively managing both anxiety and other mental health conditions can significantly improve symptoms.
Our team at Psychology Beverly Hills specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mentalization based therapy (MBT) for anxiety, depression, and other common mental health conditions.
In addition to offering practical and psychological tools to manage health anxiety, talk therapy can also help identify the root cause of health fears to then help address underlying concerns. Treating anxiety through counseling makes it easier for people to move past their worries so that they can feel less overwhelmed about health concerns and more freely able to enjoy their life.
For many people, seeking help is the first step to overcoming health anxiety. Book an appointment with our team online or call our Beverly Hills, California, office at 424-331-1570 to get started today.