Health Anxiety

Health anxiety is an obsessive and irrational worry about your well being. With Corona-virus all over our news headlines people who have never felt anxious about their health before are starting to get consumed with intrusive thoughts about possible symptoms and how they may have innocently come into contact with the virus. In fact it is a normal response to feel anxious in this kind of situation. Anxiety itself causes physical symptoms such as feeling hot and sweaty or an increased heart rate

which can all contribute to the imagination of symptoms exasperating the Health Anxiety. This in turn increases the negative anxious thoughts leaving you feeling worried and scared and can then lead to irrational behaviour. You may suddenly find yourself obsessively washing your hands or stock piling products and isolating yourself away in a way you have never done before. Whilst it is sensible to check the regular health updates on how best to protect yourself, if you find these thoughts are becoming overwhelming to the point of distraction or stopping you from sleeping it is time to take action and be kind to your mind! Stepping away from these feelings is challenging and it can feel impossible. My top tip for calming these automatic negative anxious thoughts is the '5 Thing Technique'. In these situations it is important to find a way to ground yourself and put your rational brain back in the drivers seat. Below is a model of how to use the '5 Thing Technique'. Sometimes these things take a bit of practice but with time and patience this can be a great tool to bring yourself back into the moment and reduce your Anxiety.

This technique can be used anywhere and no one even needs to know you are doing it. It is a quick and simple way to ground yourself in moments of stress and assist you in clearing your anxious automatic thoughts giving you space to find some peace.

 

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