So through part 1 you have now pinpointed whether or not you truly have hypochondriasis (health anxiety), and you’ve also learned more about what I like to call the rebound effect (if you haven’t read part 1 I suggest you go back and read it before carrying on). So the question now is what do we do about it? How do we break the neverending cycle that the rebound effect and our health anxiety is causing you? To answer that question I should share with you a quote I heard once that has stuck with me for a while and that quote is:
Only those who have patience to do the simple things perfectly, ever acquire the skills to do difficult things easily.
So today after reading this post our goal is to start simple, master those simple things, take control of what is adding to our health anxiety and hypochondriac state, and overcome your health anxiety one small step at a time. So are you ready? Let’s go!
The first thing I want you to do is grab a piece of paper and put a line right through the middle. On the top of the left side of the paper I want you to write down True Progress, and on the other side of the line I want you to write down A Cycle Of Coping. I want you to think back to some of the times when you’ve felt free from your health anxiety worries, some of these times could be when you were hanging around a certain friend, a certain job you were involved in, a certain activity that you did, a sport that you were commit to. This will take some effort from you to go back in time slightly, and remember what caused you to feel like you were in a different state through your body and your thoughts.
A Cycle Of Coping
On the right side of the paper you have the title A Cycle Of Coping, and on this side it’s time to think about and rid yourself of the things that keep you moving in circles around your health anxiety condition. this list could contain things you do unconsciously that you are just now starting to realize is adding to the rebound effect and your health anxiety cycle. But we need to bring them out into the open if we’re going to stop your health anxiety once and for all. You could add things like turning to my ‘safety net’ (other anxiety sufferers online) for reassurance every time a new symptom of anxiety appears, calling my family doctor to set up an appointment, taking an anti anxiety medication every time I feel like I’m spiralling out of control, researching my new symptoms of anxiety online through search engines like Google or other anxiety groups.
This list is a huge step forward, but I’m warning you now some of the things you add to this list you won’t like. But you deep down will know they should belong to the cycle of coping list simply because this has been your comfort net for so long, and yet you are still in the same hypochondriac state as you were in weeks, months or even years ago. The realization of what feeds your health anxiety, and what prevents you from falling into the cycle of coping is going to be a powerful exercise and you deserve a life better then this… don’t you?
This could be the most important 10 minutes of your life
I don’t want you to rush this exercise, I want you to think it through and fully realize what’s helping you and what’s hurting you. Letting go of some of those daily comforts such as turning to ‘DR Google’ for answers for example, could be difficult at first but in time you’ll see just how much stress and anxiety you’ve let go of simply by following through with your list.
Don’t forget to hang the list on your fridge door, or a place where you’ll run into it in your home
You have to be reminded of this list consistently, so make sure that it’s visible. Each time you are tempted into doing something from the cycle of coping list don’t punish yourself, but just realize and understand that this was the old you. To begin the changes you truly want deep down it’s time to completely rid yourself of the list on the right and fully commit to the list on the left, only then will freedom from your anxious thoughts and your health anxiety condition begin to manifest.