If you live in a wealthy country, that sort of thing is rare. But for many of us, there’s a tendency to think that even slight issues with our health are the harbinger of our doom. We find ourselves catastrophizing, wondering whether we might have heart disease or even cancer. And we end up wasting our time at work, worrying about issues and not actually enjoying our lives.
The good news is that psychologists are very aware of all these issues in their patients. One psychologist, Irena Milosevic, a doctor from the Anxiety Treatment And Research Clinic, says that if you find yourself bothered by symptoms and it is ruining your life, you should visit a doctor. You might have good reason to be concerned, she says, but chronically worrying about your health can eventually make you sick and ruin your quality of life.
Here are some things behavioral psychologists suggest that women do if they find themselves panicking on a regular basis about their health.
Be More Diligent When Checking
Milosevic says that a lot of women who worry about their health get their information from the wrong sites. Instead of going to reputable places for information, like Safe Symptoms, the choose instead to read unmoderated forums online and infer whatever disease they think they might have from there. The problem with these forums is that they are not written by real health professionals. A lot of what gets said is mere hearsay and isn’t backed up by any science. Plus, what commentators say about your condition is meaningless, since they have no diagnostic information about you at all.
Stopping these behaviors, Milosevic says, can be difficult, especially if they have been ingrained over the course of a lifetime. But she says that instead of letting anxiety run its course and destroy your life, you should find strategies to fight back. Milosevic, therefore, recommends that women start by reducing the amount of time they spend on the computer every day. If you currently spend 60 minutes on the computer, cut it down to 30 minutes to give yourself less time to worry about possible illnesses.
The people who worry about their health tend to overblow the actual risks that they face. According to Milosevic, they become so utterly convinced that there is going to be an adverse outcome they end up panicking.
Milosevic says that women need to understand that even if the news is bad, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the end of the line. Most people these days actually recover from a cancer diagnosis. In fact, discovering you have cancer is a good thing because it means that you can do something about it.
Milosevic also recommends that women stop avoiding topics, like illness, so it becomes more manageable when they do eventually have to face it. Often reading obituaries helps, she says.
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner