8 Pointers to Stop Obsessively Worrying About Your Health

Stop worrying about health - featured image
@kari Shea

We live in the age of “alarms”.

What that has done to most of us is that we have ended up becoming a little too concerned about certain aspects of our life – especially our health. We become “health geeks”. And strangely the more people fear for their health, the unhealthier they seem to be getting.

The “fruitarian” diets, the cabbage soup diets, the vegan revolution, the raw food regime, the Atkins diet and the other plethora of schemes and “food” philosophies out there could confuse the best of us.

The evil of “health” propaganda

What you fear the most is what you start to see all around you. Cause that becomes the focus of your attention.

Your brain will filter out elements related to your fear and showcase them to you. So you automatically find yourself spending time reading or scouting for information about the latest diseases and new health trends.

But overtime, as you would have noticed, this worrying takes away your peace of mind. Worrying about your health can be so stressful that it can actually make you ill, talk about irony!

There are many people who think they have acquired a grave disease if they just get a fever or sore throat. The mental stress that accompanies such “projections” can leave you feeling anxious and fearful all the time.

Ironically, more people are becoming unhealthy and ill in this age when “health” is such a buzz word. Diets, supplements and food regimes have been known to cripple people nutritionally and “psychologically” leaving them stressed out mentally and physically.

The health propaganda that most “medical” institutions and health-care communities run usually sends the wrong message to the people. Of course, these institutions benefit from instigating fear in the minds of people regarding their health.

How to quit obsessing about your health?

Yes it’s important to be prudent about your health and not subject it to any harmful indulgences like over-eating, over-drinking or over-abusing.

Anything that is done in excess will harm your body, even the most healthiest of foods can become a poison if you get obsessed with it.

But you need to stop obsessing over your health. If you are not happy, what’s the use of your “health”? So keep it simple and live simply as much as possible.

Here are 8 tips on how to overcome the obsession with health.

1.) Balance is the secret to health

Balance is the key to good health - Health Quote
@Aziz Acharki

Always remember this mantra – ‘Balance is the key‘.

Some people take their health for ‘granted’, while some start obsessively thinking about their health. The key to health though lies somewhere in the middle. You don’t overthink about it and at the same time, you don’t ignore it completely.

Anything done in balance (moderation) cannot harm you.

Our bodies are so intelligent and flexible that they easily make allowances for “unhealthy” foods when they are taken in moderation. So pizzas, fries, diary products, sugary items and spicy foods are all okay as long as you eat them in moderate quantities.

Don’t quit on foods you love, it will only stress you out and make you feel that “life is unfair”. Enjoy the food you like occasionally, in moderate quantities.

2.) Stop consuming negative media

Do you spend hours on the internet researching health information? Then you need to consciously drop this habit. Use the internet for research only when it is absolutely necessary.

Stop watching, reading or listening to health news or documentaries that trigger fear inside you. Most of this news is geared toward getting your attention through fear. Instead, shift your attention to consuming material that is positive and empowering.

This will be difficult at first, but slowly, your will find it easier to simply ignore such negative news.

3.) Stay conscious of your thoughts

Worrying about health is an unconscious habit. The best way to break this habit is to become conscious of your thoughts of worry.

When your mind produces a fearful thought, become conscious of this thought. And instead of engaging with this thought, let the thought be. These thoughts will start to subside over time as you continue to remain conscious of them.

Also read: 3 proven techniques to stop obsessive thoughts.

4.) Practice Relaxation

Make relaxation a habit
@Artem Bali

A simple technique to stop worrying about your health, is to shift your attention to relaxing and releasing stress. Make relaxation a habit.

Here are a few techniques that you can use to relax:

Meditation: Use a technique like breath meditation (focusing on your breathing) to calm your mind down. Meditation can help you become aware of your negative thoughts so you can consciously discard them instead of obsessing over them. Meditation also helps relax the body. When your mind and body are relaxed, your para-sympathetic nervous system is activated which has a healing effect on your body.

Deep breathing exercises: Simple breathing exercises like the bee breathing technique can be deeply relaxing both to your mind and body. A few seconds of this exercise will help shift your attention from negative thoughts to positive thoughts.

Simple Yoga poses: Simple yoga poses like yoga nidra, Balasana (child pose), Crocodile pose (makarasana), Legs up the wall pose (Viparita Karani) can be done by anyone. They help you get in touch with your body and also have a healing effect.

Progressive relaxation exercises – Relxation exercises like progressive muscle relaxation or conscious body relaxation can help release stress and induce relaxation. These exercises also help you get in touch with your inner body.

So whenever you are having obsessive thoughts, shift your focus toward relaxation.

Also read: 67 simple activities that help you relax.

5.) Perform simple exercises

Instead of being overly concerned about the exercise routines, just follow something simple on a daily basis.

For instance, if you just jog, or do skipping, for 20 minutes in your backyard or even inside your house it’s enough to improve the blood circulation, toxin removal and oxygen supply in your body.

Of course you can join a gym and do workouts, or take up yoga classes, or indulge in other forms of exercises like Tai Chi, but it’s not a necessity for good health. Our bodies are quite robust and adapt pretty well to our lifestyle.

A little physical activity is a must though, that’s what simple exercises do for you.

7.) Forget about the “perfect” diet

Perfect diets don't exist
@Brooke Lark

If you are tired of experimenting with countless diet plans, then it’s high time you let this habit go as it can cause a whole lot of stress.

It’s better to eat the food that you have been traditionally eating while making some changes here and there.

For example, if you are mostly a meat eater, be sure to have a plate of raw vegetable salad along with it. Instead of eating “processed” foods for breakfast, try a fruit salad and fresh juice.

These small changes are all that needs to be done in order to have a “decent” diet which is more than sufficient to maintain normal health.

8.) Get in touch with your body

When you are worrying, you live in your mind. A simple technique to stop living in your mind is to get in touch with your inner body. This might sound very ‘new age’ but it is the most natural thing you can do.

Getting in touch with your body is about feeling your body consciously.

We have already discussed a few methods to get in touch with the body in ‘point number 4’ above. So if you are doing yoga, consciously feel how your body is feeling during every pose. If you are doing progressive muscle relaxation, consciously feel how every muscle is feeling as you squeeze and release them.

To know more about consciously feeling your body, check out this article on inner body meditation.

In conclusion

Health is not something you can ever maintain in its pristine state. We will age and our bodies will become less “healthy”. All we can do is stop becoming unhealthy prematurely.

Simple exercises, a few diet changes or additions and a relaxed mind is all it takes to retain normal health.

Stop worrying about your health and let your body take care of it, just be responsible enough not to over indulge and that’s enough.

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