5 Steps I Took To Help Get Rid Of My Health Anxiety

 

Disclosure: Some of the links listed in this article are affiliate links, which means if you buy something from my link I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! I only link products I have used. Please read my Full Disclosure Policy here.

Another disclosure: As stated in my Full Disclosure Policy I am not a licensed doctor. This is just general information on what worked for me and my health anxiety. While this article is about natural ways to help anxiety, there is nothing wrong with taking medication prescribed by your doctor. Please do not stop taking prescription medication or adding any of these ideas without talking to your doctor first.

  How I reduced my health anxiety by 90% -naturally! If you are struggling to help your health anxiety read this article at https://www.thepassionlessintrovert.com/5-steps-i-took-to-get-rid-of-my-health-anxiety/ #anxiety #healthanxiety #mentalhealth #selfcare


Anxiety. Not only have you heard this word before, but you probably have experienced it as well.  So many people experience anxiety at least some point in their life. In fact “18.1% of the population” experience anxiety “every year” or in other words it affects over “40 million adults in the United States” according to this article by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

There is typically what is known as healthy and unhealthy anxiety, and I say normal not to necessarily say that people who experience anxiety are abnormal, because that just isn’t true. It isn’t the person that is abnormal- it is the type of anxiety. Let me give you some examples:

  • An example of healthy anxiety could be that you are having some anxiety about an upcoming event at work where you have to speak in front of 200 people. Most people (assuming they aren’t used to public speaking very often) will probably have some worry and anxiety. That is what I would consider healthy anxiety- this is just a part of life and a normal human response to something like that.
  • What may not be considered healthy anxiety could be that you worry about everything. Or maybe you have very specific fears that you experience almost daily. An example could be you are constantly worried about getting in a car accident, so in turn you do not drive very often. Or maybe you have some obsession where you continually do things in repetitive manners in order to make yourself feel better- otherwise known as OCD.

Maybe you are like me, and you are very hypersensitive to anything and everything that goes on in your body. Any little change that you notice in your body makes you worry, become paranoid, and eventually may even lead a panic attack. If it comes down to that your heart is racing, you feel like you cannot breathe or walk, and then maybe you feel like you are having a heart attack. This is known as health anxiety and/or panic attacks.

My experience with anxiety

Aside from being shy and introverted, I also experienced anxiety growing up (and still do). Read more about that in this article about being both shy and introverted that I wrote.

I was officially diagnosed with GAD (general anxiety disorder) when I was in my early 20’s, so not too long ago. It made a lot of sense; I worried- and I worried A LOT. My daily worries included anything and everything. If it wasn’t something about myself it was something about a family member or friend or basically anyone else or any event that would take place.

I was good at hiding my anxiety for the most part. I would make up answers when other people would question me to make it seem like it wasn’t anxiety, when in fact it was. It was always pretty manageable for me honestly; it seemed more like what some people refer to as “functional anxiety.”

The start of my health anxiety

Late last year something in me changed and I soon couldn’t hide my anxiety well at all. I started experiencing some weird physical symptoms and finally went to the ER because I thought I was having a heart attack. They did some tests and the doctor came back and said, “Everything looks great, I think you are just under stress or you pulled a muscle.”

I was honestly dumbfounded- I had actually thought something serious was wrong with me.

I went home and that is when everything got worse as the days went by when it came to my health anxiety. Every little thing on my body would set me off. I would get twitching from anxiety and would chalk it up to some serious disease, I thought my ear infections were turning into Meningitis, and I thought I got parasites from using a Netty pot.

One night I took the appropriate amount of Lexapro that my doctor prescribed me and experienced a headache that I thought was a stroke. Never took it again after that.

Sounds dramatic when I write all of that out, right? But to me, at that time, it felt so real and it was terrifying. Most of these thoughts led to terrible panic attacks and I thought I was dying some days. Eventually I ended up going to my doctor numerous times within a two month time span. It seemed to me that I was having so many symptoms of certain scary diseases.

I laid around the house and stopped working out because I was so scared that I was going to end up having more symptoms. I just didn’t feel like myself anymore.

Finally I decided I had to do something. I wasn’t going to lay around and feel like I wasn’t able to do anything anymore. I was either going to have to take prescribed medication from my doctor or find other ways to help my health anxiety. Fast forward to five months later and I honestly feel about 90% better when it comes to my health anxiety as of right now.

So what did I do to help my health anxiety? Read on.

1. Vitamins/Herbs/Supplements

Good old vitamins! I got my blood work done at my doctor’s office- twice of course because I was convinced there was something wrong with me that they were clearly missing. Everything came back fine for the most part. One time my potassium was a little low, but that was it and everything else was perfect.

I started doing some research on natural ways to help health anxiety. After reading different articles I knew I had to make at least some changes in what I was putting into my body (or not putting in my body in my case).

In my research about sudden severe anxiety I found out some information on adrenal fatigue. This term wasn’t completely new to me, as I have heard of it before, but I never took it seriously.

I re-read the book *”Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome,” by James L. Wilson. I have owed this book for years, but finally read it again and took it seriously. The book makes so much sense, and I found myself saying, “yes, yes, yes,” to all of the statements he made about symptoms of adrenal fatigue.

This why I think my body and very sudden health anxiety set in to play due to adrenal fatigue. I was putting so much stress on my body that my adrenals were just getting worse everyday until I became so anxiety ridden.

Here is a full list of vitamins/supplements/herbs that I currently take:

  1. I have taken two separate Ashwaganda herbs. The first one I started was *BRI Nutrition Ashwaganda, and now I am using *Adrenal Power since it has more variety of herbs in it. Both work great.

2. Fish oil, well I actually do not eat fish, so instead I use *Omega 3,6, 9.

3.  Magnesium. I love magnesium so much! I either take it in pill form or if I am experiencing more anxiety than usual I drink a cup of *Calm Plus Calcium and Magnesium before bedtime.

4. Zinc. I will be taking this daily during flu season. It is supposed to also help with colds, and since colds seem to set my anxiety off I believe this is a good vitamin to take. For me less sickness= less time I spend worrying about my health.

5. Evening Primose Oil. I just recently added this to my vitamin routine, but I think it has helped my health anxiety as well. It also assists with PMS and has essential fatty acids in it as well.

6. D3, which is an extremely important vitamin for your entire body!

These last three products are not vitamins, but they are natural and have definitely helped as well.

  1. Peace Roller by DoTerra Essential Oils, as well as other essential oils. Typically I diffuse lavender, lemongrass, and peppermint just to name a few.
  2. I made a huge jug of Sole Water. I used this article by Wellness Mama to learn how to make it. Super easy and lasts a long time!
  3. I also use a Himalayan salt lamp in my bedroom nightly. They are said to improve your air quality in your house, help you sleep better at night and numerous other benefits.

I strongly believe that these vitamins and other natural products helped me tremendously!

2. Exercise

Once I started to feel a little better I tried to get my exercise routine back up and running (literally). I have worked out for a long time, but decided to stop when the anxiety got so bad I could hardly get off the couch.

Since it was winter time, I couldn’t do much outside, but I went downstairs, put on some good music and walked/ran on the treadmill or did a workout DVD.

I now make exercising a priority in my weekday mornings. I always try to go outside or on walks with the kids in the evenings for more fresh air. Read more about exercise and the effects it has on endorphins and stress in my previous article.

Fresh air is also great for anxiety. When I was having bad panic attacks just sitting outside on my front porch and feeling the cold air touch my face would help me calm down after a bit.

3. Deep relaxation techniques

Deep relaxation is very effective in helping anxiety as well. Therapists are a great start to help a person experiencing anxiety. A lot of them are trained do to deep relaxation techniques. I learned how to do the Emotional Freedom Technique from a therapist and a few other relaxation techniques as well.

Some techniques do seem bit strange at first while doing them, but they really did help me relax after they were completed. You can do them almost anywhere, which is a plus.

Relaxation methods are excellent for naturally helping anxiety; other techniques can include meditation, massages, yoga, and deep breathing.

I also went to a chiropractor who adjusted my neck and back and it honestly helped my tension headaches so much. So for me, less headaches= less pain and paranoia that I had something “serious” going on.

4. Stay away from negative people/energy/news

During the time I was having the extreme health anxiety almost anything could set me off or trigger a panic attack.

This meant that I needed to adjust what I was watching and exposing myself to. I stopped watching and reading any news that I knew would possibly set off the health anxiety.

Instead of watching horror movies I stuck to watching comedies and maybe a few dramas occasionally. I also hid things on social media that I found to be negative or upsetting to me.

It may sound like a lot, but it helped. I have slowly started to do some of the things that I did before the health anxiety, like watching an occasional horror movie. I still stay away from articles that I know will upset me, particularly articles about scary health symptoms or anything similar.

5. I gave up caffeine

You knew that this coming! I used to drink two large cups of coffee twice a day, but after reading about how caffeine can make anxiety worse I decided to give it up- for the most part. Every once in a while I will have a Chai Tea, which supposedly has a lot less caffeine compared to one cup of coffee. I only drink this if I feel the absolute need to have a little caffeine.

I can tell that giving up most caffeine has helped my anxiety, and in fact once I stopped drinking it I noticed a very sudden decrease in my anxiety. Honestly though, that is about the only positive thing I can think of about while giving up caffeine (stay tuned for that blog post!).

You will just need to listen to your body. Maybe you can handle caffeine every once in a while like myself, or maybe you find that you absolutely should not drink caffeine if you have health anxiety.

5 steps I took to naturally get rid of my health anxiety. Are you having anxiety and want to some natural ideas to treat it? Read more at https://www.thepassionlessintrovert.com/5-steps-i-took-to-get-rid-of-my-health-anxiety/ #Anxiety #Healthanxiety #Mentalhealth #Selfcare

I can’t say for sure if one of these suggestions or products helped more than the other. The combination of supplements, exercising, deep relaxation techniques and staying away from negative energy all combined helped my anxiety so much.

Am I cured from anxiety? No. I still have an occasional upset about something health related and I still have some GAD. Overall I have honestly felt pretty good these past few months. I have also noticed a lot of my physical symptoms have gone away. This makes me even more convinced that they were caused by stress and anxiety.

Have you ever experienced health anxiety or any other anxiety that has affected your life in a tremendous ways? What helped you cope with the anxiety?

 

*Disclosure: Some of the links listed in this article are affiliate links, which means if you buy something from my link I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! I only link products I have used. Please read my Full Disclosure Policy here.

Another disclosure: As stated in my Full Disclosure Policy I am not a licensed doctor. This is just general information on what worked for me and my health anxiety. While this article is about natural ways to help anxiety, there is nothing wrong with taking medication prescribed by your doctor. Please do not stop taking prescription medication or adding any of these ideas without talking to your doctor first.