It is not uncommon for us to want to avoid visiting the doctor even when we are feeling sick. We may feel that way because we don’t think we have the time during our busy days, or it could be that we believe our ailment will just go away on its own. However, if you have a constant fear of seeing the doctor or think that you are always sick, then you may have medical anxiety.
This phenomenon is especially common as we continue to live in a world dominated by COVID-19, but you do not need to let it control you. Let’s talk about medical anxiety and how to navigate these feelings and feel better altogether.
Fear of the Doctor
One major form of medical anxiety is the fear of visiting the doctor in the first place, and the other is when you feel that you are always sick or that you are in constant need of medical assistance. If you are the type who is afraid of visiting the doctor or receiving medical care, then you need to consider the triggers.
There are typically two different apprehensions that people have when it comes to doctor visits. Some people fear them because they are afraid of hearing bad, life-threatening news, while others believe that going to the doctor is pointless because they think their ailments will be ignored and they won’t get the help they need. If you don’t get the answers you seek, then remember that it is okay to get a second opinion from a new doctor.
It is important to remember that even if you are afraid of bad news, if you have long-term pain or a medical emergency, then you need to see a medical professional. To make a doctor appointment easier, consider taking a friend or family member that you can lean on for moral support. Also, make sure to control your breathing by slowly inhaling and exhaling. Finally, make sure that you schedule appointments during the weekdays where you are not typically rushed or overly busy so you can focus only on your visit.
Fear of Getting Sick
On the opposite side of the spectrum, some may visit the doctor more than necessary because they feel that they are sick all the time. This fear has become more common over the last couple of years when people feel that they may be getting ill and suspect it may be COVID-19. Those who are constantly worried about their health can feel better by focusing their thoughts elsewhere.
For instance, by finding a hobby that requires regular attention, like gardening or completing complex crossword puzzles, you can refocus your mind, and these calming activities will help you to avoid thoughts that can trigger anxiety. You could also fit yoga or meditation into your routine because these activities help to slow your breathing and put you in a better mental place.
If these tricks don’t make an impact or your negative thoughts intensify, then you may need to look into mental health assistance through a therapist or a support group in your community. If you really do feel pain or that your health is seriously at risk, then make it a point to visit an urgent care location, as these facilities are equipped to handle straightforward injuries like sprains, respiratory infections, and excessive migraines, and they do so in a timely manner.
You can quell your fears of visiting the doctor and feel better about your health in general by living a healthier lifestyle. Make a routine that starts with moderate exercise every morning which could include walking around the block, running on the treadmill, or riding the stationary bike. By jumpstarting your mornings with exercise, you will have an overall better mindset as you go through the day.
A healthy diet is just as important as cardio and lifting weights. When you eat healthy and natural foods, you feel less bogged down, and you could feel happier while also maintaining a healthy body weight.
In addition to eating fruits, vegetables, and foods that contain protein, you should also drink plenty of water, especially if you have an active outdoor lifestyle. By drinking water, you are replenishing your body’s natural fluids so you can enjoy your exercise without feeling fatigued or dizzy.
In the end, it is natural to be apprehensive about your health, but if you feel that these concerns monopolize your daily thoughts, then you need to talk to a professional. Follow the tips above and always feel healthier and happier.
About the Author
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S.
She covers a wide range of topics but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to health and wellness, including mental health awareness and addiction education.