I am currently extremely anxious about getting a stomach virus even though I had one just last week. May I just have some tips for dealing with this anxiety?
Anxiety (Including GAD)
Drink lots of water, exercise. Watch what you eat to not upset your stomach and nerves more. Anxiety can cause knots in your stomach. Deep breaths. Find something to focus on like listening to music or writing. Block out a time everyday to walk and get outside for some fresh air. I hope that helps. ❤️
Thank you so much :)
I get that. I have a lot of health-centered anxiety too. I find that the CBT strategy of challenging my thoughts with cold hard logic helps me. Of course, some people would find that approach dismissive of their perfectly valid feelings, so your mileage may vary. I also second all of the great general self-care ideas that have been suggested to help with generally lessening anxiety. Now back to my tip.
I like to imagine that I’m giving a pep talk to my best friend if they had the worry that I have. Sometimes I even talk to myself out loud. There is research to suggest that talking out loud to yourself in a reassuring way can have a calming effect on your nervous system.
If I were in your shoes, here are some questions I’d talk myself through:
How likely is it, statistically speaking, that I would get a stomach virus, especially after just having one? (And here, I would pause to acknowledge that the incredibly unpleasant experience of just recently having a stomach virus might be causing me to feel extra sensitive to the possibility being on my radar at all. It can seem more likely to happen simply because it just did and our brains are wired to remember things that hurt us in order to help us avoid them.) Realistically, there’s probably a very small percentage of probability. I would remind myself that there are 52 weeks in a year and I had a stomach virus for 1 of them (maybe a couple more if I had been extra unlucky), which means that for the vast majority of my days I was unplagued by stomach viruses.
Next, I would ask myself about how I dealt with the stomach virus I just had, and what I thought the most likely outcome of another virus would be. I would remind myself of all the things I did to take care of myself and get through it with the virus I just had: calling/seeing the doctor, drinking extra fluids, eating easily digestible carbs, taking medicine, having a trash can nearby, watching comfort movies on the couch in my pjs surrounded by comfy blankets and pillows, getting extra sleep. I would remind myself that it was not fun, but I handled it. I didn’t die, and if I survived the last time using all those strategies, I would most likely survive another similar situation.
I would also ask myself how likely it would be, statistically speaking again, that there would be any serious complications from another stomach virus. (Because I always tend to worry: is this illness or symptom going to develop into something more serious?) I would remind myself that the vast majority of people who get a stomach virus recover just fine after a few days and don’t need hospitalization or end up seriously, dangerously sick.
Finally, I would ask myself what I could do to prevent another stomach virus. Could I plan to wash/sanitize my hands more frequently, or work on avoiding touching my face? Could I take steps to be a little extra careful with food safety choices? Could I wear a mask around other people or avoid touching certain things out in public?
I hope that helps, or that you find something else that will help soothe your anxiety about this. Wishing you good health! ❤️
☝ This content is generated by our users and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision
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