Ever since I can remember I've been somewhat of a hypochondriac. For some unknown reason, even the mildest of ailments can immediately get me thinking worst case scenarios; a simple headache, a scratchy throat, even seasonal allergies can send me into a medical tailspin. Additionally, I have a nasty habit of turning to the internet for a diagnosis as opposed to consulting a medical professional, which is particularly foolish because by the time I've resurfaced from my wormhole, I'm convinced my life's about to be snuffed out by a rare condition no one's even heard of.
Did you know that excessive worrying about your health can cause the onset of a variety of symptoms such as stomachaches, dizziness, or pain? In fact, several studies have found that illness anxiety can take over a hypochondriac’s life to the point that worrying and living in fear becomes so stressful that it can become completely debilitating. I bet you're wondering what all this can possibly have to do with self care right? Well, read on.
This week was shaping up to be a complete disaster when on two separate occasions, with totally unrelated incidents, we found ourselves waiting on the results of someone else’s COVID test to find out if we too would need to get tested and ultimately quarantine. For anyone who's been lucky enough not to experience this yet, let me tell you it's not a quick fix. It can take up to three days to get truly dependable test results, so betwixt and between, that meant my family spent nearly every single day of this week ”waiting.”
For a hypochondriac like me I could've capitulated into a fit of worry, but rather than let negativity take over, I decided to stay positive for not just myself, but for the whole family. I kept reminding myself how there was nothing I could do and absolutely nothing good could come from worrying, especially worrying before there was really something to worry about. This mindset certainly wasn't easy for me and I definitely cought myself checking my temperature one too many times, but overall I was pretty good and felt my adjusted approach was totally worthwhile.
Thankfully for all of us the results were negative, but the truth is, even if they'd been positive, the current data indicates the likelihood of something bad happening is still extremely low. The way I see it, we need to find a way to live our lives and focus on what's happening in the here and now rather than worrying about the what ifs. When you can truly stop worrying about things you can’t control, you’ll have more time and energy to devote to the things you do have control over; this can be key to reaching your greatest potential.
We only have one life to live, so from now on I'm going to make the best use of the time I have rather than wasting another second driving myself crazy over worst case scenarios and unknowns. If you find yourself in a similar position, challenge yourself to do the same; I'm confident you'll find an enhanced inner peace.