Mental Health

How To Cope With Health Anxiety

Madeline Hlobik
Madeline Hlobik8 Dec 2021
Reviewed and Fact Checked ✔️

Health anxiety is a form of anxiety where individuals will irrationally worry about themselves suffering from medical issues. There are both short-term and long-term ways to cope with health anxiety. Short-term ways include breathing, exercising, and journaling, whereas long-term ways include practicing cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), identifying triggers, and instilling mindfulness into your day.

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How To Cope With Health Anxiety

Every year, between 1 to 10 out of 100 people will struggle with health anxiety. Typically, health anxiety is characterized by individuals obsessing over their health, potentially degrading, and developing severe medical illnesses. This can present itself in ways such as:

  • Having nonstop thoughts about one’s health
  • Frequently visiting physicians and other medical professionals
  • Spending large quantities of time reading about different medical conditions they may already have

To combat health anxiety, short-term and long-term tangible actions can be taken.  

Short Term Actions

Short-term action items can be used for quick relief from health anxiety, as they will help you distract yourself and take charge of the present situation.


Attempt to take long, deep breaths. These are usually accomplished by breathing in for four counts and then breathing out for four counts and can be repeated for up to five minutes. Make sure to concentrate on your breath alone during this time. In doing so, you will be able to divert attention away from the overwhelming thoughts in your mind and slow down your heart rate.


Whether it’s a short walk, long run, or quick yoga session, exercise can be a great outlet for halting your negative thoughts. By getting out and exercising, you will be able to activate a type of neurotransmitter known as endorphins, which will enable you to feel a sense of relief. Exercise can also help take your mind away from your thoughts and help relieve anxiety.


A great way to get anxious thoughts out of your mind is writing them down. When you put pen to paper, you can get your thoughts out of your mind, which can make them appear less overwhelming.

After you write all of your thoughts out, you may also be able to identify specific causes as to what is prompting these thoughts later on.

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Madeline Hlobik

Madeline is a Senior at UCLA majoring in Human Biology & Society with a minor in Spanish. She's currently a Healthcare Research Analyst at Mira, writing content for the blog to help the public better understand certain medical issues, technologies, testings, and the importance of healthcare.

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