Health Anxiety and how to ease it
As many of you may (or may not) know I have had my fair share of a health journey, one that continues to this day as I write this. In 2017 I began to experience what is broadly termed as Chronic Fatigue. I personally don't use this term too often as there are always reasons underneath the title that I truly believe CAN be healed. This has led me down the path of greater understanding of not only my physical health but mental health also as I came to learn how intrinsically the two are linked. I have experienced anxiety on and off for most of my life and I think without the right tools to manage this (I just never found a therapist or practitioner who really understood me in the past) it really just resulted in a pretty crappy and disconnected relationship with myself.
Fast forward and the last 2 years I finally found progress in amazing practitioners, alternative medicine and therapy. I won't be too specific as the biggest thing I have learned is how unique we all are but I do feel strongly that often health issues stem from both physical imbalances and emotional blocks (besides the occasions of random terrible accidents, which can still benefit from healing the emotional trauma around the incident). On my first appointment with my Integrative Medicine Doctor (This is a GP who has done further training and study into biochemical and genetic profiles often also called 'BioBalance, you can search this easily online) where I was told 70% of physical healing comes down to healing the mind and emotional body. As someone who had been meditating for 4 years and on a very 'spiritual' path and had received countless healings and 'done the work' as such I felt like I was all good in that department.... until I wasn't.
Dealing with ongoing health imbalances that kept me in bed for the better part of the last 2 years is easily the most challenging, soul breaking, heart opening, and humbling experience. It really is hard to describe it so I won't even try as if you are reading this you probably know this feeling all too well. Days turn to weeks and weeks turn to months, trials, protocols and therapies... all of this can lead to more anxiety about what the future holds. I wish I could say I have the magical answer for how to avoid this but in all honesty, it is in this experience itself that I am a better person sitting here today. I have had to get to know the inner workings of my mind so intimately without distraction and busyness to keep it tame, and this is something I think will be the biggest gift long term. So I thought I would name what helps me and that I still practice every day...
1. Therapy- I never believed in traditional psychology and still am in some ways but I really think the key is to shop around as such. If you feel like ANY practitioner doesn't respect or understand you, move on! There are countless people that are 100% committed to supporting you to recover and thrive. I go to my therapist fortnightly and sometimes it is just to vent, other times we talk about the distress that comes from feeling as though my body is 'failing' in some way and I am forever amazed at what sits underneath that feeling that is feeding that belief. It is in shifting these that I feel my body heal.
2. Don't try to explain it- Having health issues that are invisible is one of the most soul-crushing and unique experiences. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me I was 'glowing' or 'looking great' while I was deep in fatigue or anxiety... well I would have a beach house by now! And it is nobodies fault, I genuinely have kept looking pretty great during all of this, but that leads me to feel as though I was making it up and had plenty of people treat me as such. I made a decision to stop trying to convince other people how I was feeling and kept that conversation for the health professionals I was working with.
3. Be open- Whether it is kinesiology, meditation, yoga, essential oils, EFT (Tapping), Acupuncture, Herbs. I highly encourage you to remain open-minded to anything that you have a gut feeling may be helpful for you. You don't need to always believe in it 110% to give it a go, it is no miracle cure but it will definitely allow your nervous system and emotional body to heal.
4. Lifestyle- If you hate your job, eat packaged food filled with additives and preservatives, party every weekend and have toxic relationships you will find healing very difficult. There really is no way around it other than to choose to take full responsibility for your life... it is yours and yours only. 'Nothing changes if nothing changes'.
5. Trust- This is literally the hardest and last thing to feel when in the middle of crisis mode but sometimes you have to fake it until you make it. Our bodies are ALWAYS trying to protect us by responding on a cellular level to the way we treat it both physically and emotionally. I blamed myself for a long time and I came to realise (again through therapy) that this was useless and only wasting what energy I did have. I chose to put that energy towards holding onto the belief that as long as I am here, breathing and taking responsibility for my life and healing... it WILL happen. This is still something I am growing through. For me trust comes in looking at flowers, swimming in the ocean, being out in nature always reminds me of the bigger picture. This also comes down to trusting your gut, if someone is trying to tell you you won't heal, or to try a treatment that doesn't feel right for you (I learned this the hard way many times) then know that even when you feel at your weakest and most vulnerable that intution will still rise strong.
I really hope this is helpful for you or someone you may know. Health is such a unique path that many of us are now walking, and I do believe our souls have their own plan in how we will grow from it if we are open to it.