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The Pivotal Moment In My Health Anxiety Journey | HAP 64

If you’re currently grappling with health anxiety, you’ve landed in the right place. I’m Dennis Simsek, also known as The Anxiety Guy. Picture this: a platform offering a proven, step-by-step system for overcoming health anxiety. A supportive community, focused on progress and connection, not reassurance-seeking or victimhood. Imagine stepping away from the distractions of social media and immersing yourself in a clean, straightforward space dedicated solely to your healing journey. The Health Anxiety University offers all of this and more. If you’re ready to break free from health anxiety and move beyond managing symptoms and intrusive thoughts through your health anxiety journey, join us today. We’re eager to welcome you. See you on the inside.

The Epiphany: Moving Beyond Health Anxiety

Friends, I often get asked, “Dennis, when was the moment you knew you were healing from health anxiety?” Today, I want to provide a clear answer to eliminate any confusion. I want to delve into this incredible epiphany, this moment of clarity that transitioned me from suffering to realization. The realization that I could be more than my health anxiety. That I could live my life differently.

This pivotal moment arrived when I understood that health anxiety was never about my health. It was about the need for control, the fear of uncertainty, and the relentlessness that accompanies the habit of worry. This is a ‘more than anxiety’ moment, so let’s dive deep.

Understanding the Root Cause

For a long time, the very thing that perpetuated my health anxiety was the belief that my physical health was in danger. I felt threatened. Every symptom, every intrusive thought, every negative feeling or emotion seemed to threaten my life. But this was never about my health. It shouldn’t even be called health anxiety. At a deeper level, I was seeking to maintain control over my health. So it wasn’t about health, it was about control.

Interestingly, the two-year-old within me, known as the lower self or subconscious mind, once it finds that everything is under control in the external world, starts to look inward. It points out imperfections: your health isn’t perfect, your thinking isn’t perfect, your feelings aren’t perfect. Even a numb big toe becomes a focus of control. So it was about control and the fear of uncertainty.

Breaking Free from the Cycle of Health Anxiety

There was a relentlessness that came with the habit of worry. Part of me wanted to get rid of worry, but another part became best friends with it. “Oh, worry, you’re there, right? Okay, well, I kind of want you there, but I kind of don’t.” I yearned for a different, freer life, but at the same time, I feared change and the unknown. But understanding this was the first step towards breaking free from the cycle.

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The Turning Point

As I began to understand these things, I reached a point where I no longer believed in health anxiety. Over time, after exhausting all external resources to heal health anxiety – books, podcasts, videos, endless meditations, reframing practices, consultations with psychics, NLP practitioners, and CBT practitioners – you realize that healing can be both difficult and simple. I reached a point in my life where I no longer believed in health anxiety. This realization can hit hard. It can be simple yet challenging to implement initially, until dissatisfaction and realization drive you to acknowledge that previous attempts haven’t worked. I reached a point where health anxiety no longer held truth for me.

The Power of Belief

This shift in belief is akin to how people perceive ghosts. If two people walk into a room, one believing in ghosts and the other not, their experiences will differ drastically. The believer may feel threatened, perceive the environment as dangerous, and experience fear-related sensations, symptoms, and stress hormones. The non-believer, on the other hand, has the potential to find peace within the same environment. Thus, it’s not about what you intellectually believe, but what you emotionally believe. I stopped believing in health anxiety.

Moving Beyond the Label

I didn’t believe health anxiety existed for me. Consequently, whenever a symptom arose, I began to view it as something fleeting, something that would come and go as long as I didn’t feed it. This was a ‘more than anxiety’ moment. It’s not about the label – health anxiety, hypochondria, mental health – it’s about how we continue to feed into the elements of the label that keeps it alive.

The Right Focus

If you meditate to stop a symptom or get rid of anxiety, you’re still focusing on the anxiety. If you’re implementing safety signals to rid yourself of health anxiety elements, you’re still focused on health anxiety. However, if you meditate for the pleasure of meditating, to find mental clarity, and to make peace with the unknown, then you will benefit from it. This shift in mindset was monumental for me. Symptoms became fleeting experiences.

Embracing Change and Uncertainty with Health Anxiety

I’m going to delve deeper into the nature of symptoms. When I realized that I was no longer a health anxiety sufferer, I understood that symptoms were distractions from experiencing new experiences. You might think, “Dennis, I thought symptoms could be catastrophic physical conditions that could potentially lead to some kind of disease or illness, or even a heart attack.” That was my belief too, when I was in the grip of health anxiety.

Symptoms as Distractions

However, later on, I saw symptoms as distractions. They were trying to divert me from experiencing new things. I decided not to fight them. They could stay in the background while I engaged in creative activities. Instead of battling with them to stay present with the creativity I was embarking on, I let them be. You see the difference? Symptoms can be in the background rather than at the forefront of what you’re doing. This shift is possible for everyone who begins to detach themselves from health anxiety and catastrophic thoughts.

Finding Peace in the Unknown

These symptoms were attempts by the ‘two-year-old’ within me to get me to latch onto a negative idea, to maintain the anxious state I was in due to fear of change. Think of this catastrophic thought as a tree. The tree has many branches, and the branches have leaves. This catastrophic idea presented itself in my mind, and when I was suffering from health anxiety, it wanted me to focus on it, give it awareness, energy, and act in line with it. This focus allowed it to branch out to other ideas, filling me with stress, fear, stagnancy, rigidity, and tension.

The ‘two-year-old’ within me, the lower self, felt comfortable in this state. It doesn’t know the difference between threat and safety. It believes it’s doing exactly what it’s been programmed to do. But now, you’re at a point in your life where you’re saying, “I’m going to start to master the ‘two-year-old’, master the lower self, rather than allow the lower self to master me.” This realization is crucial.

Seeking Reassurance

Old habits from my health anxiety days, like checking in on symptoms and doctor visits, were means to seek reassurance, something I lacked growing up. We cannot look at these habits superficially. Going to the doctor isn’t necessarily about worrying over health. For many, it’s about meeting an authority figure who provides reassurance, something that might have been missing in childhood. Perhaps there was a troubled relationship, or you didn’t receive the love, support, acceptance, and appreciation you craved. The relief you feel when leaving the doctor’s office is because you’ve received the reassurance you’ve always wanted. We’re not looking at health anxiety from the surface level anymore; we’re going much deeper.

Embracing the Unknown

The moment that changed everything for me was realizing that health anxiety was never about my health. It’s related to control, fear of uncertainty, and making peace with the unknown. When you can become friends with the unknown, control gives way to curiosity. This shift is like going on a field trip as a child, not knowing what will happen. It’s adventurous, fun, and playful. But as adults, we often feel the need to know what will happen in the next ten minutes, two years, five years, ten years. This need to know keeps us in the clutches of health anxiety.

Thank you so much for joining me on another powerful episode of the Health Anxiety Podcast show.

Make sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode, which comes out every Saturday morning PST time.

Remember, you’re not alone on this journey, and there are resources available to support you.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive program to help you overcome health anxiety for good, be sure to check out the Health Anxiety Program at the Anxiety Guy.

Battling Health Anxiety

This step-by-step program is designed to empower you with the tools and strategies you need to reclaim control over your health, mental well-being, and your life.

For those who enjoy diving into the written word, I have authored some important books for anyone suffering from anxiety. You can find them on Amazon, where I share my wisdom and experience to guide you towards a life free from the grips of anxiety.

You Can find All of My Books Here

Thank you again for tuning in. Remember, you are more than anxiety, and you have the will, strength, and insights within you to overcome this.

I’ll see you in the next episode. Bye for now.

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