Getting the flu vaccination with health anxiety was a challenge.
However, it was another glorious day in my battle against anxiety.
Any kind of medical treatment has always been a scary experience for me. My anxiety seems to heighten whenever I have to take new medications or visit the Doctor.
But today was a good day.
I managed to muster the courage to get the flu vaccination.
It may not seem like the biggest deal, but my anxiety was through the roof.
I was sweating, nauseous and dizzy – all of the classic signs of anxiety.
Getting the flu vaccination with health anxiety was always going to be a challenge for me.
I’m very proud of myself for being able to be strong enough to get it done.
And I realise while writing this, that is really all it comes down to when experiencing anxiety. Being strong enough to overcome it.
You can’t control anxiety, but you can control how you respond to it.
That’s half the battle right there.
What if it doesn’t have to be a battle though? What if instead of trying to fight it, you become friends?
It’s an extremely difficult thing to do, but it does work.
When we start to teach ourselves that anxiety is not a foe, but a friend, we can start to feel better overtime.
This is because we are teaching our mind not to be frightened of anxiety.
There are two moments during an anxiety attack where we have the ability to regain control.
- How we react to the anxiety
As our breathing increases, the more carbon dioxide is in our body and the more tense we become.
This makes the anxiety so much worse as the physical symptoms worsen.
This was true more than ever when I had to get my flu vaccination with my health anxiety.
If we can control our breathing, we can start to feel calmer.
Try breathing slowly from the diaphragm and through the nose as slowly as you can.
In time, you will be able to recognise when you need to take action rather than reacting to what is already occuring.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing distress you can reach out to Beyond Blue: Beyond Blue’s support line is available 24/7.
Lifeline: For crisis support, Lifeline provides a 24/7 line. They have a range of online resources as well.