People who describe themselves as being anxious often worry about their physical state. Whether the concern is related to fatigue, headaches, stomach ache or skin issues the question often asked is “does my anxiousness create these physical concerns or do these physical concerns create the anxiousness?”
No doubt there is some overlay between the two. Studies show that people who learn to cue the body’s relaxation response and make regular use of this response, have shorter healing times, require less pain medication and overall have better immunity.
For example, a foggy head or headache may be brought on by hyperventilating, depriving the body of oxygen and tensing of shoulder/neck muscles. The headache may be seen as a thermometer of an internal state or frame of mind. The physical sensations build because they are uncomfortable as the body moves into fright/flight/freeze. The vicious cycle creates real apprehension about the well being of the body. The feeling of not being in control of one’s body can be frightening.
Unless a deliberate conscious decision is made to reprogram one’s ability to move into the relaxation response on cue it is likely that the vicious cycle will continue and bodily concerns will build. Many people who describe themselves as anxious create thought patterns around bodily sensations being symptoms of cancer or other dis-eases.
People who lack the ability to calm themselves often spend more time at the doctor then others do who have learned to manage their states. Often family members may suggest that the anxious person is a hypochondriac. Often suggestions for therapy will be made. However, often those who describe themselves as being anxious about their physical state have the ability to turn their mental energy toward more productive paths and simply require the tools to do so.