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How Information Processing Biases can Increase Health Anxiety

Memory bias with health anxiety
With health anxiety, we have unhelpful or inaccurate core beliefs about health and illness. These beliefs lead us to process information in a biased way. We tend to seek out "evidence" of our belief (e.g. that serious disease is everywhere) and we ignore or dismiss evidence to the contrary. It can be helpful to use a CBT technique and track your thoughts and assumptions in a thought record so that you can identify these patterns.

The 'Emotional Reasoning' Thinking Error and Health Anxiety

Health Anxiety and the Emotional Reasoning Thinking Error
With health anxiety, an event happens, we have thoughts about that event, and then react to those thoughts. Learning to evaluate automatic thoughts and identify cognitive distortions is a critical skill for improving health anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps to improve health anxiety by reshaping dysfunctional thinking patterns, beliefs, and behaviors.

How Early Life Experiences can Lead to Health Anxiety

How Early Life Experiences can Lead to Health Anxiety
People with health anxiety hold dysfunctional core beliefs about health and illness. Core beliefs develop early in life and are strengthened through a process of reinforcement. It can be helpful to identify significant life experiences that led one to develop dysfunctional core beliefs about health. Once dysfunctional core beliefs are identified, one can reshape them through cognitive restructuring.