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Getting Away From An Unhealthy Obsession With Health

While having a healthy lifestyle is essential and being mindful of health is critical, it is easy to let it spill over into many aspects of our lives.

Katharine Tate
Jul 24, 20236811 Shares154790 Views
While having a healthy lifestyle is essential and being mindful of health is critical, it is easy to let it spill over into many aspects of our lives. Having an unhealthy obsession with health, sometimes known as health anxiety, can be characterized by out-of-proportion efforts in trying to cope with any symptoms, real or perceived. Health anxiety can easily turn into the real symptoms of anxiety, and if our brains and bodies experience a sense of disconnect, we can make ourselves unwell as a result. It's critical to maintain a balanced perspective on health before it negatively impacts our lives. So what can you do to ensure that you have a level-headed approach?

Limit Your Information Consumption

If you spend a lot of time looking at health-related content looking for the perfect solution, you can easily go down a rabbit hole. It forces us to constantly look at the perfect approach to improve in our lives. The reality is that we should be setting realistic and sustainable health goals rather than going for perfection at every turn. Health is a journey, and if we are looking for the magic pill, there's always something new out there. A supplement like tesofensinehas been shown to benefit overall health in improving mood, treating eating disorders, improving sleep, and so much more, but if we place all of our eggs in one basket every time something new comes along, we're not actually fixing the issue within ourselves.
This is part of the problem with social media and the vast amount of information out there. For those who are looking for the perfect solution to their woes, there is always going to be something new and therefore it can become a constant in our lives where we are checking and rechecking for the latest trends. Looking after ourselves is important but we have to make sure it is a fair and balanced approach that doesn't take over our lives, which is why we have to limit our overall consumption of information.

Stop Monitoring Yourself

One of the biggest problems with looking after our health is that we can certainly become overcautious of every little thing that we think we can do better. The whole obsession with biohackingis a very good example. Biohacking is something that sounds great on the surface, but for the average person who is looking to take control over their health by biohacking, it can be somewhat misleading. There's many people out there who have taken to wearing devices that continually monitor their glucose or look for ways to achieve that minimum effective dose. There's plenty of resources out there and the biggest issue is that those people who are true biohackers have lots of money to burn.
If we think that we find a device that, much like supplements, becomes the magic pill for fixing our sleepand then we find it doesn't do what it says on the label, we end up being disappointed and the hunt continues for the next thing. We can easily find these issues with ourselves if we look hard enough. Anxiety manifests itself in many different forms, and when we think that we're doing our best to look after our health, we can trick ourselves into thinking that this isn't really a state of anxiety because we are doing it for a much better purpose. Those that have obsessions that become addictions tend to hide their obsessions because they don't want to be judged by others.
Because we end up looking for ways to improve our health, this makes it a lot more acceptable in society. This is why monitoring ourselves can easily result in obsessive behavior. We shouldn't measure every detail of our health, especially if we think there is something not quite right. Nobody is perfect, and you will never get to optimum health, and while there's many ways to dial in your health like eating well and exercising, the fact is there's so much we do not know. The book “Outlive: The Science & Art of Longevity” by Peter Attia, a well-known medical doctor, specifically states in the book that when it comes to longevity, diet still doesn't provide all the answers. There is no one direct way to live longer by consuming one type of diet. As useful as regular checkups are, we should do our best to avoid the rabbit hole.

Become More Mindful

If we become obsessed with something and we worry that something is not quite right, this manifests as stress. Therefore, as much of a modern buzzword as it is, especially in relation to health, becoming more mindful is an amazing way to ensure that we are a lot more at peace with who we are. Because if you feel like your stomach hurts a lot or there's a pain in your lower back, this could very well be stress manifesting itself. You could be a lot more tense than you realize due to a number of reasons, whether it's your stressful lifestyle, lack of sleep, or a combination of many different factors. Therefore, as much as we should focus on being physically fit as a way to be stronger, we should also focus on being mentally fit, and this is where lowering those stress levels becomes invaluable.
When we are more aware of our feelings and thoughts, we can start to recognize when our health-related leanings spill over into obsessiveness. You might have a very specific reason to focus on your health, for example, if you are not getting enough vegetables in your life, you can be obsessed with getting the magic number every single day, but what happens when you don't get your five a day but instead get four? Are you instantly going to die? You're not, because the body is a complex system of processes that do not hinge on you having X amount. There are certainly things we can do to consume more vegetables, and we can make it easier for ourselves by adding vegetables to a smoothie, but the bigger discussion should be about how an unhealthy attachment to our health can instantly offset any of the benefits of the nutrients we're consuming.
Prolonged stress activates cortisol, and over time this constant state of anxiety makes us feel under the weather, and overwhelmed, and this could very well be the root cause of so many of our ailments. When we have an obsession with health, it's because we think there is something wrong with us that we need to fix, and this could very well be symptomatic of an overactive brain that has been in a state of anxiety for so long. This is why we should make more of a concerted effort to be less stressed. Those that live to 100 talk about living a life that is as free from stress as possible, but this seems at odds with the modern world. If we are spending a lot of time actively searching for the fountain of youth, surely we're just missing the point of life in the process?

Aim for “Just Enough”

An unhealthy obsession with health encompasses aiming for perfection at every turn. Perfection is something that we all know at the back of our minds is an impossible feat. Life is perfectly imperfect, and this means that we've got to be aware that while someone else may appear to have it all in terms of physical health. Therefore, we've got to work harder, and this means that we start to feel inadequate and therefore we go on the hunt for methods to improve our health whether it's our strength, cardiovascular health, our memory, and so on. But if we aim for perfection, as great a motivator as this is, we must accept that we're not going to attain those levels of perfection because it is biologically impossible.
One person can live to over a hundred and smoke every day of their life, yet another person can drop dead at the age of 24 from a heart attack. The body is complex, and we have to accept that genetics can be a big part of how we fare in life. If you have big concerns because there's a history of heart disease in your family, you need to be proactive, but you also need to make peace with the fact that life is what you make it. Having an obsession with health, for many people, is about taking controlof your health and putting yourself in the driver's seat so you can live a longer and better life.
Being healthy is the goal, not the journey, and if we make it our life's work trying to function better we might be losing sight of what is the point of life in the first place. We all can benefit from fine-tuning our health in one way or another, and we're all going to experience colds and the flu from time to time, but rather than berating ourselves thinking that we could have done more to minimize this, instead we have to recognize that no one is perfect and health is not about aiming for flawlessness. When we become kind to ourselves, we can develop a healthier relationship, not just with our health, but our well-being too.
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