Helping Health Anxiety

Overcoming Health Anxiety

From time to time, we will all worry about things like relationships, work, finances, and, of course, our health. Everyone, at some point or another, will notice sensations or changes in their bodies, will wonder whether they could have a serious medical problem, and will take steps to relieve their health worries and concerns. However, there is a difference between general concern about health, which we all have from time to time, and more problematic health anxiety.

Are you a person who finds that you worry a great deal about your health? Have you noticed that your effort to find answers for your symptoms is impacting on you in a negative way? If so, you may want to complete this “Helping Health Anxiety” course.

This course is designed to provide you with some information about health anxiety, including how it develops, how it is maintained, and how to decrease your health worries and concerns. It is organised into modules that are designed to be worked through in sequence. We recommend that you complete one module before going on to the next. Each module includes information, worksheets, and suggested exercises or activities.



Module 1: Understanding Health Anxiety

This module provides an overview of what health anxiety is, how it can be a problem, and what kind of impact it can have on a person’s life.


Module 2: How Health Anxiety Develops

This module explores, and provides a model of, how health anxiety may develop.


Module 3: What Keeps Health Anxiety Going?

This module explores, and provides a model, of how health anxiety might be triggered and then maintained.


Module 4: Reducing Your Focus on Health Symptoms and Worries

This module explores some attention training exercises aimed at reducing the amount of time you spend focussed on health symptoms and worries.


Module 5: Re-evaluating Unhelpful Health Related Thinking

This module explores how your thoughts can influence your feelings, physiological state, and behaviours. This module then discusses ways to evaluate and overcome unhelpful health related thinking.


Module 6: Reducing Checking and Reassurance Seeking

This module explores the different ways people check and seek reassurance regarding their health concerns, discusses the difference between helpful and unhelpful checking and reassurance seeking, and introduces strategies to reduce or eliminate these behaviours.


Module 7: Challenging Avoidance and Safety Behaviours

This module explores how avoidance and safety behaviours can keep health anxiety going, and introduces a strategy to gradually reduce and overcome these behaviours.


Module 8: Adjusting Health Rules and Assumptions

In this module we will focus on challenging the unhelpful rules and assumptions that can keep you caught in the vicious cycle of health anxiety.


Module 9: Healthy Living and Self Management Planning

This final module brings all the concepts of this information package together, presents a new model for healthy living, and includes a self-management plan to help you to stay on track in the future.