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Mental Health Awareness Week: Wellness gadgets to combat health anxiety

By Health and Wellbeing Expert Stephanie Taylor at StressNoMore

According to recent reports, at least six percent of people will experience health anxiety in their lifetime – a number thought to have increased during the pandemic.

Health anxiety, otherwise known as illness anxiety disorder, is when someone excessively worries they are ill or becoming ill. This is different to hypochondriasis as it’s classified primarily as an anxiety disorder.

Although, the issue of having health anxiety in a world post-pandemic, where we’re all told to be cautious about our health more than ever before, is that it’s hard to ignore – which could leave sufferers feeling isolated from society – as they struggle to return to normal.

And research has revealed that people with social isolation potentially have higher risks of contracting a variety of physical and mental health conditions.

For this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, the theme is loneliness. With health anxiety proving a major contender for social isolation, Health and Wellbeing Expert Stephanie Taylor, Founder of StressNoMore, shares some useful wellness gadgets you can use to help combat health-related concerns.

Colds and Respiratory Issues

With the latest variant of coronavirus’ symptoms compared to that of a common cold, many may have found it difficult to differentiate between the two, which could cause concern for anyone worried about contracting it or passing it along to a relative.

Consider investing in a steam vaporiser to unblock stuffy sinuses and breaks down mucus to help you breathe easier. Steam inhalation is also a much kinder solution for the lining of your nose than constant nose-blowing.

Alternatively, to clear the air in your home 24/7, an air purifier sterilises airborne pollutants, filtering the air in your home and ensuring it is safe, pure, clean, and rid of anything that could trigger allergies or medical conditions.

Poor Sleep

If you’re struggling to sleep, not only will this likely trigger health anxiety, but it makes getting ill more likely due to a weakened immune system.

With the help of newly developed gadgets such as the sleep aid robot, designed to help you relax, regulate your breathing and fall asleep faster and more deeply – you can increase your energy levels and reduce stress and anxiety.

Wake up lights have been increasingly popular over the last few years, too, as they simulate sunlight to wake you up gently and use white LED light which helps tackle symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

General Health

Concerned your temperature is a little higher than usual? That’s nothing that a quick check on a portable thermometer can’t fix to ease health anxiety before leaving the house. Non-contact thermometers are a convenient and hassle free solution.

Plus, making sure your body gets all the necessary nutrients to keep you fit and healthy will put your mind at ease. Taking supplements such as Vitamin D or C, Zinc, or probiotic capsules can aid immune function and help tackle various other health concerns.

…If health anxiety has become actual anxiety

While health anxiety is the fear of becoming physically ill, that fear can lead to feelings of isolation or loneliness and trigger anxiety and depression.

Helpful gadgets, such as weighted blankets, can help ground you, levelling out cortisol production and creating a sense of comfort and wellbeing. While weighted blankets are an age-old method, lesser-known methods, such as stress relief devices, can be just as effective – they use sound, heat, light and vibrational therapy, and guided breathing technology to relax and calm you.

A massage is always an effective way to ease any tensions, too. However, if you can’t afford to pay for a treatment regularly, consider getting an acupressure massage mat. The massage mat uses therapeutic vibration technology that combines Shiatsu and acupressure with heat to reduce tension.