Heart

Why do I spend every waking minute thinking of my heart? I don't even really have pains there but I focus on it so much I notice things start to happen like twinges and flutters and then pains in left arm from being tense and then everything else follow! Does anyone else have this? How do I stop myself focusing on it? It's horrendous being so taken by something that isn't really happening. Or is it, the cardiologist said my heart is good for another 60 years but maybe it's not... help please!!!!

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  • If your cardiologist has said your heart is as strong as an ox, believe them and move on.

    Don't try to stop yourself focussing on it because that's the same as me telling you not to think about pink elephants. Bet you just thought of them, right? Pink elephants. There you go again. Stop thinking about pink elephants. Hard not to think about pink elephants isn't it? How do you stop thinking about pink elephants? Do you try to force yourself to think of other things that have nothing to do with pink elephants? If you fear pink elephants, it is doubly difficult to stop thinking about them.

    When thoughts "stick" and are accompanied by fear ( in your case, you fear your heart is about to give up) the way is prepared for the development of obsessions. An obsession is a thought that preoccupies the mind to an abnormal degree and this is what can happen to a person with sensitised nerves suffering from mental fatigue, caused by your constant battle with anxiety. Having obsessive thoughts is completely understandable and very common under the circumstances.

    However, your post suggests that you don't entirely believe these thoughts which is good because this is what Dr Claire Weekes describes as "glimpsing" in her books and the way to overcome OCD. Glimpsing is about seeing moments of truth behind those thoughts, if only fleetingly. The truth being that your heart is healthy. Sufferers cure themselves by thinking about their obsession and feel all the associated fear. While flooded with fear, at that very moment, try to glimpse the truth behind the obsession or simply glimpse another point of view. e.g. I'm only young so the chances of my heart giving up the ghost is very slim. If you practise glimpsing regularly and often, the obsession will gradually disappear and other more interesting things will start to fill your mind instead of pink elephants.

    For more information about how to recover from anxiety, OCD or any other fear based disorder, read Essential Help for your nerves (also called More Help for your nerves) by Dr Claire Weekes. It is the one stop shop for curing these disorders.

  • Hi Sandy1710, I think we all have started out with focusing on our heart at one time or another. Of course, the more we focus on it, the more we tend to feel twinges and flutters. We then tend to hold our left arm stiff making it feel pain and heavy. Once the cardiologist has given us an exam and says the heart is fine then we need to accept that. For myself, it took 3 consultations because I didn't believe. When I finally accepted my heart was okay, I noticed there was less focus on my heart. Everyone feels strange sensations within the heart whenever stressed out but most people don't think twice about it and the fear leaves as fast as it came.

    Just know that once you rid yourself of the heart phobia, another part of your body will cause you needless worry. That's the name of the game called Anxiety. Take care. x

  • Anxiety will continue to find something else to latch on to until you understand that it is all caused by sensitisation of your nerves which will de-sensitise when you accept all those scary thoughts and feelings and stop fighting them. As your Nerves de-sensitise, the symptoms of anxiety will gradually melt away, probably without you realising.

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