Sometimes recognizing hypochondria takes a little time.
It wasn't until Rebecca Serrano (not her real name) had been married for a
full year that she realized her new husband had a problem. Once, he was
convinced he had testicular cancer -- but he wouldn't go to the doctor. Another
time, when he got a sinus infection, he thought it was a brain tumor.
"This anxiety literally led him to feel more pain than a normal person would
feel. He had panic attacks and was in such a slump over any minor...
Write a list of your "should haves" and
Remind yourself that we all have things we would
do differently if given the chance.
Identify any regrets that you
can act upon, such as thanking a friend who you never properly thanked for an
act of kindness.
Forgive yourself for those regrets that you cannot
act on to correct.
Recognize what you have done well, and
congratulate yourself for it. This may help you put things in better
Be gentle with yourself during this exercise. When looking back on
something in your past, you can usually see the situation more clearly and
think of a better way to handle it. Remind yourself that you did the best you
could, given your circumstances at the time.
If you are having trouble forgiving yourself, talk with a trusted
friend, a member of the clergy, or a health professional. Sharing regrets or
guilty feelings with another person often helps us overcome them.