I've realized as I become older, I have also started feeling more vulnerable to diseases that I do not have a family history with (for instance: after the birth of my son, I developed DeQuervain’s Syndrome (a.k.a. “mother’s wrist”), and after my weekly physical therapy makes my wrist sore, I wonder if I will develop a more chronic and debilitating tendonitis or arthritis that will make it impossible to hold my son?! I have no family history of either.
What an awful thought! Then...I realize I have to stop with this line of thinking. I have an aunt, just 65, who thinks she has every disease and condition known-to-humankind. I don't want to be like that. I don't want to live a life, wondering when it's going to end or when I'll be suffering.
** Don't Believe Everything You Think **
Our brains like to run through "worst-case scenarios", probably as a survival mechanism from the woolly mammoth era. Now, it's not so helpful, and THINKING about stress can actually CAUSE more physiological stress.
So...we have control over our thoughts. We don't have to BELIEVE everything that our not-always-helpful brains are thinking at every minute.
Resources such as Jon Kabat-Zinn (author) or practices such as guided imagery, visualization and mindfulness meditation provide helpful tips on letting go of harmful thoughts. When an unpleasant thought enters your mind, acknowledge it, and put it on a cloud to be taken away out of your head. Sometimes you need to imagine a very breezy day to carry out numerous unpleasant and unhelpful thoughts!