What is the best approach to anxiety/ hypochondria? Scared of medication side effects. How long does therapy take to work?

CBT. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a good approach to anxiety & hypochondriasis. How long it takes to begin working is variable - with the major factor being you.
Anxiety. Individual and group psychotherapy are very effective to treat anxiety and hypochondria. Anxiety is mostly produced by misperceptions of situations and interactions, practice focusing on the facts in each encounter. Try using the anti anxiety app for daily help and read the updated articles on anxiety on the sounmindz.Org web site. Best wishes.