Beat the Stress and Anxiety of Seeing a Doctor
One of the most common causes of stress and anxiety for many people is a visit to the doctor’s office. We know that doctors are there to help us and we know how important it is that we get health issues checked out as soon as possible, but the mere thought of entering the exam room has our palms sweating and our hertz beating faster than we thought possible.
Sound familiar? Here are some useful tips for getting your doctor-based anxiety in check:
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Schedule at a less stressful time
The last thing you want to do is schedule a stressful doctor’s appointment on a day that you are already likely to be feeling stressed out. So, instead of making an appointment for the day of that big meeting or when you’ll be worrying about your kid’s first day at a new school, choose a time when life is likely to be easier for you and make an appointment then.
Have someone come with you
You may be an adult, but if you get really stressed and anxious about seeing the doctor, it’s absolutely fine to ask another adult who you trust, and who has a calming presence in your life, to come along to the doctor’s office with you. Just knowing you have someone there to hold your hand and comfort you when you need to be comforted, can make the world of difference to your stress and anxiety levels.
Seeing a counselor who can help you unpack your feelings around seeing the doctor could be helpful in enabling you to gain insight and overcome your issues. For instance, perhaps you could have been treated badly enough by a doctor to need a medical malpractice lawyer when you were younger, but you never dealt with the issue and now it’s bubbling away under the surface making life tough for you, or maybe your parent was scared of the doctor when you were a child and you’ve subconsciously inherited their fears/ Knowing more about the causes of your fear will help you to overcome it.
If your fear is really unmanageable, hypnotherapy may help you overcome it. A lot of people are skeptical about hypnosis, but it has transformed the lives of thousands of people for the better - it can literally take your fear away overnight, so it may be worth a try.
Control your breathing
Breathing exercises are excellent for keeping stress and anxiety under control. If your breathing is slow deep and even, it helps your mind and body to relax, alleviating some of the worst symptoms of stress and giving you enough headspace to get through your appointment without being too overwhelmed by the whole situation.
Sit back, close your eyes, and imagine yourself heading off to the doctor’s office. Imagine that you are feeling calm and relaxed. Imagine saying hi to the receptionist and taking a comfortable seat. Remind yourself that you are happy and in a safe place, Imagine the doctor coming to greet you as you enter the exam room. Remind yourself that he or she is a good person who only wants to help you. Imagine your doctor being kind and caring, Imagine the consultation going well and you feeling as peaceful as it is possible to be. If you can do this regularly ahead of your appointment, you’ll be less likely to freak out when the time comes to go to the appointment for real. This is an excellent way to train your brain, so even if it sounds a bit odd to you, do give it a go.
Tell the doctor how you feel
If you are able to tell the doctor about your feelings of stress and anxiety around seeing them, there is a good chance that they will do everything they can to make you feel safe and calm, Doctors are sometimes busy so they aren’t always as gentle and soothing as they could be, but if they know that you struggle with seeing them, they will go the extra mile to make you comfortable Not only that, but they will know to be on the alert for white coat syndrome - something that can play havoc with your vitals due to your stress levels.
Keep your appointment
It’s understandable that you might want to cancel due to your feelings, but avoiding the doctor’s office will only make your stress and anxiety worse as time goes by. You’ll build it up as being even worse than it was and you may never go back!
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