It’s safe to say that no one particularly enjoys going to the doctor – but for some people, it can be a source of great stress and anxiety.
If you’ve experienced something to that effect, know that you’re not alone. It’s an experience shared by a lot of people. While this fear can include an actual fear of doctors or iatrophobia, there are plenty of triggers for this kind of emotion.
It might be fear of a painful procedure, the possibility of receiving bad news, or even embarrassment about being naked or touched.
Knowing how to calm yourself down is a way to make sure that you show up at your doctor’s appointment. Running away because of fear is never the solution and will only put your health at risk.
Here are some tips on overcoming your anxiety at the doctor’s office.
Your Source of Anxiety: Understand, Acknowledge, and Move On
What triggers your anxiety about going to the doctor? Is it the prospect of a particular procedure or diagnosis? Do you stress about the long wait in a room full of other sick people?
Identifying the source of your worries makes coping with your anxiety much more manageable. Acknowledge it, tell yourself that it’s normal, and try not to dwell on it. Let go of the thoughts that eat away at your confidence.
Stop Doing Things That Make It Harder for You to Relax
You might be unknowingly sabotaging your visit to the doctor.
A perfect example that many are guilty of is googling medical symptoms. Reading about what you might have without objective data to back it up won’t be helpful in any way. It will only add to the pile of stress you’re already experiencing.
Scheduling your doctor’s appointment on a busy day is also a common pitfall. If you’re rushing out of the office, you’re already stressed out when you get to the doctor. Drinking coffee and other sources of caffeine before visiting the doctor can also tense you up and even raise your blood pressure.
Learn Techniques on How to Calm Yourself Down
Learning about stress management methods on how to calm down anxiety is beneficial at the appointed time.
Accept that you’ll probably feel stressed or anxious on the day of your doctor’s meeting – but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about it.
You can do something relaxing before your visit, such as listening to calming music or trying self-hypnosis. Numerous videos are available on YouTube that can guide you through a ten or fifteen-minute meditation. Even just taking slow deep breaths can do wonders for your stress.
Bring Something or Someone to Distract You From Your Thoughts
Some clinics have devised ways of taking care of patients to reduce the stress during the visit. But they may not be enough for some, and having a little extra to help you cope won’t hurt.
A friend or a loved one can provide emotional support and can distract you with a friendly conversation. A good book, Netflix, and your favorite music can also put your mind at ease.
Be Brave for Your Health
Putting off your doctor’s appointment because of your anxiety can be detrimental to your health. Learn how to calm yourself down to be relaxed as much as possible during your visit to the doctor. With a little bit of courage and preparation, you can get through this!
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