Navigating through medical appointments and tests can be a daunting task and dealing with anxiety is an added burden. Anxiety about doctor visits and upcoming scans or blood work can range from mild to severe, making it difficult for individuals to go through with their scheduled appointments. However, there are certain steps that one can take in order to better manage the anxious feelings associated with these visits. In this post, we will discuss a few tips to help you cope with your anxiety when going to doctor appointments, scans or blood work.
Understanding What It All Means:
Understand what your blood work means and how that compares to how you are feeling. For example, if you have a tumor marker that’s being monitored on a regular basis, then you need to know what that tumor marker is, what it means, and then how it relates to other conditions. Conditions that result in some of the symptoms you may be feeling. So basically having the knowledge helps you feel more in control and that you can talk with your healthcare provider about it in a lot better.
Just Do It:
Step forward and take control of your health, and I guarantee that once you get through it, you’re going to feel so much better. Have a friend or family member come with you to the appointment if possible, as this can help reduce stress levels. Even if they are not physically there with you, just having someone to talk to before and after can be very helpful in managing anxiety.
- Be Mindful of Your Anxiety: Observe the anxious thoughts and feelings without judgment. Practice mindfulness by being aware of your body’s reactions and sensations as a way to be present in the moment. Focus on your breath as a way to ground yourself, and practice calming affirmations such as “I am safe” or “This too shall pass”.
- Rely On Support: Find someone who can provide emotional support before, during, and after the appointment or test. Whether it is a friend, family member, mental health provider or spiritual leader; relying on a support system can make all the difference in managing your anxiety.
- Prepare: Research beforehand what the appointment or test entails so that you have realistic expectations of what’s going on. Gather all relevant information ahead of time such as lab results, any necessary medication, and any other information your doctor might need. This will help to ensure that you are well-prepared for the appointment.
- Create Healthy Coping Strategies: Focus on using healthy coping strategies such as exercising, mindfulness meditation, journaling, or connecting with nature to help manage anxious thoughts and feelings. These activities can help to bring you into the present moment and distract you from worrying about what might happen in the future.
Dealing with anxiety around doctor appointments, scans or blood work is challenging but not impossible. By understanding what these tests/appointments mean and relying on a strong support system, an individual can better cope with their anxiety surrounding these events. Additionally, by preparing ahead of time and focusing on healthy coping strategies one can better manage their anxiety and better prepare for the appointment.
Taking control of your health is essential to living a balanced life; so, take charge and get through this!
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