Tips for Dealing With Hospital Anxiety
From routine checkups to chiropractor appointments for jaw misalignment, medical offices can be an intimidating place for many people. Whether it’s fear of needles, surgery, or just simply being anxious about the unknown, hospital anxiety can be a very real problem.
Fortunately, there are some strategies you can use to make sure your visit is as pleasant and stress-free as possible.
Anxiety is rooted in fear of the unknown. Doing some research beforehand is a great step to take to ease your fears as it paints a picture of what to expect.
How to get informed:
- Speak to your doctor and ask questions about the procedure or condition.
- Talk to family members or friends who have had similar experiences.
- Look up information online from reputable sources such as government health organizations, websites for hospitals and other healthcare facilities, and medical journals.
Create a Support System
Anxiety can be magnified if you’re going through it alone. Having a strong support system of loved ones, friends, and even healthcare professionals can greatly help to alleviate your fears.
How to create a support system:
- Ask close family or friends to accompany you to the hospital for emotional support
- Talk to a counselor whose job it is to listen and be supportive
- Make sure your doctor is aware of any concerns or worries so they can provide reassurance
Set Up a Relaxation Plan
Having a plan of relaxation techniques to do while in the hospital is a great idea. This could include listening to music, reading books or magazines, doing some deep breathing exercises, practicing mindfulness and meditation, or even taking a nap.
How to set up a relaxation plan:
- Think about what activities are calming for you
- Bring items with you from home that are a sense of comfort to you, such as a favorite blanket or pillow, photos of loved ones, or scented candles
- Ask your doctor or nurse if there are any relaxation activities offered at the hospital
Focus on the Positive
It can be easy to focus on the potential negatives of a hospital visit, such as pain, needles, and side effects of medication. Instead, try to think about all of the positive aspects: medicine that will likely make you feel better, or the relief you will feel when you are done with a procedure.
How to focus on the positive:
- Remind yourself of your goals and why it is important for you to be in the hospital
- Talk positively about your experience and the care that you’re receiving from the staff
- Create a gratitude list of things you are thankful for regarding the hospital
Dealing with hospital anxiety can be difficult, but there are steps that you can take to help make it a more pleasant experience. Taking the time to get informed, creating a support system, setting up a relaxation plan, and focusing on the positive will all go a long way toward helping you feel more at ease