Nobody really looks forward to seeing the doctor. But for some, the anxiety can be quite strong. Perhaps it’s the whole hospital setting that makes people uncomfortable. Or maybe it’s the dread of potentially hearing bad news. While this is all warranted, you can’t just keep avoiding the doctor when a visit is necessary for your health. So, here are some things you can do that can hopefully lessen the anxiety surrounding a doctor’s visit.
Ask a Loved One to Accompany You
Whether you’re visiting your regular doctor or a specialist, you can still bring a loved one with you to support you through the visit. This is particularly a good idea for those generally fearful of doctors’ offices. If this is the case for you, you can rely on your loved one to assist you in speaking with the doctor and answer any questions you might have.
However, before bringing a loved one with you, there are some things to think about. For example, will your loved one be able to act as strong emotional support for you during this time? It’s not enough to bring someone you trust, but it also has to be someone who can meet your needs as you battle your anxiety.
In addition, if you are visiting a specialist, will your loved one fully understand what’s being said and be able to ask questions if needed? If not, perhaps you should orient them first so they can speak on your behalf if needed.
Schedule the Appointment When You Feel Most Calm
If you have a lot of anxiety about seeing the doctor at any time during the year, then you should schedule your visits when you’re feeling calmer and most in control.
For instance, if you’re currently experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety due to work, family, or financial issues, then it might not be a good idea to visit the doctor right away. In fact, scheduling your visit when you feel calmer can help ensure that you are more likely to be at your best. Not only that, but your doctor can then get a more accurate assessment of any issues, which can lead to better treatment options.
Practice Breathing Exercises
Research has shown that breathing exercises can help lower anxiety. So, before you see the doctor, practice breathing exercises for about five to ten minutes to help relax you.
A good place to start is to take a few slow and deep breaths. Then, really concentrate on your breathing, and try to slow it down even more. As you focus on your breath, try to clear your mind of all other thoughts completely. This will help you relax.
If you’d like, you can also practice rhythmic breathing, which involves breathing in for a count of four, holding for a count of four, and exhaling for a count of four. Practicing this type of breathing will allow you to relax more fully.
While it may not always be possible to eliminate your anxiety about seeing the doctor, you can take steps to better control it. By preparing for the appointment beforehand, as well as in advance, you can lessen the anxiety you feel during the visit.
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