Tag Archives: nervous

Proceed With Confidence! Tips To Overcome Procedural Anxiety

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Proceed With Confidence! Tips To Overcome Procedural Anxiety

For one reason or another, most of us in our lives will have a surgical procedure at some point. Some may be prophylactic, designed to prevent or reduce the chances of a serious medical condition, while others may be to treat an existing condition. Whatever the cause, the prospect of undergoing a surgical procedure can be extremely daunting, particularly if we’re doing it for the first time. Procedural anxiety is a very real psychological condition, which can have incredibly damaging physical effects. In some worst case scenarios, patients have been known to refuse potentially life-saving surgery because they were so crippled by the prospect of going ‘under the knife’.

Fear of the unknown is one of the defining traits of human psychology. It’s the reason why we have learned to hide in our caves and not to tangle with saber toothed tigers. But in today’s world, our anxiety can take many forms that can be damaging to us, especially when our health is concerned. Let’s examine the anxieties that accompany surgical procedures and what you can do to combat them:

Do I Have Procedural Anxiety? Like many forms of anxiety, procedural anxiety can take many forms. While there are recognizable symptoms, they manifest differently in different people. If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms when considering surgery, or in a dialogue with your doctor about surgery, then chances are you are affected by procedural anxiety:

  • Breathlessness
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or stomach upset
  • Dry mouth
  • Irritability
  • Shaking/trembling
  • Heart palpitations or accelerating heart rate
  • Loss of appetite
  • Inability to think clearly or speak intelligibly
  • A sensation of detachment from reality
  • Fainting or fear of fainting
  • Fear of losing control.

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Yikes!

These symptoms can be brought on by certain triggers. Most of us don’t even have to be in a hospital to start feeling them. In some cases, just the sight of blood or injury in television or movies is enough to make us feel nauseous. These kinds of anxiety are perfectly natural and more common than we may think. They affect us because of three key factors:

Loss of Control: It’s no small feat to entrust the care of our body to someone else if we are unconscious or otherwise anesthetized. This degree of trust in your surgeon is at odds with our every primal instinct to protect ourselves.

The Stakes: Surgery can lead to a better life that is free of whatever impediment the surgery is designed to treat. Often physical conditions or injuries can throw a wrench in the works of our plans for life, and surgery represents a chance to overcome that hurdle. With that in mind, it’s perfectly understandable that we’d invest our hopes in the procedure and the prospect of something going wrong or the procedure failing, which would be devastating.

Mortality: As we live our lives, we become so caught up in the minutes of our day-to-day lives that we subliminally assume that they’ll go on forever. Surgical procedures can be a stark reminder of our own mortality and make us feel fragile and vulnerable.

There’s no denying that procedural anxiety is a biggie, but that’s no reason to let it get the better of you. Here are some things that you can do to stifle your fears and go into a procedure with confidence:

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First, remember that you are not alone: Whatever happens, you have support every step of the way. Make sure that you make the most if it. Bring your partner, a close friend, or a family member with you whenever you feel you need some extra love. The medical staff will be there to help you and answer any questions that you may have, so voice anything that’s troubling you. If you’re worried about the prospect of something going wrong with the procedure, the surgeon, or the tools then rest assured that it’s relatively easy and risk free to get an attorney to help you.

Get to know your doctor: There can be no better way to squash the fear of the unknown than by familiarizing yourself with your doctor, medical staff, and the attending physician. Get them to describe the procedure to you in as much detail as possible (if you can stomach it). This will remind your subconscious that you are entrusting your body to a skilled, competent, and experienced professional.

Be as open with them as possible about your anxieties. You’d be astonished how understanding they’ll be. In many cases, they will work collaboratively with you, enabling you to make decisions for yourself when possible.

Educate Yourself: Knowing is half the battle, and nowhere is this more relevant than when discussing procedural anxiety. For some, having the procedure explained by a professional isn’t nearly enough and there’s no such thing as too much knowledge. Researching the procedure is one of the surest ways to rid yourself of fear of it. If possible, try and make contact with friends and family who’ve undergone similar procedures. Some people who’ve undergone surgical procedures write blogs to reassure others. Reading these can be a great reminder of what you have to gain and look forward to after the procedure.

However prepared we are, we often find ourselves overcome by fear and anxiety at times so here are some coping strategies that you may find useful:

Distraction: If you feel your mind dwelling, then it can be very counter productive. Listen to music or read a book or article in a magazine or online. Even focusing on the tiny details of a painting on the wall can give your mind a break from itself.

Challenge Negative Thoughts: We have a tendency to jump to the worst case scenario and it’s important to catch these thoughts and nip them in the bud as soon as they crop up. Use your newfound knowledge to assure yourself that the facts and logic outweigh your worst case superstitions.

Visualize: Many find it helpful to create a positive visualization to calm your anxious mind. Take yourself back to a time when you were carefree and happy and try and transpose that feeling to your future, to a time that you can look forward to after the procedure.

Remember that your anxieties are perfectly understandable and natural, but hopefully using these techniques will prevent you from letting it be the boss of you so that you can proceed with confidence!

Introverts Unite: Making Friends At College

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Introverts Unite: Making Friends At College

One of the hardest things to overcome in life is the challenge of making new friends, which is what makes college so daunting for so many. It’s just an overwhelming concept. Everything about it can make even the most extroverted person’s hands sweat profusely (and no one likes sweaty hands!). It doesn’t matter whether you are just starting out, or you have a new set of classes this semester, etc.; it can be really scary.

Luckily for you, pretty much everyone is in the exact same boat, unless they have literally no anxiety about making new friends. They may look like they’re swanning around with all of the confidence of a young Sophia Loren but, instead, they are panicking just the same because college is scary. That’s why you should take the first friendship step! But, if you’re not exactly sure how to start, here’s a few ideas for you to explore:

Say ‘Hi’ Every Time You Sit Down: We don’t mean say ‘hi’ to yourself every time you sit down because that probably won’t help you make new friends. We mean, say ‘hi’ to the person next to you. Ask them how they’re doing, how their weekend was, what they think of the professor’s paisley patterned suit. It’ll be seven seconds of awkwardness that could blossom into a lifetime of BFFing.

Have A (Secret) New Friend Calendar: You don’t have to have an actual calendar for this, although it could be fun to look back on in the future. All we want you to do is to meet someone new every day. Set yourself that challenge and see what happens. It doesn’t matter where, it just matters that you do. Statistically, some of them are going to be immensely like-minded people and if not, there’s always tomorrow to try again!

Sign Up For A Team: When you think of a team, you are probably thinking of a sports team; like cheerleading or football. But it doesn’t have to be sports. It could be a debating team, a chess team, an acapella singing team. It could be anything that resembles a team because a team suggests more than one person. Even a study group could qualify as a team, minus the fancy jackets. So whatever it is that you are interested in, go for it. You may hate it, you may love it, but you could meet your best friend because of it.

Do Your Work In A Campus Coffee Shop: If you’re shocked that going to college means doing homework, then college probably isn’t for you. Anyways, when it comes to doing the work set after each class, you should do some part of it – planning, writing, or research – in one of the campus coffee shops. Why? Let’s put it this way, you are not going to meet anyone if you do all of your studying in your room. Coffee shops, however, offer the perfect chance to fall into a conversation with someone around you – especially if you both frequent the same place often.

Get A Job Somewhere: The nice thing about college campuses is that there is the chance to earn a little bit of cash. It could be working in one of said coffee shops, for the college newspaper, in the research lab, or whatever. The point is, a lot of jobs are a great place  for networking, which is just a business term for making friends. A job requires you to be somewhere at a specified time with the same people, so you are going to get to know them without having to step outside of your comfort zone to start up a chatter with a stranger. Clever.

Alright introverts, let’s unite! But in our own rooms with the door shut. JK. Get out there, take a deep breath, and make some new friends around your college campus. 😀

Featured Image By: Pexels

Overcome Your Fear Of Going To College

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Overcome Your Fear Of Going To College

A lot of people fear starting college. After all, it might be the first time that you are away from your friends and family in eighteen plus years. And living with a bunch of strangers can be nerve wracking. However, there are lots of benefits to going to college. As well as getting a degree in your favorite subject, you will make friends for life. And you will pick up lots of new skills that you can take with you in the future. The pros definitely outweigh the cons, so here are some ways that you can overcome your fear of going to college:

Talk to People Who Have Graduated: It’s always a good idea when you are nervous about something to talk to someone who has done it before. And when it comes to going to college, you might have friends and family who have done it before you. They can give you tips and advice as well as ease any worries that you might have. If you don’t know anyone who has completed college in your inner circle, you can talk to people online about their college experiences. In fact, there are many blogs out there which talk frankly about college life. And reading these can give you a boost before you have to go to college on your own.

Make Friends With Roommates Before You Start: You should be assigned a room in a specific dorm before you start school. And once you know these details, you can look on the forums for your college, there is sure to be a lot of freshmen who will be talking about their rooms and you should be able to hunt down your roommates before you even start your classes. To lessen your fear of having to live with strangers, you can talk to them and get to know them before the big day. You might even want to arrange for a day out with them to get to know them better. And if you still feel fearful of living with strangers, keep some safety must-haves in your room. You can buy some items from sites similar to TBOTECH which will help if someone did try and come into your room. And always get a good lock so that you won’t be disturbed by drunk roommates!

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Take Some Home Comforts With You: It’s always unnerving being away from home for the first time. In fact, over 69% of students admitted to being homesick during their first year at college. But, there are some ways that you can make it easier. For one thing, you should take some home comforts with you. For example, an old favorite teddy would be great to help you feel more at home. And a blanket or favorite pair of PJs can also do the trick. You should also take some pictures from home which you can put on the wall. That way, you will feel like you are surrounded by your nearest and dearest even if you are the other side of the country!

A fuzzy blanket is a must!

And remember, there is always a college counselor that you can talk to if you are finding it hard to settle. They can support and reassure you while you get accustomed to the craziness that sometimes is college life.

Featured Image By: Flickr