No one likes to hear that they need surgery but unfortunately, some of us have to go through quite a few to keep our health from deteriorating! Surgery can cause a lot of anxiety and sometimes it can be tempting to either avoid it altogether or cancel it at the last minute by coming up with a lame excuse on why you can’t have that surgery! Things happen and sometimes you may need to cancel a surgery but when you create a problem that doesn’t exist just to get out of a surgery you aren’t doing yourself any favors! Your problems will still be there until you get it addressed whether you want to believe it or not! Surgery can be scary but sometimes it’s something we have to do in order to get better. Today I am going to give you a few tips on how you can calm your nerves if you have a surgery scheduled.
Trust your medical team- One of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to trust your medical team! It can be so tempting to think about all the negatives of the surgery and start making a list of all the things that could go wrong. If you want to lessen your anxiety you need to do your best to stop thinking about all the things that could wrong and start thinking about everything that could go right. Seriously though if you don’t trust that your doctor knows what they are doing then why are you letting them do surgery? Find someone you trust and ask lots of questions because that is what will help you feel less anxious.
Distract yourself- The night before a big surgery can make anyone feel anxious and all you can think about. It doesn’t have to be the only thing you think about and if you are feeling incredibly anxious you need a distraction! Do something else that can take your mind off of it because although you may not be able to change the fact you need surgery you can change your mindset and distract yourself which will help make you less anxious.
Call a friend- Surgery can be very stressful especially if you have never had it before but that is what close friends and family are there for! If you are feeling incredibly anxious and are going stir crazy call a friend or family member that has had surgery before because they may be able to calm you down and give you some tips on how to get through the anxiety. They may have not gone through the exact same surgery you are about to have but anyone who has had surgery will be able to relate to the anxiety it will bring. Calling a friend it can very comforting and help you to relax if that is something you need.
Do yoga/meditation- Yoga or mediation has proven to reduce stress and anxiety levels. If you are having more anxiety than usual that you can’t control take a yoga class or try meditation it may help get your anxiety within a normal range.
Watch something funny- Sometimes the thought that you need to surgery can make you feel sad and depressed. Surgery can be a good thing and if you are seriously depressed that you need surgery but know it will help improve your quality of life you have to think about it in a different way. Think about all the things it’s going to do for you in the long run and not all the temporary pain you are going to have. If that doesn’t work watching something funny may help take your mind off of it for a while and lighten your mood so you feel happier!
Exercise- Unless your doctor has specifically told you not to exercise then why not get hit the gym the night before surgery! Who cares if you will be on bed rest for the next couple of weeks that should not be an excuse to not take advantage of the time you do have to get a good workout in! Personally, I could never get into yoga or meditation so the night before surgery I always like to get a good sweat on by doing either Pilates or weightlifting because it helps me get in the right mindset and burn off any extra energy that could be causing anxiety.
Surgery doesn’t get any easier no matter how many you have had and trust me I know I have had over twenty surgeries! Yes, it bums me out every time I need surgery but what I like to tell myself when I do need surgery is that it will improve my overall quality of life. If you are always in denial you will never get better but will continue to be and pain and that is when you need to ask yourself: Do you really want to be in pain if you have the option not to be? I don’t know anyone who would tell me they would much rather live with pain than have surgery that would make them pain-free because no one wants to live in pain. Pain is exhausting mentally and physically and although surgery can cause a lot of anxiety, disappointment, pain from surgery is usually temporary. Ignoring a medical problem that was small can become so much bigger in a short period of time and trust me you don’t want that! How do you calm your nerves before surgery?