Having oral surgery can be a little nerve-wracking. If you’re feeling some pre-surgery anxiety—that is normal! You can work through your stress with a few of these simple tips.
- Educate Yourself—Anxiety is often caused by the unknown. Educating yourself about your procedure and what exactly it entails may help to ease your mind. Do your research on the surgery, the condition, and even the hospital or clinic you’ll be at—all of this information can help you feel more comfortable with the proceedings. Be sure that you don’t go too far down the rabbit hole of what could go wrong during your research; this may end up increasing your anxiety. Be sure that you are getting your information from trusted sources.
- Have a Plan—Another source of concern is a feeling that things are out of your control. Though you will not be able to control everything about your surgery, having a plan, and sticking to it may help to ease some of your anxiety. Plan the day. What will you do before the procedure? And after? Having other aspects of the day to focus on may be helpful.
- Talk to Your Doctor—Talking to your doctor or surgeon about your anxiety can be a big help. If they are aware of your feelings and concerns, they may be able to put your mind at ease with some words of wisdom. They may also take your anxiety into account as they work with you. It could mean talking in more soothing tones, talking you through the procedure, or other helpful practices.
- Distract Yourself—Distract yourself in any way possible. When you start feeling anxious, do something that will put your mind at ease. Put on a movie, go for a walk or a run, pick up a book, turn on some music—do what you need to take your mind off of things. It may also be helpful to distract during the procedure if you aren’t going under. Having a playlist with calming music that can help you make it through the surgery as calmly as possible.
- Use Relaxation Techniques—Don’t underestimate the power of relaxation techniques. Doing some breathing exercises and practicing meditation can make a world of difference. Use these relaxation techniques before your surgery, and whenever you feel anxious to help you calm down. Taking control of your breath is usually the first step to calming anxiety.
- Get a Support Group—You are not the only one who feels anxiety about surgery—there are plenty of others out there! Talking to others who have gone through and are currently going through your circumstance will be very helpful. You can quiet your fears as you learn about other’s experiences. Ask your doctor about local support groups. Ask your support group members how they dealt with their anxieties. Learn from others and draw support from them.