Coping with Test Pain, Discomfort, and Anxiety

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Relaxation Techniques

Knowing a few simple relaxation and focusing techniques can help you avoid tensing your muscles or becoming faint during any difficult medical procedure. Although the medical staff performing these procedures are usually good at making small talk and creating distractions that take your mind off your discomfort, you can also soothe yourself or an anxious patient with the following techniques. If you are anxious about medical tests and need them frequently, you will find it helpful to practice these skills at home to make them even more effective when you need them.

Breathe — Take three slow breaths, counting to three for each one and breathing through your nose. Breathe out through your mouth, counting to six. Push your stomach out as you breathe in (to breathe more deeply). Slow down if you start to feel lightheaded.

Relax Your Muscles — Consciously relax your muscles. Let them feel loose.

Focus — Find a focal point to look at or think of a pleasing image.

Count — Count slowly and silently to ten.

Talk — Chat with someone in the room. The distraction can relax you.

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