Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mental Prep

We all have our routines, our rituals that we employ when dealing with health issues or health needs. Techniques utilized vary from person to person and even from situation to situation. In Stressed Indeed I discussed some of the techniques I utilize to reduce anxiety and stress, especially in times of medical crisis or procedures. There are a lot of different situations and procedures that require mental preparation to tackle what's at hand.

For instance, I always request for my blood to be drawn and any IV to be placed on my left arm. When I receive my B12 shots, I prefer to receive the first shot in my left arm and then my right arm. I chose my left over my right because I'm right handed and want to maintain use of my right arm and hand. This habitual preference though also has aided in my mental preparation for the impending needle stick.
Prior to each needle stick I employ other habitual behaviors as well, such as looking away, taking a deep breath, and focusing on digging my thumb nail into my finger while making sure to remain absolutely still. If I falter from this routine then my mental preparation is altered.

Not only does having a method to mentally prepare for health routines, it also reduces anxiety before, during and after. And when we're able to remain calm during a routine or procedure, the better the outome for us - physically and emotionally. It is less traumatizing and reduces risk of mistakes or errors due to erratic behavior that can be a result of extreme anxiety.
Of course there are times or situations when mental prep techniques aren't able to place us in a fully calm state but such techniques will still envoke calmness and allow one to better cope with the situation and endure.

Discovering what the best methods are for an individual and for various situations takes time and experimentation to determine which methods are easiest to employ and are most effective. Once the best methods are discovered, it is well worth the time invested and will greatly serve one in the future.
What are your mental prep rituals?

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