Receiving the news that your doctor thinks that you may be suffering from a diagnosable health condition can fill you with immense feelings of fear and uncertainty. This is a natural reaction to the unknown, and you need to give yourself time to process the information that you have been given.
While being given a diagnosis may mean that life is going to change dramatically, it also provides you with an opportunity to seek appropriate treatments which gives you back some control over the situation. It is important that you remain as calm as possible – stress can significantly impact your physical and mental health which will invariably further impact on your symptoms and well-being. Here are 3 strategies for you to help stay calm.
Avoiding your emotions is a short-term solution that gives you long-term pain. You will find that avoiding the issue turns your life into a prison – you will need to avoid words, people, places and situations that may trigger a need for you to talk about the condition, which will only add to your stress and anxiety as you maintain a vigilance. By acknowledging your fearful emotions, you are accepting your situation and can use your energy positively, rather than using it to push negativity away.
Learning about your health condition and the options open to you will give your thoughts direction and will calm your inner voice and reduce your negative thoughts. There is a wealth of information on the internet that can be accessed, and as long as you access quality sites that publish specialist information, you will gain comfort from learning more about your issue. You may even identify other symptoms that are associated with your condition that you previously hadn’t linked. For example, not only are heavy and painful periods symptoms of endometriosis, but so too is painful urination. By learning about your concern, you can provide your doctor with a more complete picture of your health.
Your inner voice will be role-playing all kinds of situations in your head. Your self-talk will be making extravagant statements and rehearsing worse case scenarios, and your body will become stressed as you react to each imagined circumstance – it’s human nature. You need to practice reframing this internal role-playing and replace it with true statements. Rather than thinking about how bad things are going to get, arm yourself with facts that will suppress and change the negatives.
The period between having tests completed and being given the results can feel like an eternity, so try to make sure that you can keep as busy as your health allows – this is the time when you may be plagued by feeling out of control of your mind and your body and will be vulnerable to stress and anxiety, so it is important that you try the techniques above to stay calm. Remember that you are not alone and by reaching out to family and friends they will be able to support you during these challenging times.