Fear of flying, spiders and snakes are just a couple of fears many of us deal with each day. Real or irrational they may be, the anxiety they cause is real. If you are facing a Magnetic Resonance Imaging test, here are some pointer about how to reduce anxiety about your upcoming MRI.
Know That It’s Painless
Some medical tests cause physical discomfort, but an MRI is entirely painless. Take a deep breath and think about that for a minute.
Decide On Your Personal Visualization
Think now about where you want to go while in the tube (in your mind of course). What are some of your most relaxing places? Is it a beautiful beach listening to the waves, or sitting by a stream in the mountains? Visualizing being in a different place while having the test is a tried and true way to overcome anxiety. Imagination is a powerful thing.
Bring Someone With You
Having a dear friend, partner or loved one with you always gives an extra boost of confidence and support. Just knowing they are there can help you stay calm and reduce the anxiety about your upcoming MRI.
Decide On Your Musical Interlude
Everyone has their favorite relaxing music. Whether it is jazz, classical or good old rock and roll, know what channel will work best for you and ask the technician to dial it up. Not only will the headphones help you to relax but in addition, it will help to drown out the noise of the machine.
Ask For Whatever You Need
If you know you get cold when nervous, ask for a blanket. If you get overheated when you are under stress, plan to dress in layers and ask if the temperature in the room can be lowered, or sip a cold drink ahead of time. Put a pillow under your knees if that makes it more comfortable.
If you are claustrophobic and don’t want to see what’s going on, either keep your eyes closed throughout the test (easier said than done), or wear a sleep mask so you really can’t peek. And then back to visualization.
Plan A Special Treat For After The Test
Go out to your favorite restaurant, splurge on ice cream, or head to the movies to clear your head. Anticipate your treat, and it might help make the test seem quicker.
When All Else Fails
If you really think it will be too stressful for you, ask the doctor for a sedative to keep you calm throughout. Then picture a positive result from your test.
Talk to Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Associates about what to expect if it’s your first MRI and to suggest other ways to reduce your anxiety.