How to Calm Fear While Waiting for Test Results

Have you ever had to have a medical test done and had to deal with the anxiety of waiting for the results?  You try to keep positive, but you find negative thoughts plaguing your mind? 

Medical technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, as more efficient ways of testing for sickness and disease are approved. Various procedures are detecting earlier, are less invasive, and more accurate. 

These are wonderful advancements that work in favor of all of us.  

But when it comes to going to the doctor for testing, the procedure may be very helpful. However, one thing that medical technology doesn’t have a handle on is how the patient fills in the time it takes to receive results from testing.

We Aren’t Usually A Patient Society

Society in general tends to resist patience. We like fast food, fast cars, and quick fixes. It’s a hurry up and wait kind of lifestyle. We want results and we want them now. Add the mixture of fear, negative thinking, and the unknown, and you have pretty much given yourself a death sentence before you leave the doctor’s office.

Waiting to receive test results can be quite stressful at times, and the waiting period tends to drag on for what seems like forever. For as much as modern medicine has improved, the wait time can still be quite longer than we think necessary. But it is something we all must endure. 

So, what can we do during the waiting time to ease the anxiety? Calm the fears?

The Unknown Can Be Frightening

Not knowing what the results of a test can be scary. When I was in my mid-20’s, I went to a chiropractor and they thought I had multiple sclerosis. I was petrified as I waited the results of an MRI. I couldn’t sleep well and could hardly eat. So many irrational thoughts went through my head.

Thankfully, my test results came back good, but I’ll never forget how terrified I was.

Know that it’s alright to feel that fear temporarily and feel free to let the emotions out. Give yourself a little time to let fear and anxiety flow through your body. Call up your partner, spouse, best friend, etc. and tell them how you’re feeling. Scream, cry, yell, or punch a pillow! Let those negative emotions (energy) and feelings run their course.  Allow your mind, emotions, and body to process them.

Process And Let Go

We like to feel in control of life, and when situations are out of our hands, fear can creep into our thoughts. The “what ifs?” run wildly through our mind and honestly, it’s easier to think the worst at times. When these fears begin to rear their ugly heads, we can learn how to train our minds and thought patterns. Here are some tips to help you do so:

Retrain Your Mindset

  • Prayer and meditation. A wonderful way to retrain your mindset is through prayer and meditation.  Repeating a single prayer, quote, mantra, or verse can do wonders for your anxiety. Believe in the words you are saying. Let the positive thoughts become your mantra. Whether you silently repeat those words or speak them aloud, reaffirm your belief that everything is going to turn out well regardless of what the results are.
  • Reach out for support. You don’t have to face the unknown alone.  Reach out to family and close friends for support.  Don’t be ashamed to let them know you are scared. If you are comfortable enough with the relationship, ask them to pray with you and for you. If prayer is not your thing, offer to meet for a cup of coffee and good conversation. Focus on the good, while accepting their support.
  • Guided meditations. Guided meditations are another positive way to calm your fears and ease your nerves. The internet has an abundant array of guided meditations; from healing to sleeping to positive thinking and peace within. Listen to them while in your car, office, or at home. Fall asleep to the sound of calming music and soft-spoken words of encouragement.
  • Get into nature. While the waiting seems endless, explore Mother Nature.  Nothing is more soothing than watching the sunrise or quietly walking through the forest taking in the beautiful surroundings and listening to the birds. Pick a safe, quiet place and gaze up at the stars. Allow your thoughts to turn to all the good and beautiful things in your life.

There is no guarantee the results will be what you’d like, but this way you can at least feel some sort of peace and hope during the waiting time.  Along with the positive thoughts and affirmations, take a little time to mentally prepare for the end result: good or unfavorable. 

The one thing you are in control of is how you feel, what you think, and how you react. It’s also worthy to note that many of the times we’ve fretted and worried in the past all turned out well. Keep that in mind. I know it helps me when I’m awaiting test results.

If you find yourself struggling with paralyzing fear and can’t find relief, consider reaching out for help from a therapist, pastor, spiritual advisor, etc. It can help immensely.

I hope these tips help calm your fears while waiting for medical test results. Embrace and do your best to enjoy life moment by moment, day by day. 

You’re worth it!

 

Photo by Kelly Lacy from Pexels

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