It's easy to feel a little anxious when your doctor schedules you to have a colonoscopy. However, this common test is a valuable way for medical professionals to check the health of your colon and look for a wide range of medical issues. One of the keys to making the colonoscopy successful is for you to be relaxed. When your body is tense, it can be difficult for the person administering the colonoscopy to do so easily and successfully — and the procedure won't exactly be pleasant. You can increase your ability to stay relaxed during the appointment by adopting these strategies.
Avoid Stress Before The Appointment
You'll likely know the date and time of your colonoscopy well in advance, so start the process of reducing your stress in the days leading up to the appointment. If your job is particularly stressful and inhibits your ability to relax, you might wish to take time off work on not only the day of the appointment, but perhaps even the previous day. Otherwise, simply stay away from stressful situations as best you can in order to help you relax.
Do Your Research
If you haven't previously had a colonoscopy, the procedure can seem even more unnerving. An effective way to avoid this type of apprehension is to do as much research on the procedure as you can. This can not only include reading about the procedure online — including patient accounts of what the experience is like — but also asking any questions to your doctor or healthcare provider. You might also seek information from family members or friends who have had the procedure, although keep in mind that many people won't wish to talk about their colonoscopies. The more you know about the procedure, the lesser unknowns there will be to make you feel anxious.
Use Your MP3 Player
There's no harm in taking your MP3 player (or smartphone) into the colonoscopy appointment. In fact, many health practitioners encourage this practice as it can help to distract the patient. In advance, load an audio file that will help you relax onto your device. For example, try a guided meditation. Ideally, you can listen to the meditation for several days leading up to your appointment and get used to following along. Then, when it comes time for the colonoscopy, you can play the file, listen to the words, breathe and focus on following the meditation instead of letting your mind wander to the nature of the procedure.