Waiting for your test results in the waiting room of a hospital can be challenging, especially if you're the type of person who is pessimistic. A 10-minute wait when a loved one is being cared for by the nurses and doctors can seem as though it takes hours, and each passing minute can be agonizing — unless you make it your priority to remain calm. Even if you're concerned about the person on the other side of the door, getting anxious won't do you any good. Here are some simple strategies that you can use to stay as calm as possible while you wait.
Visualize Reducing Stress Through Breathing
While some people use advanced breathing techniques in an attempt to remain calm, you don't have to try to memorize new breathing patterns for moments of stress. Instead, keep the process simple. Take a deep breath in, hold the oxygen for a moment and then try to breathe out as much as you can, pushing from your belly if you're able. Keep your eyes closed during this exercise and, as you exhale, visualize that you're pushing stress out of your system with each exhalation. A few minutes of this exercise can have a meditative-like ability to calm you while you wait for news about your loved one.
Ask Yourself, "What Do I Know?"
It can be easy to let your imagination get carried away as you wait, given that bad news might be coming your way soon. It's beneficial, however, to focus on the facts by asking yourself, "What do I know?" In many cases, what you know can be positive. For example, you could know that while your loved one had a stroke, you noticed the symptoms quickly and arrived at the hospital just minutes later — the sooner a stroke victim gets medical attention, the better prognosis for recovery is.
Plan How You'll Proceed
One of the fears that people experience when awaiting potentially serious health news is that they don't have control. You can face this fear head-on by planning how you'll proceed after you learn about the health of your loved one. For example, if the news is bad, focus on how you'll get guidance from your doctor on which specialist your loved one will need to see. Conversely, make a fun plan on how you'll celebrate if the news is good. These methods can make you feel in control of the situation and reduce your stress by the time you're allowed in to see your loved one.