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Are you afraid of during a blood draw? Now it’s time to overcome the fear. You remember when your mom would take you out to visit a friend’s place when you were young.
You had a good time but would constantly think about that McDonald’s drive-through along the way.
Every time your mom called you for that visit, you would hurriedly rush downstairs and jump in the car, hoping to get a burger as a reward.
But that one time, you got tricked! Instead of driving to McDonald’s, your mom made a quick U-turn and headed towards a different path.
As the car’s speed slows down, you realize your palms are getting sweaty, and your heart is beating faster.
That can only mean one thing—the Doctor’s Office.
Many people’s fear of needles or during a blood draw can be connected to their experience as children.
Did they dread going to the doctor to get their vaccine?
Or did they scream as the doctor approached them slowly with his needle?
* Here’s Doctor Johnny*
No doubt, past experiences play a huge role in how you perceive your current affairs. And now that you’re older, you realize it’s time to face this irrational fear and get over it once and for all! But where to start? Follow this helpful technique to ease your tension before receiving a prick!
Here Are 3 Ways to Calm Yourself During a Blood Draw
1. Control Your Breathing
If you notice your heartbeat accelerating, you can turn it down a notch by practicing deep breathing.
Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth while closing your eyes.
You can try box breathing, for example, to calm down your breathing even more. This technique involves inhaling and holding your breath for four seconds, then letting it out for four and breathe out for four.
A good way box breathing works is to picture an actual box in your head and imagine your breath going in and out.
2. Use Self-talk
To wipe out your past negative memories associated with needles and blood draw, you can try resorting to self-pep talk.
Say, “I wasn’t afraid of needles back then; why should I be afraid now?”
“It would only take 1 second, and it’s over, so no need to get worked up.”
You can also try thinking about the result, which is a good deed. You’re doing the test to better your health or save someone else’s life by donating your blood.
So keep your thoughts positive and avoid thinking about negative scenarios that would drive you into panic mode.
3. Talk to Your Doctor
Distracting yourself by talking to your doctor is a great way to adjust your focus somewhere else.
Ask questions like what time did you get to work today? Or was there heavy traffic? Or what do you like to do in your spare time?
Please make sure you let your doctor know you need reassurance before taking a jab so that they won’t feel interrogated by your random questions.
Alternatively, you can bring a close friend or a relative to talk to you. But be cautious; if you require regular medical examinations, this coping mechanism is not recommended. Since you might not get over your fear 100%
In extreme situations where fainting can happen due to drops in your blood pressure, it’s best to consult a professional phlebotomist.
They can make you feel more comfortable with needles by showing pictures or giving you a small prick on your finger.