Tips to Avoid Stress and Anxiety While Awaiting a Diagnosis

Awaiting a clinical diagnosis or the results of a medical test can be a frightening experience for any patient. Even though most of us have experienced the anticipation of receiving good or bad news from a doctor or healthcare provider, depending on the person, this process can produce a wide range of feelings including: impatience, frustration, anger, sadness and anxiety.

It is totally natural to have some degree of concern while waiting for answers, but if you happen to be someone who has a higher degree of anxiety, please consider following these tips to help you remain calm:

  • Consider yourself proactive –Understand that getting tests performed is part of a process. Rationalize to yourself that if the results are positive, then testing is the first step to addressing the problem and if the results are negative, then you can finally feel relieved.
  • Get professional advice – Seek as much information as you can from your doctor before the tests and avoid searching the internet unless these are recommended sites.
  • Speak with friends and family – If you are anxious, bottling up your feelings can make you feel much worse. Speaking with trusted friends and family members can help you get things off your chest.
  • Maintain your normal routine – Sticking to your usual day-to-day schedule and staying busy can help. You are more likely to dwell on pending test results if you are sitting at home alone.
  • Practice mindfulness – Incorporating breathing exercises when your anxiety levels rise can also help to calm you and improve your mental well-being. You can also try complementary therapies such as yoga and meditation to alleviate stress.

Understand that fixating on the pending results will not change the outcome, so there is no benefit in doing so.  Hopefully, by following the suggestions above, you can better manage this otherwise tense time in your life.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.