Yesterday I had a dental procedure — it took almost two hours.
Going to the dentist is what we call a necessary evil. We don’t like it, but it has to be done. Yesterday I tried a new method to help keep me relaxed, and it worked.
The hygenist even remarked on how calm I was.
To understand why what I did worked, you need to know a bit about your brain.
Your amygdala is responsible for the fight, flight, or freeze. It is all about keeping you safe. When you feel anxious, that’s a sign that your amygdala senses fear or danger.
You don’t have to be in danger for your amygdala to react; if you respond negatively to your situation, that’s enough.
Naturally, being in the chair at the dentist’s can be a negative experience.
Reassuring yourself — aka your brain — that you are safe will positively affect and lessen the body’s reaction. Think calming thoughts and words — things you would say to someone — and repeat them as needed. It works!
It’s also helpful to try and relax your body or do some deep breathing if you can.
I couldn’t do that, but letting my shoulders relax and telling myself that I was safe was enough.
Try to remove yourself from the situation as though you are observing what is happening. Tell yourself that it is OK, you are safe, and there is nothing to fear. You might think of comforting your younger self.
Try it next time you need it. It works!
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