You may have heard the phrase “mind over matter” and wondered what that meant regarding your physical health. The fact is, the way you think, and your relaxation levels can impact all different facets of your health, including your surgical recovery time. Keep reading to learn more about how mindfulness and relaxation techniques can help you heal more quickly and completely.
It is normal to be nervous and to have some anxiety before your procedure. If you have questions or concerns about your upcoming surgery, it is important to talk to your doctor. Make sure that all your questions are answered and that you understand what will be happening. Remember that you have the right and responsibility to be fully informed about your health care. Do not be afraid to ask your doctor to phrase things so that it is easier for you to understand or bring along a friend or family member to help you remember what the doctor has said.
Once all your questions are answered and you are confident that the procedure is the right one for you. However, you still might be nervous. This is completely normal! If your anxiety is causing you to have trouble preparing for your surgery or is not letting you get enough sleep at night, there are some ways you can address these troubling feelings. Mindfulness is one of them. You might find mindfulness through meditation or grounding.
Meditation does not need to be complicated; it can entail simply sitting in a comfortable position while allowing your thoughts to pass through your mind without judgment. You might find it helpful to focus on a particular word, phrase, or image. You can also listen to an audio recording that talks you through meditation. When anxious thoughts pass through, observe them and allow them to happen. Meditation can take some time to master, so it is most helpful to practice well in advance of your surgery. Any time spent meditating is better than no time, however.
Grounding yourself is another good way to keep anxiety at bay. Before your surgery, focus on the here and now rather than on your worries. Look around and take in your surroundings. One popular method is to identify five things you can see, four you can hear, three you can physically feel, two you can smell, and one you can taste. Really focus on your senses and the items you sense. Doing this can help you slow down your thoughts and think about something other than your surgery.
Mindfulness before your surgery will help you to do the things you need to do to prepare. This will include eating well, sticking to the pre-surgical diet that your doctor prescribes you, and getting plenty of sleep. It is also great practice for the mindfulness and relaxation you will need after your surgery. Feel free to use meditation and grounding techniques right up until your appointment to help you stay calm.
Your physical body needs plenty of relaxation to heal after any surgical procedure. It can be difficult to relax if you are having pain or discomfort, however. Using relaxation techniques can help you overcome any post-surgical discomfort you have, helping you heal more quickly. You can relax in many ways, and it is most helpful if you can practice them before your surgery. The meditation and grounding techniques discussed above can help. You can also focus on your breathing.
Breathe in through your nose for five seconds, hold for five seconds, breathe out through your mouth for five seconds, and then hold for five more seconds before starting the cycle over again. Of course, if you cannot hold your breath for five seconds or have had surgery impacting your lungs, then talk to your doctor or recovery staff about how you can best breathe for relaxation. You might also try guided imagery exercises. There are plenty of guided imagery videos and audio files available online; you can try looking for some on YouTube, for example.
These will talk you through various scenes where you can picture yourself. Some are intended for healing after surgery or an injury and help you minimize pain in the area. Mental imagery can not only help you to relax but also speed up your recovery. It suppresses some of your stress hormones, making you feel better, and it can also boost your immune response. The more you can use it or other relaxation techniques to get the rest you need, the better you will feel.
Rules for Easier, Faster Surgical Recovery Time
Your doctor and recovery staff will have plenty of tips on how you can recover more quickly. It is important to remember, however, that recovery is not a race. You will feel better if you treat yourself gently and patiently. Give yourself the time you need to heal, even if it takes longer than you think it should. Surgery is traumatic for the body, and it takes time to recover with focusing on good nutrition, lots of rest, and plenty of hydration will help.
If you can have someone bring you nutritious foods that taste good, that is best. Staying at a recovery retreat will allow you to rest while someone else cooks your delicious foods. Moving around after your surgery is also important. Your doctors and nurses will tell you when and to what extent you should be moving. You might be surprised at how quickly you will be out of bed and even walking around after your procedure.
This is necessary to improve blood flow to the area and prevent complications like blood clots or constipation. Follow your doctor’s instructions and do not try to overdo it. Recovery after surgery is about the physical body, but it is also about your mental health and mindfulness. Talk to your doctor or a therapist about how you can harness the power of the mind-body connection and heal more fully after your surgery.