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Surgery or Medical Procedure – How to Handle Your Emotions

How to Handle Your Emotions When You
or a Loved One is Going to Have Surgery or a Medical Procedure

prepare for surgery - shift to feeling empowered

Are you about to have surgery or a medical procedure and feeling scared and anxious?

Or do you have a family member or someone you care about that is going through surgery?

  • It’s a normal Human Response

It’s a normal human response to cry, to feel scared, anxious, afraid, angry, frustrated, sad, hopeless, guilt, overwhelmed, etc. Allow these feelings to happen. When you feel, you start to heal. Everyone is different on how they respond when they find out that they are going to need to go through surgery. Some may even be quiet or in denial.

  • Awareness of your emotions and your body’s response

Have an awareness of what your emotions and reactions are and how your body responds to it.

Your body may respond by an increase in your heart rate, you start to sweat, your head starts to feel full, heavy in pain, your hearing becomes muffled so that you can’t understand or hear what your doctor is telling you, you start to breath fast, you start to feel tense, you start to shake. You may feel sensations in your chest, stomach, shoulders, jaw, head. Again this is a normal human response. Try not to judge yourself in having these emotions. People usually suppress emotions, but allow yourself to give you time to feel these emotions because if you resist your emotions, it will persist. Also, know that dwelling in these emotions too long may delay the actions that you may need to take to bring your life back into balance and help you heal. Tell yourself that you will honor yourself in expressing these emotions. Also, ask for guidance to develop the wisdom and insight, and inner knowing to let these emotions go so that you can focus and take the actions toward preparing for your up and coming surgery or medical procedure. You can then go back in feeling these emotions of fear, frustration, sadness to let you appreciate the feeling for peace, joy and happiness. When you are focused, inspired, and motivated, you will be empowered to find ways to prepare and heal from your surgery.

  • Taking deep breaths to help you be grounded and help you focus

Take nice deep slow breaths all the way down to your lower abdomen to ground yourself into your body, which will help guide you to have clarity of thinking. Think of an emotion and feeling that energizes, inspires you and relaxes you. Bring the feelings of peace, love, joy, bliss, inspiration, happiness etc. into your thoughts and through your breath, and feel these emotions in your body. Develop an awareness that you can allow yourself to feel these emotions of sadness, fear, etc. and when you can, shift your emotions to love, joy, gratitude, etc. to take you to your journey of healing.

This practice of developing your body awareness with your breath will help you at that moment when you are at the doctor’s office. This is to help you hear what he or she is explaining and instructing what you need to do to prepare for your surgery or medical procedure. If you are the family member or support, you too can use this practice of taking deep breaths and connecting with your emotions, feelings and body awareness. If you are not able to shift you emotions (and that is ok) at the doctors office, because you just found out that you need to have surgery (which may be shocking news), just take nice deep breaths to help you be focused in that moment in the doctor’s office. And if you are a physician, nurse practitioner, holistic practitioner, or other health care provider, you can breathe along with your patient/client to connect with them for additional support. Afterwards, you can allow yourself to be in the emotions and when you are ready, you can choose to release your emotions and let go. Be aware that it will be a work in process. Be patient with yourself, it will take some time.

  • Shift from feeling afraid and anxious to being empowered

Notice how you shift from being anxious and afraid to feeling empowered and ready to take the steps to prepare for your up and coming surgery or medical procedure when you allow yourself to feel and connect with your body through your breath.

  • Using the breath and gratitude to help you heal and recover

You can also use this practice of being in your body with your breath to help you heal in your recovery phase. Also, you can make a list of things that you are grateful for (ex. Your spouse, children, significant other, pet, garden, home, your gifts and talents, etc.) to help inspire you to take the action to prepare and heal from your surgery. Going through surgery or having a medical procedure is a challenging situation to be in. However, when you incorporate theses practices, this will also help develop your resiliency to whatever life throws at you. For additional support, schedule an appointment with me for guidance to help you prepare and recover from your surgery or medical procedure.

Happy Healing!

To Your Happiness, Health, & Healing…….

Vivien Joy
Holistic Nurse