I really don’t like going to the dentist.
Let me rephrase that. I really don’t like going to the dentist when I know a shot and some filling work is involved.
I know I’m not the only one. According to WebMD, “between 9% and 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear”.
I had to go to the dentist today. Luckily, my busy holiday schedule prevented me from remembering until right before I had to go. I actually stayed busy all the way up until the moment I sat in the chair.
When my head hit the little brown pillow, fear struck my mind.
I was fortunate enough to have a fast-working dental specialist and dentist review what needed to be done and start the topical numbing right away.
Then came the shot. The dentist did it quickly and it really didn’t hurt. I give them two thumbs up for that.
Oh, but the fun was just beginning.
Next, they told me I had to wait 4-5 minutes for the full numbing to take hold of my tooth, but I swear, it felt like an hour. Knowing some drilling and filling was about to take place inside my mouth sent chills down my spine.
That occurred until I remembered to BREATHE.
To get me through the short wait period, I purposefully started using some breathing techniques I’ve learned through meditations. Breathing with purpose, in through my nose slowly, and out through my mouth slowly, does calm my nerves. Because I practice meditation often, I was able to put myself in a meditative state that allowed the time to melt away, as well as my nerves.
I highly recommend using breathing and meditation techniques to anyone that is facing a difficult moment or while doing something they fear.
My favorite meditations (which also teach breathing) can be found via the YouTube channel The Honest Guys. Every single one of their meditations is awesome (and FREE) and I highly recommend trying one. Here’s a 12 minute meditation called Deep Relaxation. Try it before your next trip to the dentist, doctor, lawyer’s office, work, grocery store visit, the mall during the holidays, your family holiday dinner, family vacation……….