Article by A Aaronson
Fear of dentists is a serious problem for a significant percentage of the population. As this fear becomes more recognized, there are new techniques used to deal with it. The important thing is to defeat it so that you can get into the chair and get your teeth taken care of. One great method that works easily is meditation.
Meditation is something that is seen in a strange light in western cultures. However, it has great benefits for all areas of your life, including stress reduction, clearer and more focused thinking, health benefits and beating phobias like the one that keeps you from seeing the dentist. Here is how you can use meditation to get over your fear of visiting your dentist.
Step One – Where Do You Feel It?
When you think of visiting the dentist, you get a physical reaction somewhere in your body. Just this simple thought causes a butterfly in your stomach or an anxious feeling in your back. Picture going to the dentist and visualize yourself getting into the chair. When you do this, where do you feel your anxiety? Locate the part of your body that reacts.
Step Two – Put It In Its Place
Once you’ve identified the location of your fear of dentists, visualize it. Imagine that it’s a person and give it a name. Tell it that you’re going to control it and it’s not going to control you. It doesn’t matter how you visualize your fear of dentists, but what does matter is that you isolate it from the rest of your being. This separation is really important, because once you can separate it, you can successfully put it away.
The key to why meditation works is that it allows the mind to focus on one thing. All day long, your mind is bombarded with stimuli and this creates a disordered state. By focusing on one single thing, meditation teaches you how to control your mind. We’re going to focus on your fear of dentists so that we can learn how to control it. Fear owns you; instead, you’re going to own it. Tell it that it’s not going to bother you today.
Ste p Three – Practice
Finally, you’re going to practice. Bring up that fear just like you did at the beginning of the exercise, and focus on it. Give it an image or a name so that it’s easy to visualize, and separate it from yourself. If you do this repeatedly, it will become easier to do and easier to control. Keep doing it until you can instantly take that feeling of fear out of your stomach or back, and push it out of you entirely.
Meditation isn’t magic and it’s not going to get you completely comfortable with a dentist instantly. However, it gives you a tool that you can use to take that anxiety and put it in the back of your mind so that you can go through with your visit. It may still be there, but it will be a small thing that won’t stop you from making your appointment. For most people, just overcoming this anxiety one time and getting through an appointment makes them realize that there is no reason to fear dentists at all.
About the Author
If you live in Philadelphia, dentists in the area can make your visit as pain-free as possible. To find a dentist in your area in particular, please visit http://www.angieslist.com/
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