So, you went to the doctor and he or she ordered an MRI. You have never had one and you have a little bit of anxiety about lying in a confined space (aka tube). There is nothing at all uncommon about this, especially if you are claustrophobic. Although advancements in technology have made it so that the MRI tube is more open, there are still individuals who experience certain levels of anxiety when they find out they need undergo an MRI. However, you do not have to allow your fear and anxiety to keep you from getting the much-needed answers from the MRI scan. Here are some ways you can reduce the anxiety and stress that you are feeling before the MRI.

1. Wear a Nighttime Sleeping Mask 

One of the best things that you can do during an MRI scan is to close your eyes. However, it can be very hard to do when you know what is going on. You may not want to look around, but it seems that is all you can think about it. So, to ensure that you aren't tempted to look around, you should wear a sleeping mask. Put it on prior to going into the tube.

2. Wear Earplugs/Listen to Music

The MRI is a relatively loud scan, which can be a bit frightening. This is particularly true if you are already anxious. For that reason, you should take a pair of earplugs with you to block out the loud sounds of the scan. At most facilities, the MRI scan has the ability to play music. This is done through headphones connected to the machine. You can generally bring your own music, so you don't have to worry about listening to some kind of classical hospital music that you don't like. To find out whether the MRI machine has the capability, talk to the MRI technician ahead of time.

3. Control Your Breathing

When you are anxious, you tend to lose control of your breathing. Therefore, it is important that you gain control over it as you go into your MRI. If you find that you are feeling a bit stressed and anxious, take a deep breath in through your nose and let it out through your mouth. As you take that breathe in, count down from 10 in your head. Try to do the same as you let your breath out. Continue to do this while you slow your breathing – and counting – down each time.