Before you walk into a piercing studio, you’re going to feel some nerves. Let’s face it, even if you’ve been pierced many times before, getting a needle shoved through your body isn’t a comfortable experience.
Luckily, many nerve-wracked piercees have come before you, and they have plenty of advice when it comes to calming yourself before getting a piercing. Here are some ways to alleviate your anxiety before you sit in the piercer’s chair.
Take care of yourself before the procedure
If you were getting a medical procedure done, you likely wouldn’t spend the time prior to the procedure overexerting yourself. The same goes for when you get a piercing.
In the hours before the piercing, take some time for yourself to relax. Make sure that you get plenty of sleep the night before, and give yourself time before the piercing for self-care; you might think twice about heading to the piercing studio straight after work.
Read a book. Take a relaxing walk through the park. Give your mind and body what it needs so that you can go into the piercing studio calm and focused.
You must eat well before you get your piercing. Besides settling your stomach, this will give your body the energy it needs to undergo the procedure.
When you get your piercing, your body will react to the needle going through your skin, even if the pain is minor. It’s not uncommon for people to pass out after they’ve gotten a piercing. To help alleviate this risk, you need to give your body the rest and nutrients it needs.
Participate in meditation, breathing exercises, or positive thinking
Meditation and positive thinking have been shown time and time again to completely change the way we think about and react to a situation. While you’re relaxing before the procedure, choose a mental exercise—whether meditation, slow breathing, positive thinking, or whatever works for you—to help encourage positive thoughts about the procedure.
Taking the time to calm your mind and focus on positive thinking will do wonders to adjust your mindset during the procedure.
Face your fears head on. If you are concerned about pain, mentally channel positive feelings and prepare for the occasion by thinking in terms of the outcome rather than the process. By imagining how you will look afterward, you can direct your mind away from negative thoughts centered on the fear of pain and toward how great you’ll look a short while later.
If your anxiety comes from uncertainty as to how you will look, then focus on the reason why you chose your piercer. If you’ve done your research beforehand, there’s a reason why you’ve chosen to trust them. Hold onto that.
Take mild painkillers in advance
One technique that some piercers recommend is to take preemptive, mild painkillers of the over-the-counter variety. These can help numb the pain of the procedure, and that knowledge will likely calm your nerves a little bit.
Stay away from blood thinners. Your piercing will most likely bleed in the beginning, and blood thinners will make it worse.
Before you take any painkillers, check with your piercer first. They will let you know which ones are safe to use. If they recommend against it (some might, depending on their preference), then you can also drink a calming herbal tea or use other natural options with calming effects.
Dream about the gorgeous jewelry you’ll get to wear after you’re fully healed
When you’re super nervous about an upcoming piercing, it can be hard to remind yourself why you’re getting the piercing in the first place. It helps to think of all the jewelry options you’ll get to shop for once your piercing has fully healed.
When you close your eyes before the piercer pushes the needle through, dream of the gorgeous diamond nose rings, seamless hoops, or exotic dangle belly rings that you’ll get to wear in your new piercing.
To help you visualize, here are some of our favorite jewelry styles from FreshTrends.
DON’T drink alcohol or take other drugs prior to the procedure
You might be tempted to take a few shots to calm your nerves before you get a piercing (or perhaps even take some heavier medication). However, you should refrain.
Many piercers will refuse to pierce you if you appear to be under the influence. Besides inhibiting your decision-making process, alcohol impedes your body’s ability to heal itself, thins your blood, and can poorly affect your body overall. You want your body well rested and taken care of for the procedure, and alcohol has the opposite effect.
Beyond health, your inhibitions will be lowered. While inebriated, you might give the go-ahead on a piercing that’s not in the exact location that you wanted. You may not be able to stay still during the procedure, making it difficult for the piercer to conduct the piercing well. It’s also possible that you won’t pay a lot of attention to critical aftercare instructions once the piercing is done. You want to stay sharp during the procedure, and alcohol won’t help that.
A little liquid courage might seem like a good idea, but it’s best to stay away.
Once you’ve gotten your piercing, you’ll likely leave the studio thinking, “That wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.” However, nerves are a real issue, and you need to know how to calm them so that your piercing experience is a happy one. Take care of your body, calm your mind, and take preemptive steps that are approved by your piercer, and there’s no reason why you can’t have an enjoyable piercing procedure.