Surgery can indeed be a nerve-wracking experience, especially when you’re awake for the procedure. Many individuals experience fear and anxiety about conscious surgery - but rest assured: there are effective techniques to keep you calm and relaxed. It’s all about redirecting your focus away from the surgery and on to something more pleasant. Here’s how you can achieve this:

Mindfulness Techniques

Mindfulness is a powerful tool to help keep you calm under pressure. One of the primary focuses of mindfulness is staying present and acknowledging your emotions without judgment. During surgery, you can practice mindfulness by scanning your body and acknowledging how each part of you feels.

For example, how does your hand feel? Is it warm or cold? Does it feel heavy or light? What about your toes or your ears? Such a practice will not only divert your attention from the surgery but also can have a calming effect on your nerves.

Deep Breathing

Deep, concentrated breathing can also help you remain calm during conscious surgery. Simple breathing exercises can help slow your heart rate and keep panic at bay.

One popular technique is box breathing: where you inhale for a count of four, hold for a count of four, exhale for a count of four, and hold again for a count of four. Repeating this cycle can do wonders for your stress levels.


Bringing along something to keep your mind occupied can help alleviate pre-surgery jitters. This can be your favorite playlist, a captivating audiobook, or mentally challenging puzzles. Keeping your brain engaged with something other than your surgical procedure can significantly alleviate stress and anxiety.

Positive Visualization

This technique involves picturing yourself in a calm and happy place; it can be as simple as picturing yourself lying on a beach, hearing the sound of waves crash or visualizing a successful operation and quick recovery. This positive form of escapism can help you stay calm and elevate mood during your awake surgery.


Lastly, maintaining open communication with your healthcare team is vital. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or voice your concerns. Understanding what to expect can help lessen any fears or uncertainties you might have.

Remember, these techniques are effective for most but may not be suitable for all. Therefore, it’s essential to discuss any anxiety or fears with your healthcare provider. They can provide you with personalized strategies or medication to help you cope during your conscious surgery.