The emergency room is a frightening place. With gurneys rolling around, long waits for doctors and a general air of illness, the atmosphere inside the ER can easily make you lose your cool. It’s important, though, to stay calm while at the emergency room. So, follow these steps to remain calm during your emergency room visit.

1. Calibrate your expectations. One of the things that disturbs people most in the ER is the amount of waiting. Even relatively minor ailments or injuries start to get magnified in your mind when you’re waiting many hours just to see a doctor. When it comes to staying calm you need to understand that the wait could be many hours to see a doctor, but that eventually you will get treated.

2. Make yourself useful. Staying occupied is a good way to stay calm in the emergency room. If you brought someone to the ER, help that person with the medical forms and offer to bring them coffee or food. If you’re the patient, see if someone else is willing to do the same for you so you can take one more thing off your mind while you’re in the ER.

3. Find an out of the way place to sit. One of the most harrowing aspects of being in the ER is seeing the constant tide of patients coming and going. Seeing people with serious illnesses brought in and carried away on gurneys is difficult. While you’re waiting, find a nook or waiting room that is out of the way and that allows you to relax without seeing other patients come and go.

4. Make a schedule. Part of staying calm in the emergency room involves making a schedule that you can operate on. For instance, you can decide to read or watch TV for a certain amount of time, setting aside a specific time during each hour to check on your status. Making a mini-schedule like helps keep you calm by providing you with a sense of normalcy in a very abnormal environment.

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