Do shots make you nervous? You're not alone. Lots of people dread them because they have a very real fear of needles. So next time your doc asks you to roll up your sleeve, try these tips: Distract yourself while you're waiting. Bring along a game, book, music, or movie — something you'll get completely caught up in so you're not sitting in the waiting room thinking about the shot. Some doctors' offices schedule "shot clinics" where they do nothing but give shots so the wait time is shorter. Concentrate on taking slow, deep breaths. Breathe all the way down into your belly. Deep breathing can help people relax — and concentrating on something other than the shot can take your mind off it. Focus intently on something in the room. Find a picture, poster, or a sign on the wall. Concentrate on the details: If you're looking at a painting, for example, try counting the number of flowers in the garden, cows in the field, or other images. Or create as many new words as you can using the lettering on a sign. Think about how the message on a health awareness poster might affect you. Whatever it takes, keep focusing on something other than the shot until it's over. Cough. Research shows that coughing once before and once during the shot can help some people feel less pain. Relax your arm. If you're tense, it can make a shot hurt more — especially if you tense up the area where you're getting the shot. Sometimes people feel lightheaded or faint after getting a shot. If you feel funny, sit or lie down and rest for 15 minutes. Don't hesitate to tell the doctor or nurse that you're nervous before getting the shot. Medical professionals are used to people who are afraid of shots and they'll be able to help you relax. Back to Articles Related Articles Encephalitis Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain. Although encephalitis sounds scary, understanding its causes, symptoms, and treatment can help you feel prepared to deal with it if you ever need to. Read More What's a Normal Reaction to a Shot? Find out what the experts have to say. Read More Blood Test (Video) These videos show what's involved in getting a blood test and what it's like to be the person taking the blood sample. Read More Immunizations Missing out on shots puts you at more serious risk than you might think. That one little "ouch" moment protects you from some major health problems. Read More HPV Vaccine The HPV vaccine can help protect against the virus that causes genital warts and may lead to some kinds of cancer. Find out more in this article for teens. Read More Tetanus Tetanus is a bacterial infection that grows in a contaminated wound. Because it can be serious, it's important to get immunized. Find out more. Read More Blood Transfusions About 5 million people a year get blood transfusions in the United States. This article explains why people need them and who donates the blood used. Read More The Flu Vaccine Doctors recommend that all teens get vaccinated against the flu. Here are the facts on flu vaccines. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.