Dental Practice Broker Articles
5 Stress Management Techniques for Dentists
Before we delve into some techniques to deal with stress, it’s important to highlight that there are two types of stress to consider.
The first type is acute stress, which is immediate and sudden stress that happens as a result of environmental stimuli – one example may be if you double book two important patients and they show up at the same time.
The second is chronic stress which happens over a longer period of time. This can be a result of a difficult home or work environment, and when left unchecked can lead to general anxiety and health issues.
Because these two types of stress are intertwined, it’s important to attack both of them simultaneously. Here we present 5 tactics to deal with both acute and chronic stress. It’s recommended that you try to incorporate one or more of these techniques into your lifestyle if you have the time.
This is the first thing you want to do to minimize stress. Often stress is just a result of our brain feeling overwhelmed because of our inability to deal with all the tasks we have in front of us.
Try to make sure you have everything handled by having a system in place and hiring a competent administrative assistant – they’re worth their weight in gold. If the operations aren’t running smoothly you’re never going to be able to perform at your best, your practice is going to suffer, and you’re going to feel stressed as a result.
Train your relaxation response
The relaxation response was given its name in the 1970s by Herbert Benson, M.D, but variations of the technique have existed for thousands of years. It is essentially is a state of rest that changes your physiological and emotional response to stress – it is the opposite of the flight-or-fight response.
This involves regularly practicing activating your parasympathetic nervous system by taking deep breaths and focusing on a mantra. If you’d like to learn more you can find a quick tutorial here, or check out Benson’s books of the same name.
Take Care of Your nutrition
Nutrition is vital in minimizing stress. Without proper nutrition, your immune system will almost constantly be compromised and you will be far more likely to succumb to external stressors.
Likewise, with a balanced diet you will have the necessary energy to power through your days and not have to rely heavily on caffeine or other stimulants which can promote feast-and-famine energy cycles and chronically elevated cortisol levels.
Practice Regular Meditation
Consistent meditation over a longer period of time has a number of benefits from improving immune function to decreasing anxiety, increasing feelings of joy, and improving focus – all of which contribute to the lowering of both acute and chronic stress levels.
We encourage you to start with 10-20 minutes a day and commit to the practice daily if you want to see real benefits.
Spend Time in Nature
If you spend the majority of your time between home and work it’s no wonder that you may be experiencing stress.
Our bodies crave nature; the smells, sights and sounds, and the feeling of freedom we get when we are in wide open spaces. Try to make an effort to spend time in nature away from the city at least once a month, preferably once a week if possible. You’ll see a huge difference in how you feel in both your home and work lives.
Selling your dental practice can be stressful. Make sure you include some form of stress management techniques in your day to day life to ensure that your health stays strong and you continue to enjoy your life despite any changes and challenges.
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