Simple Tips on Managing Stress in Dentistry

Stress is a normal reaction for everyone, especially for doctors and dentists who work in a very stressful workplace. There is no exception; no one can walk away from stress triggers. Many dentists in the healthcare field are stressed-out, and managing stress in dentistry has been a challenge.

There’s good stress, and there’s terrible stress; it is okay to be stressed, and it’s perfectly normal to feel stressed.

It’s kind of hard to distinguish whether you’re experiencing good or bad stress, but there are signals and signs that your body lets you know when you’re experiencing too much and overwhelming anxiety.

The typical physical stress signs are fatigue, headache, hypertension and hyperventilation, compromised digestion, and pain in the back and neck area. Emotional stress symptoms include a high level of anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, anger, unfocused, and usually making bad decisions.

All these symptoms interfere with dentists’ daily life and work routines, jeopardizing their practice and patients. 

Dentistry is commonly known as one of the most stressful professions. Especially these days, dentists face the stress of COVID-19 effects on their practice; they deal with the patient’s mouth. Today, everyone around the world observes proper social distancing and avoids physical contact.

Dentists also struggle with economic pressure, time pressure, heavy workloads, running behind schedule, meeting patients’ expectations and perfectionism, handling their finances, and running and maintaining their office operations.

Here are simple ways to deal, cope, and manage stress in dentistry; dentists need to know how to fight pressure to prevent emotional and psychological baggage from protecting their bodies, general health, profession, and personal relationship.

What to do

  1. Self-Care – prioritize taking care of your body. Have the right amount of sleep at night, and start with a simple and straightforward exercise in the morning after waking up. It can contribute significantly to your energy levels boosting your serotonin and endorphin, helping you feel cheery.

Don’t skip meals, eat a full and healthy breakfast before going to your workplace, set up your mood for the whole day, and help combat stress.

  • Good Social Support – talk to someone, do not hesitate to seek professional help to open up about your struggles and stress. Release your inmost thoughts; suppressing undealt emotions and issues can only worsen things.

Let it all out. It’s not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.

  • Positive Attitude – your workloads can be too overwhelming and unmanageable; sometimes, staying optimistic can help you to be productive at work. Having a positive attitude can benefit your whole team and clinic.
  • Take a breather – it’s not wrong to pause for a moment and reset your brain. Don’t be afraid and be guilty if you rest for a while.  Take brief relaxation breaks if needed.
  • Accept situations you cannot change – don’t try to overdo your work; even if you are trained professionals, there are things that you cannot change and control. Accept that fact and avoid beating yourself up.

Managing stress in dentistry is easy as 123 if you’re open and ready to address it. But you cannot reduce your focus on your own, talk to your friends, family, and colleagues.  Acknowledge the early warning signs of stress, and do not hesitate to ask and be willing to accept help.

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