About 80 percent of workers experience stress on the job. In fact, job stress is by far the primary source of stress for American adults.
No matter what job you have, stress and exhaustion are real. As a dentist, these states can affect your performance and productivity, eventually diminishing the quality of your dental practice.
You don’t have to allow this to happen.
Taking deliberate steps to prioritize your happiness at work is the best way to improve your mood and energize your workflow. But how can you achieve this and at the same time meet your ever-growing clients’ needs?
Well, the solution is developing positive habits that can assimilate into your typical workday seamlessly. You don’t have to do this alone; professionals need help too, and this post is here for you.
Keep on reading to learn how to de-stress at work!
Stretching Can Go a Long Way
Taking a break for a few stretches can relieve your body’s tension.
In fact, you should have about 10 to 20 minutes daily for stretching. Apart from relieving stress, stretching can help to avoid problems associated with poor posture, repetitive motion, and staying in the same position for extended periods.
Stretching helps to relieve stress by improving blood circulation, enhancing breathing, and slowing down. Ideally, by stretching, you’re breaking your typical work cycle, and this allows you to take time out of your hard-pressed life.
Stress restricts blood circulation, and you can use stretches to improve your blood flow to allow the muscles to relax. They also promote better circulation of blood to the brain, and this can boost your mood.
Examples of stretches you can do in your dental office include triceps stretches, overhead stretch, upper body and arm stretch, forward stretch, and shoulder stretch.
Go for a 10-Minute Walk
Since most of your patients’ visits are appointment-based, you can easily take a 10-minute walk when you’re not engaged in your office.
Walking allows you to take your mind off your busy day and clear your head. It also boosts the production of endorphins, which helps to reduce stress. Plus, it gives you a change of scene that helps to stimulate your creativity and focus.
Any walk can help to relieve your head, but it’s best to walk in a park or other green space. This actually can put your body into a state of meditation. Typically, you can gain interest in something, which holds your attention and allows you to reflect.
Studies have shown that walking or standing outside can also reduce depressive symptoms. They help you to reset your brain for the next appointment or task.
Try Breathing Exercises
If you haven’t noticed yet, taking a deep breath can actually induce relaxation. As a matter of fact, there are breathing exercises for relaxation you can do to help your body and mind relax.
Deep breathing is one of the common exercises for relieving stress. Taking deep breaths sends a message to your brain, which relays the message to your body. If you’re keen enough, you’ll notice a decrease in symptoms, such as fast breathing, increased heart rate, and high blood pressure.
The right breathing exercises usually affect your whole body. 3 to 10 minutes are enough to help you reduce tension and relieve stress. These exercises are easy to learn, and you can do them whenever you want without any special tools.
Laughter Is a Great Medicine
Yes, you heard it right! A good laugh offers another great way on how to de-stress at work. You don’t have to laugh yourself silly; a good short and natural laugh will just work fine.
According to studies, laughter triggers the release of several happy chemicals, such as NK cells, serotonin, endorphins, interferon-gamma (IFN), and growth hormone. These substances are usually released every time you laugh heartily.
Laughter also reduces the release of epinephrine and cortisol, which are the major stress hormones.
Don’t fake the laugh. You can use funny stories and satirical blogs or funny YouTube Videos for a good, natural laugh. Punning and goofing with your colleagues should also do the trick.
Just a suggestion: Try a Do Not Laugh Challenge. You’ll thank us!
Always Plan Your Work Day
Planning may seem a trivial thing, but you’ll be surprised when it actually works for you in managing your daily stress. Not sure what to do during your day at work can lead to restlessness, which will undoubtedly cause stress.
You can overcome this by creating a to-do list in advance. Planning helps you to arrange and prioritize tasks.
This allows you to tackle all the essential functions to create time for other things. Plus, it’s a great way to identify possible breaks for stretching and breathing exercises.
First, create a list of things you need to do during the day. Once you complete a task, be sure to check it off the list. How does this work? Ideally, every time you cross a task off the list, you feel a fulfilling sense of achievement and progress.
That sensation gets those endorphins flowing and rocking you all day. Yay! You’re winning.
Engage Your Colleagues
In some cases, stress at work usually occurs due to isolation. When you seclude yourself from the rest of team, it’s easy to sink down into depressive thoughts. Add work pressure to that, and you’re overstretched.
Instead, you should engage in some water cooler chats with your colleagues. Better still, you can have a once-a-week gathering to talk about different work issues. Coming together as a team for a discussion helps to improve relationships and enhance productivity.
Talking to someone is an excellent way for your work pressure to lose steam. Plus, it will allow you to open up on those issues that are bothering you at work. We promise you’ll earn some good feelings after that.
Eat a Yummy Snack
Experts say that eating snacks at work can help to take your mind off your day-to-day pressures. The action of eating itself helps you to relax. Also, you will experience a soothing feeling when you eat snacks you love.
Snacks help to keep your blood sugar levels in check. Ideally, working for long hours usually reduce your blood sugar level, and you’re likely to end up with stress.
Dr. Drew Ramsey of Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons told Huffington Post that there’s a significant connection between the gut and the brain. According to him, the gut mediates the stress response in the body. This is because it’s the largest organ in the immune system.
As such, keeping your gut busy and full can benefit your brain. This is because running out of nourishment will stress your body and brain.
Always eat your snacks away from your workplace in a quiet place. Focus on the food itself, on the taste, and how it makes you feel.
Office Plants Are Great
Having office plants in your workplace can reduce your stress levels. This is particularly important if you work in a high-rise office. People working in such offices are usually susceptible to different illnesses and conditions.
Poor ventilation and toxic chemicals in different office products can aggravate these problems. However, plants can help to purify the air by removing harmful components found in some office furniture and furnishings.
They can also help you calm down as researchers have found that the presence of plants in a room can induce relaxation. This can drop your blood pressure and stress levels.
Plants also produce healthy bacteria that are important in balancing and stabilizing the ecology in your office.
Award Yourself – You’re Worth It
Sometimes stress can take its toll on you. It forces you to brood over your mistakes, failed objectives, and other negativities. It doesn’t have to be that way all the time.
We make mistakes in life, but there are those moments when we triumph. Remember all those patients that called you just to say thank you for your services. Visualize their smiles when they were contented with the results of your procedures.
Don’t forget those funny moments when kids dreaded to approach you or even get into your office. Remember all you had to do to befriend them first before they finally gave in to your witty charms. Most importantly, look at the number of patients you have treated since you opened your practice.
Seriously, you need to give yourself some credit.
Cultivating this kind of positivity within you can go along way in curbing your stress. It will improve your immune system, mood, and overall health. Most importantly, de-stressing can prevent certain health problems like anxiety, autoimmune issues and even hair loss. You can read more here about stress induced hair loss.
How to De-Stress at Work – The Takeaway
Stress on the job can result from both internal and external factors. When left uncontrolled, it can lead to reduced productivity, strained work relationships, and absenteeism. You don’t want to fall behind on those numbers or even postpone your patients’ appointments.
Building a thriving and successful dental career is great, but not at the cost of your personal well being and happiness. It’s possible to manage workplace stress, and this post shares some interesting tips on how to de-stress at work.
Just like your satisfied patients, you deserve a quenching smile, too.