Stress in Dentistry: How to Manage Your Stress and Stay Sane

If you are in the dentistry industry, you’re most likely no stranger to stress. In fact, according to Mental Health Daily, dentists rank number 2 in professions with high suicide rates. The only profession that ranked higher was that of medical doctors.

The odds are nearly twice that of other professions that dentists will take their own life. This suggests that the dental industry is surely fighting an uphill battle.

So, should everyone in dentistry turn in their resignation slip right now?

No. We realize that after all of those years in college, there’s no turning back now. At least not without serious consequences.

So, what to do?

Don’t worry.

We’ve got your guide to staying sane in the dentist industry.

Read on for everything you need to know to keep your senses, without changing professions!

Tips to Stay Sane and Beat Stress in Dentistry

Stress in dentistry is no joke. That’s why we are bringing you this guide to keep you sane and make sure that you don’t turn your back on the industry.

Without further adieu…

Here’s your secret to staying sane, even when your life is dentistry.

1. Don’t Forget Life Outside of the Office

Often, dental professionals will get bogged down with just one more patient.

But, it’s up to you to set necessary boundaries. It’s up to you to draw the line. You don’t have to give up the rest of your life just to be a good dentist, or hygienist, or office manager, or assistant.

You can walk away. In fact, you are perfectly entitled to walk away from a job that is wearing you down, day after day, and leaving nothing for your family or your life aside from your career.

Do yourself and your entire office a favor. When it gets to be too much, leave.

2. Take a Mental Health Day

Everyone experiences stress from time to time.

Work-related stress is one of the top triggers of anxiety and other mental health problems. Stress in dentistry can be particularly high. That’s why it’s important that you prioritize your mental health.

Many people feel guilty about taking a “mental health day.” But, taking time off to recoup and rest might actually benefit your employer in the long run.

Research suggests that employees who neglect their mental health costs companies big bucks. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, indirect costs of untreated mental health disorders results in a $79 billion annual loss to businesses due to loss of productivity and absenteeism

In order to avoid burnout, depression, and other consequences, workers should take a mental health day when they need to take a break. No matter how important your role is at your office, they will survive a day without you. And, you’ll come back refreshed and operating at your best.

3. Seek Help if Stress Becomes Too Much for You to Handle Alone

There are times when the stressors in life can become overwhelming. This may lead to serious risks and health problems.

One study published by the U.S. National Institutes of Health polled 1,000 dentists and found that most report higher levels of stress than other industries. Despite the high levels reported, the study also revealed that almost one-fourth of respondents “do nothing” when they experience periods of extreme stress.

Unfortunately, individuals who don’t take work stress seriously may end up having serious repercussions, and they may struggle with their stress in unhealthy ways for longer periods than necessary.

If you feel that work stress has become too much to handle on your own, reach out to someone and ask for help.

4. Treatment for Addiction

It’s not uncommon for those working in dentistry to fall prey to the dangers of addiction. Recently, many stories have come to light of dentists who have become addicted to drugs, alcohol, and prescription medications.

Due to a risky combination of high stress and easy access to addictive substances, many workers find themselves unable to resist addiction’s dark lure.

If you or someone you work with need help battling an addiction, you should know that you don’t have to fight this fight on your own. Treatment is available and greatly increases your odds of kicking unhealthy habits.

Read more now about the scary world of addiction and find out how to get help if you are struggling today.

5. Work it Off

Blast away your work-related blues at the gym, local park, or anywhere that allows you to move your body and exercise your angst away.

Exercise is the all-natural, age-old old-fashioned way to boost endorphins and beat the blahs. Not only does exercise make you feel good, it can help you to stay healthy and fit and is an essential component of a balanced lifestyle.

Plus, exercise can be fun, too. Choose activities that you enjoy, ask your friends to join in, or get active and learn a new skill that you’ve been wanting to master.

After just thirty minutes of vigorous exercise, you’ll walk away in a better mood, and working off your workplace steam will bring you one step closer to achieving your personal health goals, too.

6. Talk it Out

Encourage an environment that focuses on healthy conflict resolution practices when a disagreement comes up among co-workers.

Nipping conflict in the bud and promoting open and honest conversation about feelings and emotions is beneficial to you and others who work alongside you as well.

Research indicates that talking through your feelings and emotions helps people of all ages to cope with life’s problems and uncomfortable issues. Not only is this a healthy habit in the workplace, but it can be helpful at home too. In fact, discussing your innermost thoughts and feelings can help you handle resentments with friends, co-workers, family, and your romantic partner.

Not sure how to start the conversation?

Practice using direct, simple phrases that communicate how you are feeling at the time. And, come up with a protocol that workers can follow when they want to be left alone for a period, when they are ready to talk about an issue, or when they feel the need to air feelings out.

7. Write it Down

Many people find comfort in writing about the things that they are going through in all areas of life. Writing can be a relaxing way to sort through difficult circumstances.

Keeping a journal of issues that you face can be a helpful way to track your triggers, and allow you to get your frustrations off your chest without being combative.

Once you get in down in writing, you might review the situation and conclude that it wasn’t a big deal after all. But if you continue to have ill feelings, you can construct a positive way to deal with the problems you are facing.

A journal can also be useful for penning your goals and writing down a plan of action for working through worktime stress.

8. Get Support

You don’t have to rely only on those surrounding you at work to get the support you need during times of stress. In fact, often your boss and co-workers might be feeling the same burdens as you and may be unable to give you the support you so desperately need.

Instead, turn to a support group, faith-based organization, or community of concerned people who are willing to lend a listening ear or shoulder for you to cry on.

Social groups can be hugely instrumental in lessening the stress we may be experiencing in many different areas of life.

When you have an objective person to discuss matters with, you might also gain a fresh perspective that allows you to see things in a new, and more productive, light. It also will help you resist the urge to take your anxieties out on co-workers who may be dealing with common stressors along with you.

9. Broaden Your Horizons

Sure, your work is an important part of your life. But, it shouldn’t be the only thing that you focus on. Developing outside hobbies can do more than just help you to pass the time.

Taking a course to learn a new talent can give you something outside of work to get excited about. Plus, it can boost confidence and broaden your interests and skill-base.

You might even make a few new friends in the process that can help you overcome life’s bumps in the road as well.

So, go ahead and sign up for that art class, take on ballroom dancing, or learn that foreign language that you’ve always wanted to speak. The benefits that you gain will be well worth your efforts.

Looking for More Ways to Boost Your Overall Happiness?

If you want to find out what else you can do to add substance to your life, we can help.

We’re familiar with stress in dentistry and are committed to helping you to deal when you have a bad day at work.

Check out this post to learn about things that you can do to treat yourself and feel better fast, no matter what you’re facing at work.