When you can't go outside- go inside
Updated: Apr 2
We as dental professionals have become accustomed to stress in our everyday lives.
Researchers from the BDA found high levels of stress and burnout amongst a survey of more than 2,000 UK dentists, amongst whom almost a fifth (17.6%) admitted they had seriously thought about committing suicide.
There is existing evidence that dentistry is a stressful profession mostly due to the nature and working conditions in the dental surgery and although there has been work done on occupational stress in dentistry, there has been far less investigation of the psychological distress of the job and what impact that has on dentists’ well-being and the care they provide to patients.
It is the environment in which we work and are accustomed to.
But the new thread of Covid 19 is fuelling our anxieties, stress and concerns.
Many of us dental professionals are very often in a state of heightened anxiety. It comes with our territory.
And now, with things continuing to rapidly change around the world due to the corona virus, with so much at risk for so many of us, and so much that remains unknown, it is easy to understand why people are overwhelmed
The amount of new and changing official information being issued on a daily basis, or not- in the case of our dental profession is confusing, frightening, and making us feel very vulnerable in our mental health. We stand to lose so much.
The magnitude of it all, the threat of the virus as we are a high-risk category, the loss of income and all of the worries that brings, the loss of our freedom and concerns for our families and friends.
This immense overwhelming and very frightening situation that we are all sharing, affects us all directly and indirectly, and for many, the normal way we used to live our lives has changed dramatically- and maybe for ever.
We have a great deal of uncertainty, and much stress and anxiety and depression come from a result of uncertainty. And as dental professionals- our minds and bodies have been suffering for a long time, and this now is the overload, the tipping point.
Understanding Stress and Anxiety
A stressful situation whether worrying about the virus, loss of income, your family and friends, the future- can trigger a cascade of stress hormones that produce well-orchestrated physiological changes. The heart can pound, you can feel nauseous, lightheaded, difficulty in breathing, muscle tensions, upset tummy, sweating- or utterly overwhelmed and helpless.
This is the fight or flight response
It has evolved over millions of years as a survival mechanism of our species. It enables us and other mammals to react quickly to life threatening situations
The carefully orchestrated and near instantaneous sequence of hormonal change in our bodies- triggered by the brain, helps us to fight off the threat or flee to safety
Unfortunately, the body cam also overreacts to stressors that are not life threatening, such as workplace pressure and challenges, traffic jams, and family difficulties
Long term effects of chronic stress- particularly in our field of work, takes its toll on our bodies. Chronic low -level stress keeps the brain and body activated- there is no rest or release. We therefore react far more quickly and overwhelmingly to any further stress- such as the challenges brought about the corona virus
But! We can learn techniques to counter the stress response
In light of this challenging time we find ourselves in, and when much seems out of our control, my aim is to share some information and perspective that helps us to focus on those things we can and are able to control
During these times when so much seems so negative, I want to show you that you I can help you to learn the psychological tools to help with varying parts of your life, as well as helping to concentrate and amplify the positive shifts in your thinking and behaviour, your attitudes and behaviour.
I want to share with you a very simple and incredibly powerful hypnosis session for overcoming anxiety
No matter what the theory, anxiety relates to a future time and is usually about a future situation
It also comes from scattered attention and lack of focus
It is the unknown that causes apprehension and anxiousness
Living in the moment can help stop anxiety
We deceive ourselves into thinking that we can control, manipulate or modify the future
In actuality, there are so many variables that we cannot see all the possibilities that can occur
In fact, worrying or being anxious causes more anxiety and may cause missing a moment that could be truly valuable
There is a paradox to anxiety: the more you anticipate what’s going to happen, the more anxious you become
To eliminate anxiety, becoming quiet and allowing things to happen, works better than being anxious about anything that might happen
Learn to give your full attention to everything you do in the moment.
By letting go of the anxiety, you conquer it
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