Lets Talk About Stress

Believe it or not, there is actually an entire month dedicated to making yourself aware of stress. Yes, it’s true. April is National Stress Awareness Month, and according to Dentistry IQ, dental hygienists feel stressed by their jobs on a daily or weekly basis. Luckily, however, the study concluded that the stress hardly affects the hygienist’s personal life. According to the article “Career satisfaction survey: Coping with stress,” hygienists cite the highest stressor as an employer/supervisor relationship at 33.52 percent. In second place is a personal effort to manage workload at 32.23 percent, and in third place is relationships with coworkers at 19.74 percent.

“A question about the effect of stress on physical health among dental hygienists indicated a split response. Forty-six percent said workplace stress has not caused ‘any physical illness, insomnia, depression, etc.’ However, 42% said the career does have an effect, and 12% were uncertain,” the article states. “Despite any aches or concerns about being a dental hygienist, most would appear to leave the stress at work.”

So how can you manage stress at work?

Forbes.com’s Jenna Goudreau gives us 12 excellent ideas of things we can do in our every day that will decrease those pesky stress levels and allow us to power through our days without getting too worked up. In her article, Goudreau interviews Sharon Melnick, a business psychologist and author of “Success UnderStress,” and here are the 12 things Melnick suggests to do during your workday:

  1. Act rather than react. Identify aspects of the situation you can control and aspects you can’t. Melnick says that you are typically in control of your own actions and responses, so be impeccable for your 50 percent of the interaction.
  2. Take a deep breath if you’re feeling overloaded or overwhelmed or coming out of a tense meeting. A few minutes of deep breathing will restore balance.
  3. Eliminate interruptions by focusing on the task at hand an not getting derailed by texts, emails, social media or things of little importance to your life and your job.
  4. Schedule your day for energy and focus. Schedule breaks during the day to walk, stretch or do a breathing exercise. Don’t burn yourself out by powering through the work day without taking a little you time to recharge your batteries.
  5. Eat right and sleep well, as eating poorly and not sleeping enough will stress out your system and lose the rejuvenation effects.
  6. Change your story by taking a step back to get a more objective view. Doing this, Melnick says, will allow a person to be more effective and less likely to take things personally.
  7. Cool down quickly by trying a “cooling breath” technique: “Breathe in through your mouth as if you are sipping through a straw, and then breathe out normally through your nose,” writes Goudreau. “Done right, you’ll feel a cooling, drying sensation over the top of your tongue. It’s like hitting the “pause” button, giving you time to think about your response. She says, “It’s so powerful it will even calm the other person down.”
  8. Identify self-imposed stress by shifting your focus rom others’ perception of your work to the work itself, which will allow you stop getting too caught up in worrying about what others think about you. When you focus on your work, you’re more likely to impress them
  9. Prioritize your priorities by defining what’s truly important and why. Manlike says it’s important to understand your role in your organization, the company’s priorities, and your personal goals and strengths.
  10. Reset the panic button with the right acupressure point. “Positioning your thumb on the side of your middle finger and applying pressure instantly helps regulate your blood pressure,” writes Goudreau.
  11. Influence others by confronting a problem coworker or employee by stating the bad behavior in a respectful tone, describing the impact they are having on the team or the individual and requesting a chance.
  12. Be your own best critic. Instead of being harsh and critical of yourself, Melnick suggests pumping yourself up. “Encouraging thoughts will help motivate you to achieve and ultimately train you to inspire others,” Goudreau writes.

Stress in the workplace is no fun at all. In fact, it’s downright awful. I think Melnick is right about these tips. We all need a little more sleep and I know I could stand to eat healthier. I also think everyone deserves to pump themselves up with encouraging thoughts. I am going to start practicing some of these things immediately, and I sincerely hope you join me! Also, remember to take some time for yourself in your personal world, too. I have a feeling a hot bath, some candles and a good book will be calling my name soon!

Katie Devereaux

Resume Coach and Blogger at Dental Temps Professional Services
Katie Devereaux is a writer and editor, who graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism. She has written for several publications in Florida, Alaska and Illinois.
Katie Devereaux

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About Katie Devereaux

Katie Devereaux is a writer and editor, who graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism. She has written for several publications in Florida, Alaska and Illinois.