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Forum Category: Practice Administration

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Keeping Stress at Bay

By identifying your stress symptoms and your triggers, you can help keep your worries and anxieties away. There will always be reasons to stress, but too much stress can be harmful to your health and your mental well-being. Here are some tactics to channel relaxation and calm no matter how hectic your days can get!
Tip #1: Do something meditative. 
Walking a scenic route, sitting quietly or listening to soothing music can help you relax and turn off the thoughts that are causing you anxiety.
Tip #2: Breathe!
Take a few minutes and be conscious of your breathing. Try to get deep, slow breaths until your heartrate slows to a normal pace. Your abdomen should expand with each breath--shallow breathing is seen in the chest.
Tip #3: Focus on the present.
It's easier said than done, but try to forget all of your other responsibilities and work on what is on your plate at the moment. By completing one task at a time, and gradually checking off the to-do list, you will be more productive and less overwhelmed. 
Tip #4: Talk it out!
If you're the type of person who feels better after talking to friends or venting to colleagues, do it! Just don't overdo it--you don't want to spread negativity or become stressed all over again from bringing up all of your worries. 
Tip #5: Get moving.
Exercise, exercise, exercise. It boosts your mood and clears your mind.
Tip # 6: Laugh it off!
Watching comedies or going to stand-up shows can really help you relax and get your mind off your worries. Even getting together occasionally with a friend who knows how to tickle your funny bone will help balance your stress with some much-needed laughter. The more belly laughs, the better!
What do you do to relax and eliminate stress? What stress-relieving activities could you incorporate into your future practice?
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Keeping Stress at Bay

01:42 PM | Feb 19,2017
Stress is something that affects all of us at some point. The fact that we are in dental school means that stress is always with us. The tips that you shared in this post are great for dealing with stress. Personally, I have used a couple of those. I find that focusing on the present (tip #3) and talking it out (tip #4) are the most effective for me. After talking to someone and telling them how I feel I always find that things are not as bad as they seem. It is important for us to keep these tips in mind to deal with our everyday stress.

Keeping Stress at Bay

09:42 AM | Jan 31,2017
As a current D3, I find that the tips in this post are both helpful and relatable. Each year in dental school provides its own challenges whether they are didactic or clinical in nature and finding ways to to relieve stress and channel stressful energy into something positive is essential. I have found that in addition to remembering to take breaks in between studying by doing something active like going to the gym or doing yoga, focusing on the positives of my experience in dental school has really helped me get through stressful times. If I have a particularly challenging day in clinic, instead of feeling discouraged, I try and reflect on what I can improve on for next time and come up with at least one thing that I felt like I did well that day. This kind of mindset helps me improve as a future clinician while minimizing the stress that comes with school.

Keeping Stress at Bay

01:54 PM | Dec 26,2016
This forum has been very helpful and relates to each and every one of us. Whether you are a D1 or D4, every year of dental school provides some amount of stress and it is difficult to deal with this in the heat of the moment. However, one of the biggest pieces of advice I've received is letting go of the things you cannot control. If you stress out about all of the little things and those that you are unable to change, then you will inevitably just drive yourself crazy. Instead, focus on those that you do have power over in order to ease your mind. I feel that keeping check-lists and weekly goals has been helpful in combating stress in order to compartmentalize the various tasks we each have on a daily and weekly basis. Staying organized has been a huge help in easing my stress levels throughout dental school!

Keeping Stress at Bay

04:00 PM | Dec 19,2016
What an OUTSTANDING topic to shed light on! So many of us dental students see stress as an inevitable part of the process, and although it may be hard to stay away from it doesn't have to run your life. As I have now made it though half of my D2 year, I have watched far too many of my classmates go through severe times of stress with no idea how to deal with it. If these could be presented to them I think they would do WONDERS for their stress levels. The biggest stress relief for me is #3!! I find this the hardest but best way to escape my worries. If you can put all of your energy into the present you can accomplish tasks better, faster, and feel less overwhelmed! Along with exercise and sleep these seem to be key for me to keep my stress level low and happiness high!

Keeping Stress at Bay

11:46 AM | Nov 26,2016
Halfway through D2, it is easy to see why so many of my classmates, including myself, experience some level of burnout. The workload and expectations are intense, and finding ways to deal with stress is paramount to succeeding in dental school. If dental school is taking away all of what makes "You," you, it is probably time to reevaluate. To handle stress, I incorporated a workout into my daily routine. Getting up early and actually exerting myself physically has helped both my mind and body. Dental school comes with a very sedentary lifestyle, so it's important to stay physically active when possible. Another way I choose to combat stress is by taking off at least a few hours every Friday night to do anything not involved in dental school. Be it catch up with friends, stay in and watch a movie, or cook an elaborate dinner, a successful personal life will translate to a happier dental student. I commute about 40 minutes to and from school each day, and I've started to view this time as more of a luxury than a requirement. I legally cannot study and drive! So I listen to podcasts, catch up on music I haven't heard, and spend some time with myself. You really need to leave your pride at the door when in dental school. Working hard all the time, its quite easy to lose a sense of self. However, focusing on your growth as a human being will translate to growth as a dental student. The most successful dental students I know are not the ones spending every waking moment in the dental school mindset. Rather, they are the people who know when to turn it off, and stay in tune with themselves.

Keeping Stress at Bay

10:11 AM | Mar 23,2016
This is an awesome topic! I think this is a topic that a lot of people struggle with. Stress can be such a negative part of our lives as clinicians, students or business owners and often can lead to making poor decisions that can have some long term consequences. There are so many studies and resources on stress management but most people never really take the time to recognize their triggers and seek out these resources, and before they know it they feel like their head is underwater. Thank you for these great tips! I know I'll try my best to implement them daily.

Keeping Stress at Bay

05:48 PM | Jan 10,2016
This post is full of really great tips! Every year of dental school is full of it's own stresses, but each year we must learn to adapt and find our stress relievers. #4 goes without saying, you can't let your emotions build up inside yourself, you have to let them out and no one understands better than your classmates. I think tip #5 is one of the most important, but less executed pieces of advice. It's too easy to get home from a long day in class or clinic and just go straight to lazy mode, or jump into studying. However, a few minutes of exercise can do wonders. Just a quick walk around your apartment complex or a quick trip to the gym can get the endorphins going and help reduce stress.

Keeping Stress at Bay

12:00 AM | Dec 17,2015
This was a very helpful and informative post! Stress is inevitable during dental school. You have to find ways to manage it. I really enjoy exercising. I try to find different fitness classes, like spinning and yoga. These classes really clear my head and help me stay calm. Tip #4 is really helpful. Venting to friends and family can help relieve stress. I often call my friends and parents to talk about non-dental topics, which gets me out of my dental bubble. Regardless of what you do, you should find ways to release tension and stress caused by dental school. It'll be beneficial in the long run!

Keeping Stress at Bay

05:52 PM | Sep 27,2015
I wish i read your post 6 years ago, I learned to keep stress level down as i went through them in undergrad and dental school. My biggest stress reliever has been playing basketball or soccer for a couple of hours at least once a week. Also, I like tip #3 because simplifying your work load and simply focusing on whats at hand is the biggest thing for me rather than trying to tackle everything at once. Im sure a lot of people would find this post helpful.

Keeping Stress at Bay

08:16 PM | Sep 03,2015
This a great post, I always tell myself to meditate and I do it for a little while and then I stop. I wish I could make it habit and do it every night before bed. To relieve stress I go to the gym, watch funny shows, and talk with my girlfriend. The most important thing I find to get rid of stress is to prevent it in the first place. I see so many people stress out about the dumbest things, like "OMG I am stuck in traffic" or "This professor is such a jerk, he makes me mad". You have to just let the little things go and surrender to the things you cannot change, instead try to change the way you react to things in your life. I have become a lot more laid back since being in dental school, I am not upset or stressed when I am in traffic, I just accept it and live with it. The school is not going to get any better, I have learned to not expect much from dental school, they are not going to change and you getting mad or stress about it will only hurt you. Just come in do your dentistry and be happy.