Dental clinicians have stressful jobs. For dentists, the pressure of running a business, dealing with patients, balancing work and family – in addition to other responsibilities – can manifest as physical discomfort. It is no wonder that so many dentists suffer from burnout.
With stress comes anxiety. Chronic anxiety impacts not only physical and mental health. It can also lead to deficiencies in work quality and degrade personal relationships with friends and family. There are however ways for dentists and dental professionals to mitigate and control their anxiety.
1. Get Healthy
It may sound simplistic, but you should never underestimate the benefits of a healthy diet and frequent exercise. Avoiding excessive alcohol, limiting unhealthy foods, and maximizing your vegetable intake will make you feel better. When your body feels better, you are less likely to be anxious.
Additionally, regular exercise can promote endorphin production. Endorphins are natural, non-addictive opiates that are produced by your brain. High endorphin levels are associated with better pain management, elevated mood, and less anxiety.
2. Take a Breather
Just as no vehicle can run indefinitely without fuel and maintenance, you cannot work perpetually. It is important to take time to rest and recharge. This may mean reducing your dental practice hours or simply devoting more time to leisure and family activities. You should also take a relaxing vacation at least once per year to fully unwind.
Stressful incidents should also prompt a brief break. Maybe you’re dealing with an argumentative patient or have a disagreement with a coworker. Take a few minutes to sit, rest, breathe, and calm down. A short break can be valuable for lowering your anxiety and preparing you to face the remainder of the day.
3. Talk to Someone
Even if you’re the owner of a solo practice, you’re never truly alone. No one is. Every dentist has family, friends, and colleagues they can talk with. Keeping problems to yourself can be counterproductive. Conversely, using another person as a sounding board can give you new insight into your difficulties and make you less anxious about the issues you face. You can also choose to seek help from a professional therapist or psychiatrist.
4. CBD Oil
People from all walks of life are discovering that cannabidiol (CBD) oil may provide profound benefits in the form of anxiety reduction, pain relief, better sleep quality, and other healing properties – without the risks and side effects commonly associated with pharmaceutical drugs. Although research is still ongoing into all that CBD oil has to offer, its mood enhancing and anxiolytic effects are already well established.
Daily use of CBD oil may lessen feelings of stress. In fact, if you carefully choose a CBD oil brand that contains no THC, you won’t have to worry about any “high” or intoxicating effects that could hamper your ability to practice dentistry. MARK3 Full-Spectrum CBD Oil provides all of the benefits of cannabidiol – without THC or a psychoactive high.
5. Consult Your Professional Organization
Other dentists understand that anxiety and stress often go hand-in-hand with a dental practice. Many local dental associations offer support and help, as does the American Dental Association. In fact, the ADA’s Center for Professional Success provides resources and tips for anxiety reduction, substance abuse issues, and mental health for dental practitioners. If you feel anxious or overwhelmed, consider using these resources as a starting point for improvement.