2975 Westchester Avenue, Suite G02, Purchase, NY 10577
Give Yourself Permission to Decompress A CURE FOR STRESS A pril is National Stress Awareness Month. Though if I were to take a guess, I would say stress is something I’m sure most people don’t need to be made aware of. A survey “
FOR STRESS AWARENESS
from the American Psychological Association found 75 percent of Americans report being stressed in the month prior to the survey.
MONTH, I WANT TO SPREAD THE
Stress is very common in our profession. Patients are extremely nervous to see and be treated by an Oral Surgeon. It’s not always easy to alleviate people’s fears, but we try our hardest to put them at ease, helping patients to feel comfortable and trust us. In addition to handling patient stress, there’s also the stress and pressure of performing surgery. In some ways, a little bit of stress is healthy. Stress can be a motivating factor that drives us to work faster or harder. Stress is also part of your fight-or-flight response and can help you get out of a bad situation. However, stress becomes a problem if it starts to negatively impact you physically or emotionally. Debilitating stress is bad for your health, weakening your immune system and leading to fatigue, depression, high blood pressure, and even heart disease. This level of stress isn’t new. Every generation has had its fair share of reasons to be tense. But I think the stress we feel today is more amplified because we’re all expected to live such fast- paced lives without much down time. We’re always accessible by our smartphones, and if we don’t answer a call or text promptly, the person at the other end may worry that something is wrong or get upset. Even when our phone isn’t constantly beeping with alerts and notifications, that computer in our pocket is a constant source of information. It is so easy to get swept up in things that happen anywhere in the world, good or bad. Occurrences we would have never heard about or have no power to change become another source of stress because we’re expected to stay up to date on all the “breaking news.” By now, most people know the toll stress takes on our mental and physical well-being. For Stress Awareness Month, I want to spread the message that it’s okay to de-stress. We don’t have to live up
MESSAGE THAT IT’S OKAY TO DE-STRESS.
to the world’s expectations of us every second of every day. We’re allowed to take time to de-stress and decompress.
When I’m feeling extra stressed out, I make a point to exercise a little more that day. Physical activity helps boost the brain’s production of endorphins, lowering some of the symptoms of stress. Taking a vacation periodically also helps keep the daily stressors from becoming overwhelming. But I think the best way I deal with stress is by focusing on my family. When I get to hang out with my family, they have my entire attention. When I’m not on call, I don’t let myself be tied down to my phone. Instead, I enjoy the moments I have with my family and remember what’s really important. Patient care as a whole isn’t going to get less stressful anytime soon. If you’re the sort who feels tension all the time, I recommend looking at your daily routine. Try to strike a balance between work and fun. As someone who runs two offices, I know the value of hard work. But what’s the point of working hard if we never get to enjoy the fruits of our labor?
It’s not always easy to achieve this balance, but I’ll let you know when I get there myself.
–Dr. Harrison Linsky
Westchester Office • 914-251-0313www.oralsurgeryofwestchester.com
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