If the present global situation doesn’t you out, then this blog is of little benefit to you. If you have found a stress management method that works, you should be selling it! ………I’ll buy!
Stress when talked about generally has a negative connotation, but in reality, stress is important. Systems– biological and otherwise, evolve in response to stress. It is when the system is overwhelmed by the demands of the stress response that it becomes unable to cope and problems arise.
Viewing stress from the whole body perspective, we have resilience in the nervous, immune and endocrine systems until they are depleted. Once this happens, the entire body is affected. Ill health and maladaptive responses appear. Negative effects show up in our thoughts (cognitions), behaviours, emotions and physiology.
The mouth is not spared the ravages of stress induced negative oral changes. Many times it is your dentist that will uncover the tip of the iceberg. The gums and teeth may act as an early warning system that stress is overwhelming the body.
Dentistry is also the source of stress for many that have fears, anxieties and phobias about dentistry. It makes good sense to have a management program for these fears. (More about dental fear in a future blog.)
Stress management is a program or system of activities.
The first step is to recognize that you are coping poorly and stress is now damaging rather than stimulating. Determine the cause. Then determine can you reduce its effects and how can you relieve the negative effects of the stress.
Most stress management programs address:
- Learning skills to avoid stress
- Remediating the effects of stress
Nutrition – avoid known stress inducers e.g. caffeine, alcohol, etc.
Rest – more sleep
Relaxation – hobbies, meditative practices
Social support network – family & friends
- Getting professional help when you have exhausted your own resources.
Consider: “It isn’t the things that happen to us in our lives that cause us to suffer, it’s how we relate to the things that happen to us that causes us to suffer.” – Pema Chodron