Stress is something that everyone has to deal with. Unfortunately, the consequences of stress can be severe, from minor illnesses to major organ failures. Stress also builds up in the body, creating a cumulative effect over time, increasing your risks of major consequences. How do we deal with this accumulating stress in healthy ways?
Here are a few tips.
Know Your Critical Stress Level
Stressors are the things that add stress to your life. The more stress you have, the faster you’re going to get worn out. Think of stress like a pile of weights. The more weights you’re carrying, the faster you get tired.
It’s not a linear thing, either. There’s a weight level that you can carry forever, but once you reach a certain level, your critical stress level, you will quickly get worn down. Again, think of weights. At a lower weight level, you can carry it around for hours, but at a certain weight, you can only carry it for seconds.
Eliminate Stressors to Keep Below Your Critical Level
When stress gets to the critical level, it is vital that you eliminate stressors. It just has to happen if you want to prevent a complete breakdown. Not all stressors can be eliminated, though, so you have to look for the ones that you can get rid of. You obviously have to go to work and pay bills, but maybe it’s time to take a break from volunteering or put aside that home improvement project for a while.
For people with dental anxiety, the stress can actually begin months before your appointment. We can help with that. Sedation dentistry doesn’t just relieve stress on the day of your appointment. By helping to create a positive dental experience, it helps eliminate anticipatory stress, too.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
There are many ways that you can try to relieve and release stress. Meditation, guided imagery, or similar mindfulness techniques are something you can do on your own to relieve stress. Find a friend or family member you can talk to about your stress, this almost always helps. If you don’t have anyone you can talk to, maybe you should consider a counselor.
Make Sure Your Body Has the Resources It Needs
Many of us develop stress partly because we aren’t meeting our body’s physical needs. Basic things like getting enough sleep, eating proper nutrition, and allowing yourself time off are all essential to maintaining your health.
Even something as basic as breathing can be impacted by stress and can make it worse. When we’re stressed, we tend to breath more shallow, which results in our brain and other body systems running short on oxygen, which increases stress. Practice taking deep breaths and keeping your body fully supplied and you’ll be amazed at the difference.
We can’t help with all the stressors in your life, but if dental anxiety is contributing to your stress levels right now, we offer sedation dentistry that can help you feel calm at your visit and help eliminate your dental stress over the long run.