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STRESS Continued from page 21

What to Do? Given that stress is an inevitable fact of life for most of us, the question of stress management is critical. As noted at the outset, there are countless magazine articles and entire books written in response to the problem. Just as stress itself is an individualized experience, so does the preferred method of stress management vary from person to person. The following choices are my offering; none are original or new but for some reason, many of us are reluctant to make the changes that are proven to decrease stress. The key word is change. My experience with human beings is that we resist change when it involves a shift in habit or routine. And of course, there is the fear of giving up something which is providing the perception of comfort. If you truly practice the following and don’t experience a decrease in the stress in your life, I will refund your money.

22 GDA ACTION DECEMBER 2009

Practical matters and self care • Arrange to get enough rest / sleep

significant time away from your usual and customary life

• Engage in moderate exercise regularly

• Reduce amount of time spent multi-tasking

• Make healthier food choices

• Listen to music instead of talk radio

• Establish balance in your schedule

• Spend time with your pets as it’s proven to reduce stress

• Practice emotion resolution by talking about yourself and your life with someone • Adjust expectations of yourself and others to realistic levels • Lose the perfectionism as it is a denial of your humanity • Set personal limits by knowing when to say “no” and say it • Develop a spiritual or religious practice that fits your belief system and calms you • Learn to meditate • Find a pastime in which you can lose yourself and be enlivened • Schedule time for renewal, with

• Remember to breathe deeply When your stress is causing a significant or chronic problem in your mental health or your physical condition, seek professional guidance despite your discomfort with asking for help. Jane Walter, LPC, is the Director of the Georgia Dental Association Dental Recovery Network. The network helps dental professionals with addiction and wellbeing issues. Call Jane at (404) 3765987 or email her at jwgda@aol.com for a confidential consultation.

GDA Action  
GDA Action  

The Journal of the Georgia Dental Association

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