5 Ways to Reduce Stress at Your Practice

If you own your own practice, patient care is hardly the only task on your to-do list. Entrepreneurship is an inherent part of practice ownership, and between managing your employees, marketing your services and keeping track of your finances, relaxation can seem unattainable. Help yourself find the inner peace you deserve by following our stress management tips. Your employees and patients will notice the difference.

1. Check your ergonomics

Ergonomics are essential to reducing stress and increasing comfort at work. Back pain and stiffness are sure signs of poor ergonomics in your office. Reduce stress and pain by selecting a comfortable chair that gives you proper support and encourages proper position for every procedure.

Hearing loss can be stressful in your practice and at home. Dentists are especially at risk for hearing issues because of high-pitched equipment noise. Try this smartphone app to discover if noise levels in your office are damaging your hearing.

Doing a few simple exercises between patients can also help ease stress by reducing strain on your wrists. Click here for some simple exercises and stretches to reduce your risk for carpal tunnel syndrome and help you relax and practice pain-free.

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2. Swap

Performing procedures that you like can significantly reduce stress. If you have associates, discuss your favorite procedures and you may find that your preferences differ. Use this information to create a distribution that allows you and your associates to swap less-preferred procedures with each other and spend more time performing your favorites. This will reduce stress and improve your practice’s efficiency and work environment.

3. Improve your office aesthetic

Every dentist has undoubtedly heard some form of the phrase, “Sorry doctor, it’s nothing personal, but I really don’t like the dentist.” Operating on an anxious patient can be stressful and disheartening. Try modifying your waiting area to be more relaxing and inviting.

“Your environment is your brand. What’s in it are properties that attract, safeguard and expand your perfect patient and client base,” says design consultant Cheryl Janis. Operating on a relaxed patient can reduce stress and improve the patient experience.

4. Liven up your work day with talents and hobbies

Who says you can’t mix work and play? Bring your hobbies or talents into the office to liven up your workday and benefit your patients. Dan Rangitsch, D.M.D., incorporates his passion for music by playing vinyl records on turntables in his practice. This form of music therapy relaxes his patients and reduces work-related stress. Read more about Rangitsch here.

5. Shinrin-yoku

Shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, is the Japanese stress-reducing practice of spending more time outside near trees. A national health initiative in Japan has advocated forest bathing since 1982. The practice is now scientifically linked to Improved mood, reduced stress, reduced blood pressure, boosted immune system function and more, according to the official Shinrin-yoku website. Take a quick walk or a lunch break outside between patients to use forest bathing and reduce stress.

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