Personality: Stress Management
We all experience stress in the various facets of our lives. Stress is the body's response to the different changes in our life. The cause of the stress factors vary from person to person, and due to the constant change we experience in our day-to-day lives, stress is often unavoidable. Thus, our goal should not be to try and eliminate all stress, but look at ways of managing stress, and eliminate undue stress. My good friend Daniel E. Choi, M.D. (@spinedocny) has contributed the following to help us in our self development.
WHAT’S YOUR MEDITATION? To effectively manage your stress, you need to find an outlet somehow that helps recenter you and get you back to your best self. I was pleasantly surprised that one of my surgeon colleagues considers RIDING MOTORCYCLES his form of meditation. It was interesting to hear that meditation doesn’t have to necessarily be prayer or yoga (which are both highly effective I’m sure). It can really come in any form and we all have our individual forms of meditation to recharge. I don’t consider myself an introvert but there are times when I just need to unplug, and I seek-out solitude and time with just myself as a form of meditation.
TAKE POSITIVE ACTIONS NOW. The only way I know how to help reduce stress that is bearing down on me is to focus on completing the task at hand. Focusing in on that day. Even that hour, that MINUTE. I can recall the high stress environment of being an orthopedic trauma resident on call with the pager blazing and traumas rolling into the ED. To prevent stress from overwhelming me, I focused on what action I needed to take that very minute to be more efficient and to finish that call successfully. Move, move, move. Make a good decision, get that fracture reduced, return that page, get that cast on, move. And soon enough, the night was over…Identify what is stressing you out and ask yourself what you can do in the next 30 minutes to help solve that problem.
LET THE MOMENT PASS. When in a “stressed out” state, I try to avoid making big decisions. Often times when we are contemplating jumping ship or quitting prematurely, we’re under siege. Things aren’t going right. The grass just HAS to be greener on the other side. Often times, rational thought is not possible in stressful circumstances. Let the storm pass over. Then reevaluate.
LEAN ON YOUR TRIBE. This might go without saying but many in high stress jobs have significant responsibilities and everyone relies on YOU. You are the leader, the go to person, the foundation upon everyone else relies on. So when things get tough, it’s natural to internalize. You may feel you have to be strong enough to deal with everything on your own. Nope. This is a surefire recipe for burnout. Do your best to communicate to your closest friends and family what you are struggling with. Ask for advice. Vent to those who are willing to listen. Your friends and family can offer fresh perspectives reassurance, and positivity that is badly needed in stressful times.