If I asked a dental worker or just about anyone else what the word ‘mindfulness’ meant to them, no doubt, I’d receive a myriad of subjective answers.
That is actually fine, and for someone not to have an idea of what the word means at all is also fine...until now!
Be prepared to be enlightened, as DentalWorkers.com
takes you down the fascinating road of mindfulness! At the end of this newsletter, maybe a whole new crop of mindful dental workers will have been converted, so let's go!
True mindfulness is far from subjective. The acts of a mindful dental worker are actually quite simple. How often do you catch yourself daydreaming, reliving memories, or thinking about bills you have to pay, or that party you have to attend? Being a mindful dental worker (or a mindful anyone!) means to focus on the present moment, non-subjectively. You may be a dental worker, but when you are practicing being a *mindful* dental worker, you are also being a scientist! Let me explain.
A scientist is someone who observes, watches and examines, non-judgmentally, in the present moment. Quite often, we daydream or relive memories out of boredom or because the present situation we are in is not all that pleasant. Think of the times you may have had a not-so-nice patient in your dental chair, or you have had to deal with a rude patient at the front desk. You may find yourself thinking, “Oh no, not again – I don’t want to be mentally present during this unpleasant occurrence,” and you tune out…and that is NOT being a mindful dental worker! However, with some practice, you CAN be a mindful employee, and with mindfulness comes many benefits.
Here are eight steps that constitute the activity of being mindful. These are well known in psychology, and maybe they can help you become a mindful dental worker!:
1. BEGINNER'S MIND – The awareness of seeing things in your world as if seeing them for the first time – new and fresh. Look at that repeat dental patient as if you’re seeing them for the first time; ask them plenty of questions and pay close attention to the answers. You may find out something new about them.
2. NON-JUDGEMENT – This step involves dropping judgement, and not determining if your thoughts or feelings are good or bad, right or wrong. When you are in the moment, simply observe and take note of your thoughts, without judging them. In this case, a mindful dental worker may make a little error while cleaning a patient’s teeth – while this is not noticeable or not the end of the world really, don’t make it that way – try not to get angry for not being perfect, just learn for next time.
3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT – No matter how you sugarcoat certain things in your life, really, they are what they are. Opening up, and becoming subjectively aware of how things really are is liberating – whether you need to heal from something, celebrate it, or learn from it.
4. NON-STRIVING – Going back to the grumpy patient example again, a mindful dental worker will not zone out or try to ‘escape’ a present-moment situation. Non-striving is to embrace whatever is in your present moment, rather than to avoid it. This can help you become a stronger person – both personally and as a dental worker!
5. EQUANIMITY – a mindful person will realize that to expect things to always remain the same in life is unrealistic – balance in life rarely happens, and to pretend it does is unfair. A mindful dental worker will realize this and face life – balanced or not…and be okay with the nature of flux.
6. LETTING (IT) BE – Mindfulness took a leaf out of The Beatles (song) book. A dental worker can look at a patient’s dental problem as what it is and can open up their imagination to discover a myriad of treatments and fixes!
7. SELF-RELIANCE – Believe in yourselves, O, Dental Workers! Learn to trust yourself and make decisions, which sometimes will be incorrect, but with the beauty of mindfulness, comes higher self-reliance, higher self-esteem and a higher percentage of correct choices made – both in the dental office and beyond.
8. SELF-COMPASSION – Love thyself the way you are. Blaming and self-criticism will only hurt this highest rung on the Mindfulness scale. At the dental office, if you need more time to perform a procedure in order to get it right or proper, say so. Take time for yourself outside of work to be kind to yourself; square breathe, eat a hotdog, pet a puppy, feel gratitude. Apply for a free DentalWorkers.com account! If you don’t have a resume don’t worry! Use DentalWorkers.com’s FREE Resume Builder tool to help you craft a great resume. Apply for jobs you would love doing. Ask us questions, through our Live Chat, through a phone call or an email!
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P.S. And if we succeeded in the making you more mindful dental workers, so much the better!