Tag Archives: health

How to Address Workplace Stress

address_your_stress

by Luke Elliott, MS, MD, FAAFP, MBA, Assistant Professor, Oakland University-William Beaumont School of Medicine

Our body at rest is in a homeostatic state, but when presented with a perceived physical or emotional threat, our body is able to react quickly. This reaction is called the “fight-or-flight” reaction, that is, we either stand our ground or run when faced with a dangerous situation.

work-life balanceThe workplace can be filled with many “dangers,” which need a quick response. In the workplace we feel the pressure of processing more and more, and yet, at the same time, maintaining excellent quality. And, we are asked to accomplish these tasks in an environment where, at times, relationships are strained, and we have less autonomy in how we work. This can lead to prolonged emotional stress, producing negative short and long-term health consequences.

When we are presented with a dangerous situation, we need to react. The normal physiological process starts in our brain, spreads throughout the body with the release of glucocorticoid steroids, ending in an increased heart rate and shunting of blood supply to our muscles, enabling our body to ultimately fight or run away. The problem is our bodies were not designed to handle prolonged exposure to these glucocorticoid steroids.

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Preventing Medical School Burnout

OUWB medical students

US News and World Report recently published an article about medical schools offering wellness and social programs aimed at helping med students achieve work-life balance. Oakland University William Beaumont (OUWB) School of Medicine was featured for its mentoring groups used to discuss such topics as managing stress and conflict and dealing with mistakes.

We went right to the source and asked a handful of busy OUWB students their tips and tricks for preventing burnout:

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“I cannot tell a lie.” | Health benefits of telling the truth

by Howard Belkin, M.D., Beaumont psychiatrist

George WashingtonWashington’s famous statement regarding his inability to tell a lie is probably one of the most enduring American political myths. There are, however, many physical and psychological reasons to tell the truth. Believe it our not, truth tellers seem to live healthier, happier, more stress-free lives.

What happens when we are being untruthful? First of all, our feelings of worry, anxiety, and guilt all come into play. Our minds have to, first of all, make up a lie and then remember it for consistency. That takes a lot of mental energy away from our other activities of the day. When we lie, we naturally have feelings of guilt.

These guilty feelings added to the anxiety of having to make sure we don’t forget the lie we have just told, can easily cause us to experience the physical symptoms of anxiety. Our hearts will race, we can get shaky and sweaty, blood pressure can increase and even headaches may occur. Add all of these together and we feel physically unwell. Physical symptoms such as exhaustion or insomnia can also develop. Depending upon the seriousness of our untruths, even our close relationships can suffer.

Additional symptoms can also occur. Chronic lying can lead to chronic depression and anxiety. Chronic anxiety and depression oftentimes lead to symptoms such as weight loss, inability to sleep and multiple other somatic complaints. As you can see, it is always best to tell the truth. Honest.

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Is it time for an “anti-resolution?”

by Stephanie Milstein, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist for the BRIDGE program at the Beaumont Children’s Hospital Hough Center for Adolescent Health

Time for an "anti-resolution"?

Year in and year out millions of individuals make, and then break, New Year’s resolutions. Generally, one of the most popular is “I’m going to clean up my eating and get into shape.” Sound familiar?

How about approaching things differently?

Whether the goal is to lose weight or something else, traditional New Year’s resolutions pave the way for something called dichotomous thinking or “black and white thinking.” This is when someone is only able to see the extremes of a situation, and is unable to see the “gray areas” in between. Dichotomous thinking is a very common defense mechanism employed by individuals with an eating disorder.

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Orange you glad you asked | Drug interactions with grapefruit and other citrus fruit

Citrus

Our guest blogger, Jassu Dulai, Pharm.D., Drug Information Pharmacy Specialist, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, talks about a recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal saying the number of common prescription drugs that can interact badly with grapefruit is climbing.

When most of us pick up a medication from the drug store, we are not usually thinking about how certain foods or drinks may interact with it, especially when those foods are considered healthy.  A recently published study found that grapefruit juice can interact with more than 80 prescription drugs taken by mouth. What other foods/drinks should you be paying attention to?

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