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How to Stay Peaceful Around Stressed People
When we’re around people who are stressed and negative it can upset our own sense of inner peace and calm. Here are some suggestions to help you with this:
1. Imagine there’s an invisible shield that separates you from them. See their attitudes, reactions and high expectations as being their choice and decision- they’re not a part of you. You are two separate people – don’t let them influence you.
2. Disconnect from the source of negativity. End the call, close your email, or get up and walk away. When we feel stressed and angry we’re more likely to react – so maintain your control by taking steps to decompress.
3. Avoid toxic people if you possibly can. Avoid people who guilt trip you, or are constantly complaining, or who like to sit in wallow in their misery. They’ll quickly drain your energy and drive you to despair.
4. Be a positive person. Go on the offensive and reach out to people who need some encouragement, a smile or a kind word. That will keep you feeling peaceful and positive.
5. Spend time with people with whom you can connect, and who inspire and motivate you to be a better person. Look out for people who improve your self-esteem, who are positive role models and live life to the full. They’ll broaden your capacity to give and grow as well. (So let them be your focus – and not the stressed out people!)
Human beings are the only animals who can create their own fear where no threat exists. Chronic anxiety can compromise the immune system, lead to high blood pressure and heart disease.
Because fear is a huge stressor. Nature only designed us to experience fear in short bursts, say to run away from a predator. We have not evolved to deal with fear as a constant state. It is akin to running the motor of your car at top speeds while still in first gear.
Somethings gotta give.
Reflecting on the OSCE
Last night, over the period of three hours, we went through the last OSCE, a clinical skills examination involving a scenario with a simulated patient.
As usual, I began quite nervous with butterflies fluttering in my stomach. From station to station, I became more confident and more relaxed, as the differential and the questions flowed through more easily through my mind.
At my last station, I was met with a scenario I had never encountered before in practice. I struggled at the door, scratching my head as I read the scenario. The bell rang and, without any solid grasp of what I wanted to ask or what physical exams I needed to perform to find the cause, I went in.
My struggle was obvious. I had elicited a passable history that helped to point me in the right direction; however, my focused physical yielded no findings. I was stuck.
I paused for a moment, and excused myself as I gathered my thoughts. Ding. One minute remaining. Think Tom. Think! Hastily I added a few extra tests. Again, no findings. Ding. Your exam is now over.
I looked to the doctor marking me, whose eyes asked with disappointment: did you study this topic at all?
No. I guess I probably should.