Coping with Now Instead of the Future with Dr. Martin Mendelson (DHS25)
Dental hats shorts dental hacks nation. Welcome back to another interview segment here. The dental podcast joining me. Not The first time actually might might be the second or third time. We have one of the Spear Faculty that we've had on before Dr Martin Mendelson Martin. How you doing? I am fantastic. Considering the circumstances that's exactly just to set up the context it is. It's the very end of April twenty twenty so for those of You. Listen this four years in the future. This is when everything is happening with. The virus and dental offices across the country and across the world are shut down and no one really knows what to expect At this point some places right now there are a few states that are starting to open up and so you can kind of see a little bit of what the Framework is GonNa look like as to how things are going to change or not change or whatever but so but you know I think Martin would probably agree with me right now. There is a lot of unknown. There's a lot of unknown in. There's frankly a lot of us have a lot of time on her hands in a lot of us are kind of living in fear a little bit so in so Martin. Martin wanted to come on and give us some ideas. It gives us a little help on this whole thing. Actually absolutely no. I sincerely appreciate you inviting me back on. We've done this a couple of times before Obviously not with the subject because these are certainly unprecedented and challenging times. One of the reasons why I have become so passionate about helping clients survive. These current times is because this is an economic crisis that was caused by health crisis That does have an endpoint. Of course. Nobody knows when that is But there isn't an point and talking to our clients at spear what I say too. Many of them is this. No one can ever say to you in any circumstance. I know how you feel because you can't because everybody is going through a different situation in a different place. However what I will say is that I can relate to a people are going through today and I survived it. I can relate because there was a day in June of two thousand three where all the sudden I wasn't practicing I didn't necessarily have a practice to go to. I didn't have an income and I didn't know what my future was going to be. That was incredibly scary. And it's a time in my life that I live through and I feel a responsibility because of my own personal journey and because of the learnings I've done in the last five years in particular in coaching An- dieting others to speak out and say we're going to be okay and there are certain things you can do and focus on to to actually mitigate that fear so that's really why I'm here today. I guess in in large part and I think the message people need to hear I I will say that Having gone through something similar where what you had known as normal or what you had known as as the thing that made your income or what have you having that taken away or giving that away or what have you put you in a different mindset? I think a lot of the listeners know about eighteen years ago right now I was in treatment still until I I honestly I mean I was. I was pretty sure most of the time I was going to go back and be a dentist but I was out for four and a half months because of because of you know the stuff I was going through in. Interestingly my dad actually was running my practice for me but the treatment the drug alcohol treatment particularly the time was like look. You concentrate on you. Don't you worry about what's going on in the rest of the world and that's I that's a that's a tough ask for anyone. But secondly my poor dad would have appreciated a little a little concentrating on what was going on because he was used her like carrying the load for me but the reality was is that there is a certain freedom in knowing that you don't have control over the situation It doesn't feel it doesn't feel good at first after a while when you get to the point. Where like okay? There's a lot here that I can't specifically do anything about wrecked. There's actually some freedom in that and I will say that for people struggling with Arguing are you stuff on social media or or posting stuff on social media in starting fights? No one's changing signed in. It actually doesn't know how hard you yell for it on. Facebook DOES NOT AFFECT. How much will be required to get back in the office? I mean there's there's just a lot of stuff that we don't I mean we're you people that are used to controlling our situation and right now. Our situation really isn't in our control. Yes and that's a very interesting point too because when this all started I started to or when this all started. I began to see the writing on the wall and I personally retracted from social media. I'm still on facebook but I'm not actively checking it. I am using ramp smart. Move Count and Really GonNa tell you this right now very smart and so. I still use instagram. But I use that for different reasons. Although I'm active on that and the other thing I did was I pulled off all news. Sources off of my the only one. I kept Reuters now. Here's why I'm even bringing this up. There is absolute research around how he will look at your given situation. When you are bombarded by social media and or news that is editorialized in nature. They actually did studies where individuals that got up and looked at their phone and looked at even neutral neutral to negative news. We're twenty seven percent more likely to report at the end of that given day that they had quote unquote a bad day. So what I'm saying to people friends and colleagues alike is is fairly simple unless you are a governmental official or a health official that's required to make decisions for the general public all. You need to know right now is to stay home. That's all you need to know now as dentists of course we need to stay plugged in and know what's going on in terms of regulations when we're allowed to open and so forth but that that's a different subject and so we need to be careful what we feed our minds just like we need to be careful what we feed our bodies because it will absolutely affect how we react to things. One of my favorite sayings is. Did you really have a bad day or did you have five minutes? That was bad that you turned into a whole day on so our lives right now are perpetual bad day but it does. You're in control of how you engage with that bad day. I guess is my point. No that's right that's right and and there's a fair amount of other like maybe just look at the news every day or couple of days or whatever. It's not nothing's happening so important that you're gonNA miss nothing to miss at this point just like the negative input is is really tough to avoid even when you are. It's time to avoid so there isn't any reason in adding to it like try to get all the information you need. Even you don't want it so yeah I do look at it once a day but I will choose when I do it number one number two I don't have the notifications turned on For for that reason as well it was. You mentioned the the F. Word Fear earlier and I'm rereading the power of now by a toll and there was a short paragraph That really spoke to me about fear psychological fear and he talks about how that sites psychological fear is always something that might happen. You're not something that is happening now. And he goes on to say that you're in the hero now while your mind is in the future and that actually creates anxiety gap and so what ends up happening is that your anxiety gap will then be Your constant companion. He says you can always cope with the present moment but you cannot cope with something that is only a mind projection. You cannot cope with the future. And I think that that's really insightful. Because what we're attempting to do is cope with the future. That hasn't even been written yet. Yeah Yeah Absurdities. The here and now yeah. Oh My. Gosh I mean that's actually essentially like I mean I've been doing. I've been doing okay with with the stuff but I will tell you when I'm in trouble when I'm not doing okay. It's not because of what's happening right now. It's it's because I don't know what's going to happen. Trust in and I have I have way too good of an imagination like I can feel that all kinds of scary stuff you know. It's not helpful and I don't eat even if my worst case scenario came true. It's not worth worrying about because you won't know till you get there anyhow. You know what? I'm saying Chester in and it is amazing. How how we can fill that blanket? Honestly Kinda handed unbelievable. The mine loves to do that. I know in our previous interviews. I've talked about one of my favorite authors Michael Singer who talks about. You're not the voice in your head. You're the one who hears it. Nancy so I think tola was one that talks about the thinker versus you and what we end up doing in so many times is when we end up filling in that gap with fantasy thought which is really what it is. We think about it because it's not hasn't happened yet. So it's a fantasy when we fill in gaps with fantasy thought we allow our brains to. Kinda run away with ourselves which is really why being intentional. With your days regardless of your situation can be so impactful. There was a song by heather small that came out years ago. One of the lines is what have you done today to make yourself feel proud and in my lowest moments of not working for thirteen months after I became disabled. I hadn't jumped into the knowledge base that I've embraced currently but what I found which I now understand. Why is that even if I just did one? Singleton thing a day that was that was positive. It actually changed my outlook on things. And so we as clinicians are not used to having all this time on our hands. And so our brain's Kinda spool up and they splat a control so one of the things that I have been talking to. Speaking to most strongly is the idea around having intention within your day. What are you actually doing each day and it doesn't have to be quote unquote significant where you're judging the value or the largess of the activity that you're doing but what are you doing on a daily basis. I think it's fair to say that when we flip the light switch back on our patients are going to be much more reticent to accept treatment either due to financial or health reasons. I mean out fair Saturday so.