By Lory Laughter, RDH, BS
The topic for a column is often gleaned from reading, listening, and asking questions of colleagues. One of the easiest places to discover what is most pressing on the minds of dental hygienists is Facebook, where numerous pages are dedicated to the profession. While searching Facebook recently for questions that are often discussed, I was a bit discouraged. Almost every page I visited carried a thread on negativity in our career. Even more disconcerting was the idea that only the dental hygienist is the negative force on a dental team. It's a sad, unfounded conclusion some are making about dental hygienists as team members.
In an effort to make a small dent in this perceived negativity, this column is going into uncharted territory for me, using the web to find uplifting, inspirational, and perhaps some sappy thoughts for improving our outlook.
Other articles by Laughter:
- Good online sources for child caries
- Happy learning on the web
- A second look at oil pulling as dental home care therapy
One does not need to look further than Facebook for some daily affirmation. Several pages are dedicated to creating a more positive existence and share thought provoking, uplifting, and even humorous offerings. In 2011, during my yearlong attempt to be less grumpy, I started some days off with a visit to the page, Inspirational Quotes.1 While most quotes are not attributed to the original author, the offerings are still relevant to our professional and personal lives. My favorite quote on this page is from March 26, 2014, and reads, "You don't need to attend every argument you are invited to." Imagine how much projected negativity could be eliminated with this one idea.
Another Facebook page I recommend visiting often -- as in daily -- is RDH magazine.2 In addition to having a positive spin in every post, information on this page can actually improve your career. What better way to end negativity than to be happy with where you are and what you do? Admittedly, my favorite posts are the funny ones, although the links to articles and other dental sites are the most helpful. Visit often to learn more about RDH Under One Roof, what your favorite columnists are writing, and even giggle just a little.
YouTube is another go to place for positive energy. Seeing an uplifting thought put to music and motion makes it more powerful. A concept proven by the number of times you will find an inspirational poem or statement set to the theme song from "Chariots of Fire." I didn't like the movie, but still hearing the song makes me want to climb a mountain or run a marathon -- or at least finish the laundry. One video worth three minutes of your time was sent to me by a mentor, Kirsten Jarvi, RDH, MS.3 The quotes are by modern philosophers and apply to every aspect of our being.
Years ago, a practice consultant introduced me to the video and concept of "212 degrees -- The Extra Degree." The best version on YouTube, in my opinion, has more than 82,000 views.4 If this video does not inspire you to say just one more kind word every day, take the extra step needed to help the practice grow, or perhaps even set one more goal for your definition of success, I will be surprised.
Advancements in technology now allow us to carry access to all the Internet has to offer in our pocket. Smart phones have essentially replaced the phone book, the reference library, and even the little black book. This miracle also allows one to have positive thoughts delivered to their phone on a daily basis. While these titles are from iTunes, similar or exact applications exist for androids. Instant Pep Talk -- Happiness sends daily inspirational thoughts and allows you to share those with friends and contacts.5 There is a quote from this application I often turn to when feeling like I am in over my head. "The secret to overnight success is every day positivity + every day action."
The subject of positive words cannot be completely covered without addressing the work of Dr. Masaru Emoto. In his work with water, Dr. Emoto was able to demonstrate the effects of negative and positive words on the formation of crystals within the water. Positive words and music produce crystals more appealing and pleasant than those created by negativity.6 The photos on this website may cause you to think twice when addressing the subject of our profession.
Open and honest conversation is essential to the growth and expansion of our professional duties; no progress will be made with head nodding and constant back patting. With ongoing conversations, there will be disagreements, both big and small. We learn the most from those who do not share our views or beliefs.
Yet, with this opportunity for dialogue comes a responsibility to choose our words and actions carefully. It is possible to address the concerns and worries of our careers without being naysayers. When you respond to a query or comment about our roles as health-care providers, take a moment to think about the words you will use. If you have an extra minute or two, go to Dr Emoto's website and view the images in response to the words "thank you" and "you fool." Choose wisely and choose carefully with the knowledge that your words do have consequences.
The websites referred to in this column can be found at the addresses below.
Lory Laughter, RDH, BS, practices clinically in Napa, Calif. She is owner of Dental IQ, a business responsible for the Annual Napa Dental Experience. Lory combines her love for travel with speaking nationally on a variety of topics. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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