Stress can wreak havoc on your mind and body, including your teeth. Stress causes everything from headaches and stomachaches to an increased risk of heart attack and weakened immune system to teeth grinding and jaw clenching (bruxism). Reduce your stress this holiday season and every day with these tactics.
Begin the Day with Gratitude
Start each morning by taking stock of all the positive things in your life. We find ourselves thankful for a career we’re passionate about, family who love us unconditionally, and supportive friends. We are grateful for our good health, a strong cup of coffee in the morning, a good song, food in our bellies, and a smile capable of warming others’ hearts.
Make a List
Seeing a list of what you need to accomplish makes your goals more tangible and gives you small goals to focus on one at a time instead of an overwhelming list. Take big goals and break them down into smaller more manageable tasks and check them off as you complete them.
Take a Moment to Reset
When we experience a stressful situation it’s important to stop and reset. Taking this action resolves the stress and ensures you will not transfer that stress and related negative emotions onto others. Take a moment to identify what you are feeling, take some deep breaths, and put things into perspective. Consider how the situation can be resolved, and learn from it so it doesn’t occur again in the future. How can you accomplish the goal? Who can help? All of this can be considered in moments, but taking that time can transform your day.
Practice Saying “No”, or At Least “Not Now”
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the requests of others and demands on your time and energy, consider kindly saying no, or asking for a timeline on when the task needs to be accomplished. It’s possible it’s not as urgent as it seems. This will help you prioritize. Keep in mind, you don’t always have to meet the expectations of others or participate in all the events you are invited to join.
Take Comfort in Routine
Set a nightly ritual at night to help your brain unfurl and your body begin to relax. Sleep experts recommend a consistent bedtime, setting your thermostat between 60 to 71 degrees, and activities to help you relax from a glass of warm tea to deep breathing exercises to reading a book or taking a warm bath before bed. We also recommend making brushing and flossing your teeth a part of your nightly routine. If you wake tired, with a headache or sore jaw, take our bruxism quiz to see if a night mouthguard might help you have a more restorative night’s sleep lowering your stress of the day.
When you actively practice these tactics on a regular basis your stress will lower and you will begin feeling the benefits of a more relaxing, stress-free life. But change is a process and it can take time. If you are waking up with headaches or jaw aches, you may be suffering the effects of nocturnal bruxism. Occlusal guards, or night guards, help protect your teeth and jaw from grinding while sleeping. Just a 40-minute appointment is needed to have a custom night guard created.