Many individuals will agree that stress is a part of daily life. Juggling your work and home life as well as trying to find the time to exercise, eat healthy, give back to the community and still have time for social events can be difficult. Unfortunately, chronic stress can lead to a range of symptoms, including poor sleeping habits, high blood pressure, weight gain, ulcers, headaches and even disorders affecting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) in your jaw.
With this in mind, New Jersey TMJ dentist Dr. Ivan F. Stein offers the following five tips to help you de-stress.
Breathing deeply may seem like an oversimplified piece of advice, but you would be surprised how common it is for people to take it for granted. It’s easy to take shallow breaths or even find yourself holding your breath when you are experiencing stress. Take a five-minute break from whatever is stressing you out and focus on your breathing. Sit or stand and close your eyes. Put your hand on your belly, as you slowly inhale through your nose, focusing on the sensation of fresh air filling your abdomen and traveling up to the top of your head. Then, slowly exhale through your mouth, again focusing on the sensation. Breathing deeply will improve your circulation and slow down your heart rate — both of which help to alleviate stress.
Take a Walk
Sunlight! Fresh air! Improved blood circulation! These are all benefits that you get from taking a walk. Simply taking a 10-minute walk can help you feel refreshed and ready to focus on the task at hand.
Be Present / Focus on One Task at a Time
It’s easy for the mind to wander and start thinking of everything else you want to accomplish while you are trying to tackle the task in front of you or having a conversation with someone else. However, by doing so, you are focusing halfheartedly on many things instead of being present in the moment and giving one task (or person) your entire focus. If your mind is prone to wandering, write yourself a to-do list so your brain can take a break from thinking about the tasks you need to accomplish. Switch off your phone or computer while enjoying the company of another person.
Give Technology a Break
It may seem like you cannot live without your smart phone, tablet, television or computer, but trust us — you can! Set limits for yourself. For instance, do not bring your phone to the dinner table or leave your tablet in another room when you head to bed.
Spend Time With Those You Love
Spending time with your spouse, friends or even your pet can remind you of your place in the community and impart a sense of belonging. Socializing can also renew your sense of purpose, or simply give you the healthy dose of fun you need to de-stress after a long day.
To learn more about how stress can affect your health, including your oral health, or to arrange a complimentary consultation with a TMJ specialist, please contact Headache and TMJ Center of New Jersey by calling (855) 865-3627.