Just about every night, I have a problem with clenching my teeth and tightening my jaw when I sleep — causing sore gums, grinding away of tooth surfaces, pain in my jaw, soreness around my eyes and even a stiff neck and shoulders.
It’s a bit unpleasant.
My bad pillow or aging mattress could be to blame, I suppose — or it could be an inherited condition since my mother always complained of headaches. It might be something else entirely.
A doctor or dentist might not agree with me, but I believe my tight jaws are at least partly a symptom of a spiritual or emotional condition rather than physical problems. Clenched teeth perhaps signify an unsettled life. The problem, I believe, is often as much about stress and uncertainty as about misaligned teeth and previous injuries to my face and jaw.
Here are 5 things that I’ve found help me live a life that doesn’t need to be chewed over during the night. Would they help you with whatever symptoms complicate your life?
1. Breathing more than I have to. Breathing is necessary for life, but deep breathing is a commonly recommended exercise that releases tensions of all sorts.
2. Going outside more than I have to. I don’t do it enough, but there’s always something amazing outside that takes my mind away from my problems.
3. Working less than I have to. I’m often motivated to keep moving, but in most cases, stopping my work earlier than I want and doing something else is the best course of action.
4. Walking whether I’m going somewhere or not. It’s the best exercise for body and mind, I think, and I’m not interested in being convinced otherwise.
5. Living better than I should be. I never seem to have an excess supply of money despite being abundantly resourceful, but many of life’s finer things — like parks, the best museums and most sidewalks — are available free for public use.
But maybe my list is a bit too complicated.
Perhaps my best advice to you — and to myself — is this: Live life with your jaw dropped in awe rather than clenched in despair.
When I remember to do that, I don’t have a care in the world.
Image: Pixabay, edited