Stress is as much a learned reaction as it is a survivor's response which means, our bodies and minds are on automatic pilot automatically all the time. In order to retrain ourselves and get the body, mind and spirit aligned with our desire for health and wellness, there are a few steps we can take to implement the process:
1) Eat a whole foods, anti-inflammatory diet; reducing processed foods ~ in a nutshell, periodontal disease is an inflammatory response. Stress leads to systemic inflammation. Reducing the infection opens the door for tremendous healing! Plus, the less taxing our diet is on our body, the easier it is to assimilate life's circumstances, reducing stress, yet again!
2) Physical activity ~ we hear this ALL the time and it's true! Moving the body, allowing the mind to be involved by paying attention to the sensations taking takes pressure off the adrenal gland eliminating the need to constantly be producing cortisol. The more we try to figure things out, worry about what was or should be said, weigh in on all the 'what if's' in life and so on, the more our adrenals pump the fight or flight hormone into our body. Research has determined our bodies have established a production cycle and believe it's due to our HIGH stress levels. The more we reduce this cycle, the better off we are. In fact, the less stress we experience means the less clenching and / or grinding we do improving the condition of our teeth and TMJ
3) Deliberate distractions ~ In other words, take a break and do something that takes your mind off the shoulda, woulda, coulda's. Without a doubt, meditation is a mind-blower and when practiced with intent, removes the 'stuff' of life and allows for us to simply breath and delight in the moment. However, if you are not used to quieting the mind, then meditation is NOT the place to start. Here, deliberate distractions with walking the dog, painting, gardening, etc; whatever you enjoy doing, take the time to do it even if it's for 10 to 15 minutes. You have the time AND you're worth the effort.
What is it costing you not to give this to yourself? Not sure? Take a look at what you are paying for doctor and dental visits? Better yet, how much do you spend on medicines, alcohol, cigarettes and sweets? These items ALL negatively impact the mouth causing dry mouth, recurrent decay, gum disease, slow healing PLUS they speed up the aging process! Consider the cost of cosmetic dentistry. How are you sabotaging that work?
There is no mistaking your body is 'asking' you to back off; demanding you take a break and provide excellent self care! You know what? There is NO time like the present … quite frankly, why else would we call it the present if it were not YOUR gift for change?