Today's 'Just Notice' Challenge: Are Your Teeth Touching?

Stress, anxiety, and trauma and linked with jaw clenching and teeth grinding.  Learning to observe your physical tension can tell you a lot about your current emotion state.

I saw my dentist last week. We discussed my occasional jaw discomfort (guess who has a tendency to clench with stress and anxiety?). She told me this: There should be 3 mm between your teeth when your mouth is closed in resting position. If your teeth are touching, your jaw is holding tension. Go ahead, check it out for yourself. Find a comfortable position. Take a few slow, deliberate breaths. Allow the muscles along your jaw and face to completely relax. If you really let go, you might notice that your lips part ever-so-slightly. Now, gently bring your lips together, while keeping your facial muscles at ease. Now observe the space between your teeth. What do you find?

Your "Just Notice" task of the day: Just notice where you are holding tension. Set a reminder at intervals of your choosing, and notice whether your teeth are touching. Are your shoulders reaching up toward your ears? How do you experience the muscles in your back and abdomen? Are your hips holding tension?

Notice when you are at rest. When you are driving. In the office. By yourself. With others. When exercising. While reading this post.

Just notice, and observe what happens next.

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