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Reducing Stress: Are you tense throughout the day?

Clint Maun, CSP

When a person is going through a tense time, they sit around, even in leisure, with their jaws firmly clenched. They have not learned to relent their jaws.

A number of us were taught as we were growing up to keep our mouths shut. Our parents said things like, "Quit sitting around with your mouth open. It doesn't look nice and something could fall in or out of your mouth." Over time a number of people have learned the habits of tightening their jaw and keeping their teeth firmly clenched. This is not healthy.

Stress psychologists indicate that the human jaw was not made to be kept firmly closed. This puts too much pressure on the jaw hinge which ultimately leads to tension headaches, a feeling of stress, and actual medical problems with the jaw. The human jaw needs to be relaxed. This allows for a more soothing end-of-the day feeling.

Now some of your are saying this doesn't apply to me. I don't clench my jaw. I suggest you check this out. Ask a friend or loved one to observe your behavior. Have them watch you in work and leisure situations, and report back to you. Do you sit around with your face tight and in a frown? Are your lips tightly sealed? Or do you keep an open look on your face with your lips tightly sealed? Or do you keep an open look on your face with your lips tightly parted? Do a self-assessment on your own personal habits.

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