‘The mind is everything, what you think you become’ -Buddha
Looking at the state of our oral health can show us a great deal about what kind of psychological state a person is in. Scientific research shows links between emotional stress and caries development which is distinguished by evaluating how certain emotions affect DNA strands. For example, emotions of love and gratitude cause DNA strands to unwind therefore enhancing immune support. Stress and anxiety cause DNA strands to contract, which leads to a depletion of the immune system and decreases the body’s ability to regulate its inflammatory response. This, therefore, makes the body susceptible to a variety of disease and illness.
Not only does stress and negative emotion alter our DNA and bodily responses but it can lead to a neglect of self-care and compromises the body’s natural healing processes.
So what does this mean?
When we can change our emotional well being, we can alter the state of our bodily health!
So how do we change the state of our emotional well being?
Meditation, of course!
meditate yourself to oral wellness
Stress has a detrimental effect on your whole body, and your mouth is no exception. Not only does stress increase the likelihood of clenching or grinding of the teeth but it also causes an increase of acidity in the mouth, a neglect of oral hygiene, dry mouth and a decrease in immune function.
Meditation helps reduce stress, boosts the immune system, reduces chronic gingival inflammation and influences people towards more natural, healthier lifestyles. A calm mind not only eases stress from your teeth but when your body is in a relaxed and peaceful state, your mouth begins to produce more saliva, which helps to neutralize the pH balance in your mouth and prevents tooth decay. Scientific research even shows that meditation reduces the amount of toxins and ‘bad’ bacteria in saliva and increases the amount of salivary minerals. Therefore, a peaceful mind equals a healthy mouth!
We understand that most people have very busy lives – work, chores, family matters, people to see, places to go – all fill up our days. We often think that we are too busy to meditate but meditation actually creates more time by helping us to become clearer, calmer and more focused, rather than going into overwhelm and stress, which makes us feel like we have ‘not enough time in the day’. We recommend 15 – 20 minutes a day of simple breathing exercises to help you feel clearer, more balanced, healthier and happier!
How to Meditate
Four simple steps to mind mastery!
1. Find a comfortable quiet space
Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Either sit up with your back straight and legs crossed, sit on a chair with your feet flat on the ground or lay down, whichever is most comfortable for you. Rest your palms facing upwards on the top of your thighs or next to you and close your eyes.
2. Notice your surroundings and become present
Take a long deep breath. Hold for a few seconds and release. With your eyes closed, become aware your surroundings. Notice the sounds, the smells and the feeling of your body. Where in your body is holding tension? What emotions are you feeling? Bring awareness to these physical and emotional sensations without labeling, without judgment. Look upon them with interest and intrigue, separating any idea or opinion you have about what you’re noticing.
3. Focus on your breath
Bring awareness to your breath. Feel the subtle sensations of the breath going in and out of your nostrils. Your mind will wander, this is normal. Especially if you are new to meditation you may find you cannot focus on even one breath without your mind wandering. This is absolutely OK and noticing when your mind is wandering and bringing your awareness back to the breath is the first step to mind mastery!
4. Repeat repeat repeat
The mind will wander, the function of the mind is to think so don’t be hard on yourself when you lose focus, just keep noticing and bringing the mind back to this NOW moment, back to the breath and the aliveness within the body.
Regular meditation is life changing and you will begin to see benefits straight away. But perseverance is key. When our mind becomes still we see life through a clearer lens, we find peace and harmony within ourselves and our relationships, our health and sense of well-being improve and we begin making better and healthier choices for ourselves.
We assure you, it won’t just be your mouth that thanks you!
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