Can Positive Thinking Reduce Stress?

While we wish our lives could be full of lollipops and rainbows, the reality is that we have to work at it every single day. There are so many sources of stress in our lives. From job worries, the loss of a loved one, chronic illness or injury, a traumatic event, and so on, there are so many things that can drive down our positive outlook on life.

When we don’t look for ways to reduce stress and bring harmony into our lives, it can result in medical ailments such as headaches, chest pain, fatigue, and even an affliction commonly known as TMJ (dysfunction related to your temporomandibular joint).

You’re probably wondering what your temporomandibular joint—yep, we said it. The temporomandibular joints are your jaw joint. These joints can experience inflammation, mostly caused by stress-related activities, that can trigger a whole range of negative effects, such as pain in your jaw, popping or clicking when you move your jaw, restricted movement, and even misalignment. Teeth grinding or clenching, gum chewing, misalignment of the teeth, or an injury to your jaw can all lead to TMJ issues. And though there is treatment for TMJ, seeking ways to reduce the stress in your life is the first place to start.

The power of positive thinking: 10 ways it can positively impact your life.

Positive thinking all starts with how you talk to yourself. This isn’t to say that you should begin to carry on a verbal conversation with yourself—although if that works for you, great, but we might suggest you see a different type of doctor. In this case, when we say that you should talk to yourself, it’s all about the pressures you put on yourself. If you get down on yourself about your work performance, your inability to cope during hardships, your weight, problems at school or in your family, and so on, you start to surround yourself with negativity.

Talking to yourself means becoming your own cheerleader, offering yourself encouragement, or allowing yourself to step back and evaluate just how big of a deal it is anyway. Think about what you would say to your best friend if they were going through the same situation, and then say it to yourself.

Positive thinking can have a seriously positive impact on your overall health.

  1. You can live longer.
  2. You’ll be less likely to experience depression.
  3. You will experience less distress.
  4. You will have a heightened ability to fight off colds, the flu, and other viral illnesses.
  5. Your overall physical well-being will improve (you might even drop a few pounds).
  6. Your psychological well-being will improve.
  7. Your overall cardiovascular system will improve.
  8. You will gain productive coping skills to help you get through tough times.
  9. You will be able to put more energy into better and healthier relationships.
  10. Your oral health will improve in a variety of ways as reducing stress not only helps to reduce TMJ symptoms, but your teeth will be healthier too.

At Millennium Dental, we seek to focus on our patient’s overall health. Though we’re dentists and our responsibility is to help you care for your oral health, your overall well-being is important to us too. When you take care of your whole self, our job gets easier, so we take the time to provide all of our patients with high-quality care. Where some dental practices might take short-cuts, we don’t skimp. We’ll spend the right amount of time with you to understand your overall health and help you get healthier and stronger.

The impacts of stress on your teeth can be quite severe, and TMJ is a severe ailment that requires serious treatment. In many cases, we start by recommending a nightguard. A well-fitted nightguard will help to shift your jaw and teeth into the proper alignment. This solution will help prevent teeth grinding while you sleep; it will also help minimize tension, thus relieving stress-related headaches and pain.

Managing stress through positive thinking.

Thankfully, there are many things that we can do to manage stress. To invite positive thinking into your life, try identifying areas where you might need to make a change. If negative Nellies surround you, you might need to find some positive Peters and spend more time in their presence.

Laughter is the best medicine.

Take time to check in on yourself every day. Evaluate how you are feeling. If you aren’t feeling so keen on yourself, look at what you can do to turn that around. Start by allowing yourself to laugh. It’s no joke that laughter can be some of the best medicine. Laughter can greatly reduce stress. It stimulates your organs and reduces tensions, even on your jaw.

Move your body.

Get some exercise each and every day. You should aim to get 75 minutes of vigorous activity every week, even if this is divided up into just 10 to 15 minutes a day. In addition to getting exercise, make sure you’re eating healthy too. As with laughter, an apple a day can help keep the doctor away. Apples are great for your teeth (as long as you remember to brush and floss at night before you go to bed).

Breathe, just breathe…

Finally, take some time to breathe. Get some fresh air every day, and breathe in that Plano, Texas, air. Take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Do this at least three times, at least once a day. Fresh air can help cleanse the mind and soul.

Positive thinking sounds too simple to be effective, but it can have lasting impacts on your health and your well-being. It’s such a simple philosophy that doesn’t require any fancy equipment or complicated diets, and really, what do you have to lose? No one even has to know you are focusing on a more positive outlook, but they will notice when a more confident, happier you starts to emerge. While you’re getting that positive smile ready to beam out to the world, don’t forget to book in with your Plano, TX, dentist so we can make sure your pearly whites are ready to take on any challenge.