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How Our Bodies Respond Physically to Stress – and How to Manage It

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May 18th, 2021

By Kara Reynolds

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

After the past year’s events, you probably aren’t surprised if you feel a little more stressed than usual. Have you spent any time in mindfulness recognizing how the added pressure impacts your physiology?

Understanding how your body responds to pressure can help you minimize the long-term adverse effects. Here’s how too much stress impacts your physical self and what you can do to manage it.

1. We Clench Our Jaws

Your mind and your body work as one. As such, mental stress can manifest in painful physical symptoms like grinding your teeth. Research published by the National Institutes of Health shows an association between high neuroticism scores on personality questionnaires and bruxism.

Problems arise when the continued muscle tension causes headaches that make it impossible for you to think. You could also break a tooth, requiring a costly fix — and creating more stress.

How to Manage It

If you get frequent headaches or wake up with one, consider bruxism a possible cause. Book an appointment with your dentist, who can fit you with a specialty mouthguard to prevent damage from unconscious grinding. During the day, avoid behaviors like chewing gum and consciously relax your jawline — set an alert on your phone to remind you.


Also by Kara Reynolds:

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