Stress and tooth enamel

One morning, my husband said to me with concern (and slight disgust), “You grind your teeth in your sleep.” I never knew that I did this, so I did a bit of research on tooth-grinding. Apparently, among other things, it is often triggered by stress.

Well, that makes sense. I’ve been pretty stressed out lately. The bulk of my stress comes from work. Work is important and all, but I hardly think that it’s worth grinding my teeth at night. Think about it. Deadlines come and go on a daily basis. Adult tooth enamel only grows once. That’s hardly a fair trade.

In the interest of keeping my tooth enamel, I’d like to brainstorm some ways to relieve some tension in my life. Maybe it will help you, too.

1. Do less. I work a lot of overtime. I also teach singing lessons for an hour almost everyday. Also, I bake, blog, keep up a house, maintain a marriage, read fashion blogs, and am in between three books right now. All these things make me happy, but I’m thinking I should postpone taking up knitting until after I’ve finished at least one of the three books.

2. Think less. Some days, it takes me 20 minutes to decide what to wear in the morning. So much energy spent deliberating such meaningless decisions. Just be spontaneous. Save the deliberation for the decisions that actually mean something.

3. Be less. I have a tendency to want to be all things to all people. I think a lot of people have that tendency, especially women. Let yourself be inadequate every once in a while. When we accept and admit our weaknesses, we allow an opportunity for others to discover and utilize their strengths. We also allow ourselves an intermission from the self-imposed perfection charade.

4. Be honest. Lying is stressful, especially when it’s to yourself. Life is hard enough without all the pretense.

5. Have faith. I believe that there is a hole in the heart of every human being, shaped to be filled by this faith, and we are restless creatures until we find it. After all, isn’t faith the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen? And doesn’t that sound like the exact antidote to worry, anxiety, and stress?

There’s my little list. I’m going to try to abide by this and we’ll see how well I do in the next little while. In the meantime, if you have any other ideas, let me know. I happen to have really nice teeth, it would be a real shame to grind them away in my sleep.

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