Do you often suffer from tension in your face, neck and around your jaws? This is completely normal, but of course very annoying. One of the biggest causes of facial pain is stress and unfortunately that has been happening to many people lately. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that can help you ease that tension. Are you reading along?
Try a breathing exercise – they really work! By focusing on your breathing, your brain relaxes and you temporarily switch off your fight-or-flight response. In addition, breathing exercises can help lower your blood pressure, improve your circulation, lower your cortisol levels and really relax you. Try rhythmic breathing:inhale deeply for four seconds, hold for seven seconds, then exhale vigorously for eight seconds.
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Stretching or massaging your jaw muscles may not have crossed your mind before, but if you're experiencing tension in that area, it can bring tremendous relief. Open your mouth slightly and place your palms in front of your ears. Gently massage straight down your face and slowly open your mouth further. If you've been keeping your teeth tight all day, it can be a little painful, so do it calmly and with discretion.
Whether standing or sitting all day, staying in the same position for too long can cause problems. It is best to alternate between sitting and standing every 30 minutes. This releases the tension in your neck, jaw and face, you get a better posture and decreases the chance that your soft tissues are adjusted in such a way that you can no longer assume an optimal posture. Therefore, set a timer for every half hour to give yourself a reminder to change position.
This is probably the most obvious tip of the year, but it's worth it:by prying yourself away from the tunnel vision that stress can give you, you give your tense muscles a chance to relax. Everyone has a preference when it comes to relaxing and disengaged, but you could try meditation, listening to music, taking a bath, reading, walking the dog or exercising to find peace of mind. Then those muscles will loosen up on their own!
Of course, it also doesn't hurt to make it a habit to stretch your neck and shoulder muscles daily. Sit up straight. Then sit on your left hand. Tilt your head to the right so that your right ear moves toward your right shoulder. Place your right hand on your head and gently pull your head further to the right to intensify the stretch on the left. Hold for 30 seconds, taking a deep breath in and out in the meantime, and repeat three times before switching sides.
The second stretch starts again in the sitting position you just assumed. Before moving your head toward your shoulder, turn your head down so that your nose turns toward your right armpit. Now place your right hand on your head and gently pull your head down again to intensify the stretch in your neck and spine. Hold again for 30 seconds, inhale and exhale deeply and repeat 3 times before switching to the other side.