Managing stress can be tricky. Stress causes many of us to fall into bad habits, which can be hazardous to our well-being. Fortunately, there are ways to beat stress. Once you learn to control your stress, your physical, emotional, and dental health will begin to benefit, and you’ll be back to smiling in no time.
Take control of these 4 common stress habits:
1. Eating Junk Food.
It’s no surprise we reach for sweets during moments of stress. Stress can impact what you crave, which often leads to emotional eating. Furthermore, sugar contributes to higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol can also harm your teeth, gums, and smile.
Our Stress-Busting Tip: Combat stress with good nutrition. If a visual trigger isn’t present, we’re less likely to unconsciously reach for unhealthy snack selections. So keep nutritious foods in your home and office — your body and grin will feel the difference.
2. Not sleeping.
It’s tempting to stay awake to finish work or that new Netflix series. But a lack of sleep can make stress worse. For starters, sleep deprivation slows cognitive function. And when your brain isn’t on its A-game, you’re more likely to make mistakes. Lack of sleep is the second most influential factor associated with the onset of gum disease.
Our Stress-Busting Tip: Get more shut-eye by implementing a regular rest time ritual. A calming routine lets your body know it’s time to sleep. Remember to include brushing and flossing in your pre-slumber steps.
3. Consistently seeing the glass as “half-empty.”
When we don’t have control in a situation, we’re more likely to feel stressed. Pessimists have poor health and are linked with higher rates infectious disease.
Our Stress-Busting Tip: Change your outlook, and you’ll automatically increase your odds of surviving stress. Even if you don’t have full control of a stressful situation, you can still choose to react positively and smile.
4. Skipping the gym because you’re too busy.
60% of Americans adults don’t get the recommended amount of exercise, and 24% aren’t active at all. You know exercise is important, but when life gets busy, hitting the gym might not take top priority. Lack of physical activity is a risk factor for obesity, a disease linked with dental health problems.
The Winning Answer: A little exercise goes a long way. Even if you’re slammed, take a few minutes to move. As little as 3 minutes of exercise can reduce your stress levels. Why? When you exercise your brain produces mood-boosting brain chemicals.
Remember: Good dental health is strongly linked with overall well-being. Keep your stress in check, and your smile and body will benefit.