Today it was time for a tip to Victoria House to see Malcolm…my annual dentist visit…
I wasn’t too nervous, I’m not really a nervous patient, when the worst happens and your nerves start to tingle I have a few breathing exercises to keep my mind occupied and my body relaxed. If it gets you tense and worried try this…
1) Breath in for the count of 7
2) Breath out for the count of 11
3) Repeat until the dentist has finished!
Each time your mind wanders bring it back to the breathing and start counting again.
In addition to practising my breathing exercises the prospect of the dental trip made me more mindful. The thought of the appointment coming up has had me flossing more regularly.
The gaps between my teeth always need some attention and I find it a challenge to keep them nice and clean and avoid a hygienist visit! Focusing on the task at hand whilst you brush and floss your teeth means that you do a good job rather than just going over the same teeth over and over again whilst lost in thought.
Taking some time for your teeth can also provide the perfect pause in your hectic day to help slow down the mental chatter going on in your head. Doing it before you start your day and before you go to bed is perfect timing.
Commit to standing still whilst you brush your teeth rather than trying to do a few other jobs at the same time. Notice the sensation of your weight in your feet. Brush methodically round your mouth paying attention to every side of each tooth in turn. My toothbrush has a timer that buzzes when two minutes are up. If yours doesn’t then perhaps set the timer on your phone.
Minding the gaps in your teeth and paying attention to cleaning those areas keeps your teeth healthy. Paying attention to the gaps in your day can keep your mind healthy. Try to build some breaks into your day to be calm and quiet and to focus on you. Notice your breath, notice any sensations in your body, slow down that mental chatter and have some time out.