Anxiety Tip: Tongue Pressure
This is part of my Start Here series of posts aimed at teaching beginners the basics of the meditative journey.
This is something I figured out a long time ago but forgot to write up. It is extremely simple and I’m looking forward to hearing your results.
- Push the tip of the tongue firmly against the gum behind the front two teeth. Maintain this pressure the whole time you are out, except when you need to speak.
- In especially anxious situations, breathe out through the nose in short, sharp exhales while maintaining the tongue pressure. Each exhale causes a reflexive inhale. This will dissipate anxiety very quickly when it arises.
Pushing the tongue against this area activates nerves which are part of the “positivity circuit”. These nerves being turned on is the origin of both the phrases “stiff upper lip” and “keep your chin up” (as the chin will also rise when doing this). It turns off and directly counteracts the jaw clenching which is part of the strong “negativity circuit” of anxiety and rumination. Mapping the neurological circuits, and how to activate them consciously, is a very important part of being able to consciously control your mood.
Tongue pressure against the front teeth will cause the head to rise and will improve posture dramatically. It will also tend you towards smiling, since that is on the same positivity circuit you are activating. It also keeps the top of the spine active for positive upward energy flow, whereas in the anxiety state lower spine regions (e.g. the adrenal circuit) tend to be more active.
If you find your tongue naturally favouring one “nook” to the left or right of the front two teeth, e.g. between the left and left-middle incisor or right and right-middle incisor, then let it push there instead. This is a natural correction for asymmetrical nerve activity in the face caused by myofascial winding/distortion (but do not worry about that at all while out and about). If the tongue also wants to push against the bottom front teeth at times you should also allow that.
This is insanely simple yet has dramatic, tangible positive results in an almost immediate time frame, with positivity increasing the longer the tongue pressure is applied. Please let me know how it goes!