Physical Activities in Management of Stress and Bruxism

Mental stress contributes to nearly two thirds of bruxism cases in the world. Management of mental stress is therefore key in the prevention and treatment of bruxism. Mental stress can be managed in various ways, with non-pharmacological interventions identified as the safest way to treat mental stress. Participating in mind-engaging physical activities remains the most advocated non-pharmacological interventions in management of stress and stress-related symptoms (Kinchen & Loerzel, 2019). In this article, I will be discussing the various physical activities that can reduce stress and in turn reduce the occurrence of bruxism. 


Yoga


Yoga requires one to assume certain postures during that period of exercise. To maintain these required positions for the required time, one has to concentrate. Therefore, yoga, through intense concentration promotes mental focus thus removing the mind from thinking or remembering the circumstances that led to the development of stress in the first place. Yoga also promotes deep respiration, a technique associated with stimulation of the body’s relaxation mechanisms (Barnes et al., 2020). 


Tai Chi


Tai Chi, also known as meditation in motion is a type of Chinese martial arts that requires one to balance body movements and breathing. Apart from promoting deep breathing, Tai Chi also promotes mental focus as it requires a high level of concentration (Tsai, et al., 2018)


Pilates


Pilates is a form of exercise that aims at strengthening and lengthening body muscles. Just like yoga and Tai Chi, to perform in these series of exercises, one is required to concentrate thus promoting mental focus. At the time of practice, all the body’s energy is directed into the game thus preventing one from overthinking. This form of exercise has also be shown to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with stress such as neck and lower back pains (Tsai, et al., 2018).


Other physical activities associated with reduced mental stress includes walking, dancing, gardening, Qigong, and circuit training. These exercises are also related with the exercises discussed above in that they all promote mental focus and deep breathing (Kinchen & Loerzel, 2019).
 

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