how to inspire mindfulness in your oral care routine.
Mindfulness...the simple state of complete awareness. It requires nothing except the willingness to fully exist in the moment: neither thinking about your past or future...nor avoiding your current thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness is simply experiencing your present for exactly what it is...without judgment.
On paper, it’s such a simple topic. But in a society that tends to celebrate goal-getting at all costs, it’s easy to rush through the motions of your day until your mind is spinning, your lungs are short of breath, and your last 12 hours are a complete blur.
Mindfulness acts as a gentle reminder that now is just as important as the past or future. It helps you understand exactly what your mind and body crave at any moment. In other words...
mindfulness is self-care.
It has the power to ground you, refresh your mind, and allow you to simply be. Several studies indicate that mindfulness can also:
- Reduce repetitive thoughts
- Calm stress and anxiety
- Boost working memory
- Improve focus
- Decrease emotional reactivity
- Increase cognitive flexibility
The exciting news is, there are plenty of mindfulness practices out there that you can keep in your back pocket and use throughout the day, no matter how busy you are. The only requirement: be consciously present.
We invite you to take a long deep breath, relax your shoulders and face, tune into your body and your surroundings, and explore these short mindfulness practices. You might be surprised by just how easy it is to work them into your everyday quiet moments...like brushing your teeth.
practice micro self-care and self-compassion rituals.
In his book One-Moment Meditation, philosopher Martin Boroson supports the idea that it only takes one minute to meditate, reduce stress, and rejuvenate your mind.
For those of you who don’t have the time to unwind with a daily 1-hour yoga session...or even a 15-minute guided meditation...the idea that your mindful meditation can be completed in the time it takes to brush your teeth is nothing short of groundbreaking.
So, what does it actually look like to practice micro-self care during your oral care routine? Let’s take a dive.
listen to your body.
Brushing your teeth is, by definition, a form of self-care. But it’s possible to take it so much further by simply slowing down and taking a moment to listen to your body as you brush. After all, your body carries unique wisdom that sometimes even your mind can’t explain.
The next time you brush, consider taking a few deep breaths and completing a scan of each of your five senses:
- What do you feel? The bristles on your gums, the weight of your shoulders, or the temperature of the ground beneath your feet?
- What do you see? Your reflection in the mirror? (Give yourself grace, you probably just woke up.) Or can you take a moment to observe the weather outside?
- What do you hear? The bustle of traffic outside or the quiet sounds of nature? If not, take a moment to just absorb the subtle sounds of brushing.
- What do you taste? Davids spearmint, peppermint, charcoal, or herbal citrus? Take a moment to appreciate the natural origin of these carefully curated flavors.
- What do you smell? You might only smell the same things you’re tasting. Or perhaps you take a moment to recognize the familiar, comforting smell of your home.
To take it another step further, think about why you’re grateful for each of these things. And as easy as that, you’ve grounded yourself in the present and found the beauty in an everyday habit.
find your favorite breathing technique.
Deep breathing sends oxygen to your brain, slows down your heart rate, and awakens the part of your nervous system that evokes relaxation (the parasympathetic nervous system).
As you brush your teeth, take advantage of this time to practice deep breathing...and give your mind and body the relaxation they deserve.
Your breathing technique can be as simple as an exaggerated breath: breathe in for 3 seconds, hold for 3 seconds, and breathe out for 3 seconds. Repeat this as often as you’d like. You may even want to throw in your favorite comforting affirmations with each breath, such as:
“I am calm. I am grounded. I am supported.”
Another interesting breathwork exercise includes a traditional T’ai Chi technique: imagine that your spine is a string of pearls. Each inhale and exhale smoothly travels up and down the string of pearls...unique, individual pieces held together by your breath.
Isn’t it amazing how directing your breath can transform your oral care routine into a mindful meditation?
choose other intermittent rituals.
On top of the fact that micro-self care rituals can be easily weaved into your daily habits, they can be revisited “on-demand” at any point throughout your day. Some specific examples include:
- Listening to a short guided meditation
- Completing a full-body stretch
- Reading a short poem
- Repeating a mantra
- Gratitude journaling
- Stepping outdoors and consciously observing nature
These micro-practices have the ability to inspire self-acceptance, peace, and gratitude...and remind you that everything you need is already within you. They have the power to completely redirect your day.
ensure your self-care rituals are actually mindful.
Whatever self-care rituals you decide are best for you (both micro and macro), just be sure to remain truly mindful as you practice them. This might seem obvious, but have you ever rushed through the motions of a self-care routine...thinking about everything you need to do as soon as you’re done? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Just remember:
mindful self-care involves being fully present, conscious, and immersed in your ritual, no matter how micro it may be.
If you ever find yourself bored of your usual body scan or breathing technique during your mindful self-care routine, we challenge you to examine the products that surround you.
- What materials and ingredients do they contain?
- How might they affect your body?
- Does supporting that brand give you a sense of fulfillment and balance?
- How can you better seek out mindful products that align with your values?
At Davids, it’s a conscious goal of ours to provide you with natural toothpaste that inspires mindfulness, minimalism, and holistic health...and reminds you to find the beauty in the quiet, seemingly-mundane moments.