Stress is inevitable, and unless you’re a Zen master who does relaxation exercises for a living, the minor irritations you’ve been dealing with all day are likely written all over your face. Yep, your facial muscles hold so much tension on a daily basis that one day you’re going to look like a Botox “before” picture—unless you do something about it like, right now. Doubly so if you’ve just pulled a double shift on Pinterest.
Here are 5 easy relaxation exercises to give those facial muscles a breather:
1. Your jaw
The first place we tend to tense up is our jaw, and over time this can lead to issues with our teeth and some pretty monster headaches, not to mention wrinkles. The best way to let your jaw fully relax is to let it hang open like creepy mouth-breather dude who sat behind you in math class. However, if you’d like to relax your jaw in public (without being pegged as a creepy mouth-breather yourself), simply bring the tip of your tongue to the highest point of the roof of your mouth. This automatically opens and relaxes your jaw.
2. Your forehead
I’m not sure which is more tense when I’m on the computer: my jaw or my forehead. If you don’t want to look perma-angry as you get older, one of my favorite relaxation exercises is wrinkling your forehead and arching your eyebrows. Simply hold it for 20 seconds, then let go. Doing this every so often helps make your forehead feel at ease.
3. Your eyes
Close your eyes tightly and hold for 20 seconds. Release, then make your eyes go blank: Completely let go of all the little muscles around your eyes and stare expressionless for 20 seconds. Repeat these two steps until tension’s taken a hike.
4. Your nose
Yes, even your nose holds tension. Wrinkle your nose and flare your nostrils. Hold for 20 seconds, then release.
5. Your cheeks and mouth
Remember that thing after music class when your face would be all quivery from playing an instrument for an hour? Bring back that super-relaxed feeling by puffing your cheeks like you’re playing the trumpet. Hold for 20 seconds, then release.
Once you get into the habit of mindfully relaxing your face throughout the day, you might find you don’t even need these relaxation exercises after a while. Regardless, they’re great to have in your back pocket for those extra busy days where even stopping to eat feels like a challenge. Take the time to chill and breathe deeply. You may not be able to put the kibosh on the tension in your life completely, but you can at least do so for your body.
Which relaxation exercises do you use to relax your face?
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Image: Relaxation photo via Shutterstock