The biggest problem with cheek chewing is the more you do it the more you are compelled to do it as your tongue feels the rough patches and little pieces so you once again feel the need to bite at in an attempt to smooth out the inside of your cheek.
Because cheek chewing can be a self-soothing habit it actually can make you feel better in stressful situations and even be a great source of satisfaction and enjoyment for some people. Nerves, emotional stress, worry, and even boredom can all contribute to chewing of the cheek and inner lip areas. People with anxiety and OCD often find themselves chewing repetitively as part of these conditions.
Here are some things you can do to break the habit or at least minimize it:
- Chew sugarless gum or keep a sugar free hard candy or mint in your mouth. By giving yourself another option you’ll give your cheeks a break and disrupt the cycle a bit.
- Hold a toothpick or small straw between your teeth during stressful situations or times you know you are likely to chew.
- Carry small natural cinnamon sticks in your purse or bag. Keep one in your mouth like an unlit cigarette. This will prevent you from chewing and you’ll get an added bonus as the sweet cinnamon taste also has a calming effect.
- Eat Pineapple. The acidic nature of pineapple helps smooth out the tiny rough spots that make you want to chew more. It works fast!
- Carry crunchy snacks in a baggy like celery so you can chew and crunch away your cares. Another bonus – celery has been shown to be a natural stress reliever, calming both your mind and your belly.
- Ask friends and family to call you out when they catch you chewing away subconsciously.
- Mindfulness is a great step in putting the breaks on the mindless chew. Take notice of when you catch yourself in a chew and take a deep breath, drop you shoulders and relax.
- In severe cases seek out cognitive behavior therapy to help break the cycle.
You’ll appear more calm and confident when you conquer the cheek chew!
About The Author
Patricia Stark works on both sides of the camera & stage as a Media Trainer, Public Speaking Trainer, and Certified Body Language Specialist. She appears regularly as a Guest TV Communication Expert & Lifestyle Expert and sought after keynote speaker. To book an engagement with Patricia contact us here.