Tell Your Dentist Why Mental Health Flossing is Even More Important than Flossing Your Teeth

June 07, 2019
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We will rush to the dentist when we crack a tooth or get toothache, and rush to a doctor when we cut our leg badly or feel ill. So why don't we see a health professional when we feel serious emotional pain such as: failure, guilt, loss, loneliness, heartbreak, depression? This is what Psychologist Guy Winch calls emotional bleeding. In his TED talk “Why we all need to practice emotional first aid”, he suggests we need to pay attention to emotional pain. Most of us have been told from a young age things like, “Get a grip”, “Pull yourself together”, “Don’t be a cry baby”, “Just give it time, you’ll be right”, but we aren’t told this when we break our arm. Our mental health is equally important if not more important than our physical health so we need to prioritise it as well. Many of us try to deal with common psychological-health issues on our own, but that is like trying to pull ourselves out of quicksand by our shoelaces.  


Guy Winch also suggests that ruminating (playing things over and over in our minds) can be a very strong urge after upsetting events but compelling evidence suggests unchecked it can be a dangerous habit as it can lead to clinical depression, alcoholism, eating disorders and even cardiovascular disease. Flossing your teeth only takes a few minutes and so does mental flossing. Studies tell us that even a two minute distraction can be enough to break the compelling urge to ruminate in that moment. Over a short period of catching and stopping ourselves ruminating (with distraction) we can change our outlook significantly in as little as a week.  Taking care of our emotions, our minds, with the same diligence we take care of our bodies could have a dramatic impact on how much more we all enjoy life! - TEDx