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10 Hacks to Save You From Morning Breath Fast

10 Hacks to Save You From Morning Breath Fast

If there’s one thing on this Earth that, on the face of it, makes no sense whatsoever, it’s morning breath. How could the simple act of breathing in and out for eight hours during sleep cause such a momentous shift in oral aroma?

Well, the simple answer to that is ‘Reduced Saliva Function’, which is a fancy term I’ve decided to coin that basically means when we sleep, our mouth produces a lot less saliva than when we’re awake. Saliva is responsible for getting rid of the bacteria we naturally produce in our mouth, so when it’s in short supply, that bacteria builds up and causes the bad breath we wake up to each day.

Perhaps you’re not that bothered about the secrets to fresh morning breath but for the sake of everyone you have to speak to after having just woken up, read on anyway.

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1. Don’t Eat Garlic or Onions

Yes, it’s annoying if you enjoy eating any kind of food because garlic and/or onions can be found in the vast majority of savoury dishes. But if you value fresh breath, you should at least try to avoid them, because the potent sulphur compounds in both foods are absorbed into the bloodstream and released when you exhale. Because of this, no amount of brushing or chewing gum can rid you of the odour, just mask it to an extent.

2. Don’t Skip a Brushing Session Before Bed

Your dentist told you to brush twice daily, right? We know the morning brush is to lather our mouths with minty freshness for the day ahead, but the evening brush is also for more than just your teeth. Without getting rid of the excess food in your mouth before you sleep, the bacteria that causes bad breath during the night has a major head start, and will turn your breath into a noxious gas come sunrise.

3. Don’t Drink Coffee or Alcohol

I know, having good breath is really starting to drag down all that’s fun in life, isn’t it? Both coffee and alcohol create a drying effect in the mouth, reducing saliva production and creating the perfect setting for fragrant bacteria to linger and multiply. A Friday night alcohol binge has the ability to repel anyone and everyone with its resultant morning breath, so maybe it isbetter to leave that one-night-stand at 4 am before you wake up next to them in the early afternoon.

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4. Don’t Use Mouthwash After Every Brush

Mouthwash is a double-edged sword in the arsenal of oral hygiene. Sure, it makes your breath smell like mint, but it also dries out your mouth (especially the ones that contain alcohol) and as we already know, that’s no good for keeping bad-smelling bacteria at bay. Using it in the morning is fine as our saliva can omit that dryness relatively quickly, but using it at night will keep your breath fresh for an hour and then serve to increase the rate at which the bacteria multiplies.

5. Don’t Sleep With Your Mouth Open

So this one’s slightly more difficult to fix yourself because we all have our preferred way of sleeping but it will really help. The fast moving air that goes in and out of your mouth (otherwise known as breathing) whilst you’re asleep causes dryness – like a hair dryer – and once again encourages bacteria to settle. Breathing through your nose means that the air skips your mouth and what little saliva there is has a better chance of moving the bacteria away.

6. Try Oil Pulling

Now, I say ‘try’ oil pulling because it might not be the best option for the impatient ones amongst you. This fresh breath method originated in India around 3,000 years ago but the art is simple enough. Take a teaspoon of oil (coconut is recommended but sesame and sunflower work as well) and swish it around your mouth for 20 minutes – yes, that’s 20 minutes. Studies have shown that when the microorganisms in your mouth come into contact with oil, they adhere to it, and so get disposed of when you eventually spit the oil out.

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7. Brush Your Tongue

Yup, turns out this little idea wasn’t just created for toothbrush manufacturers to flog us brand new gimmicks. Just like your teeth (and in fact your whole mouth) the tongue is a breeding ground of bacteria that causes bad breath, so if you don’t brush it, they will multiply throughout the day and night. The good news is that a regular old toothbrush is more than capable of getting the job done although brushing too vigorously could damage your taste buds, so be careful!

8. Smell Your Floss

Ok, I know – gross, right? But smelling your floss (after you’ve used it obviously) is a wonderful solution to that age old problem of telling whether you yourself have bad breath. This technique, brought to you by dentist John Woodall, DDS, dictates that if your floss smells bad or there is blood on it, there are foul odours in your mouth. If that is the case, then go through this list until that floss is smelling as fresh as a person with beautifully minty breath.

9. Drink Lots of Water

Water is the perfect on-the-go cleaning agent for your mouth. Either drinking it straight down or swirling it around in your mouth and spitting it out (not recommended in most public and social situations) flushes away the bacteria we’ve learned to hate so mercilessly on this list. Drinking water also encourages the production of saliva, which of course we all know is your most powerful natural cleaning agent that dissolves the bad smelling substances in food and drink.

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10. Chew Sugarless Gum

Gum is good for the mouth in two ways: it helps loosen excess food and dead cells from the teeth, gums and tongue, and most of the time it’s laced with some sort of delightful flavour that makes your breath smell terrific (mint being the most effective). Sugarless gum eradicates the downside of having sugar erode your teeth and chewing it even after it’s lost its flavour promotes your mouth’s manufacture of saliva.

Featured photo credit: Joshua Hoffman via photopin.com

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • They rile up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

The Bottom Line

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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