Linnea in Berlin is doing 28 things including…

stop chewing the inside of my mouth

19 cheers


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Linnea has written 11 entries about this goal

after two sessions

Tried hypnosis twice, more coming up, something’s happening. Once, I didn’t know there could be such a release of tension, such calm and peace. (And: ohmygod! I can be hypnotised! Hypnosis, it works/exists!) Two, the thing with the hand worked. I don’t like it around or in my face anymore, or do I? Hmm. Sadly, as people with this habit are bound to know, one doesn’t even need the hands. And what to do about that?


Jan 14, 10:52AM PST

There were days that could have been good days, if it weren’t for this. And that pains me. As does every instant when someone shoots glances at my mouth (wrinkles). I was in the process of getting a new dental mouth guard and set it as a personal challenge here on 43things to relax, to wear my brace as often as possible, and to believe that it is possible for me to stop – but to no avail. The person who gave me the new brace just shrugged her shoulders – no help to be gotten from them. So on the mental to do-list, there still is (and I should have done this a long time ago) try yoga / learn to relax / perhaps put mirror on top of monitor (self-monitoring!) / and, a new entry, spend money on a hypnotist. Yep.

Mar 11, 12:54PM PST

I found the name for this : Morsicatio buccarum et labiorum (excessive or chronic or something cheek and lip biting). What helps? Concentration and discipline, I’m sure… (Nothing I’m good at, but that can be practised, can’t it?)

Apr 20, 08:25AM PDT

I can’t believe I did this. I contacted a hypnotherapist today. Finding one who makes a good impression was almost – almost – as bad as looking for a therapist. I’m now simultaneously quite proud of myself (yay! made the calls!) and on the verge of tears (it’s embarassing, I don’t want to have this problem, don’t want to talk to/place my trust in a second person, and most of all, I don’t want to spend hundreds (?) of Euros on hypnosis). But what else – the internet is filled with people who are completely clueless as to how to stop this compulsive behavior.

The one time I almost stopped was during a recent, rather shortish vacation. Eureka! Want more of that, more vacation. But who doesn’t?


It’s worse than ever. Afternoons, never mornings. Imperfections, as someone here has rightly called them, that are there all of a sudden. Still haven’t got around yoga, and lately considered hypnosis, too – next yoga session at the gym is Monday night and I should go. About hypnosis, I’m really, really not the type for that… but desperate. I begin to think that I should wear this mouth guard at ALL times – but that doesn’t guarantee that I won’t start again a few months from now. So, what triggers this? Is it “only” nervosity, or something else?

stress relief

I was onto something… my therapist recommended yoga, too. When I asked what to about my tick, she said that I should learn to relax my facial muscles. It’s true that my jaw feels tense most of the time. Yoga apparently helps to learn to systematically tense and then relax different muscles in the body (or face), and prevents one from involuntarily doing that. I know next to nothing about yoga, but I texted my friend and she’ll be happy to take me to her classes.

bad times

I can’t stop. I wear the mouth guard, for instance when I’m in the library – and feel relieved, but also afraid of running into somebody who wants to talk. Thank goodness it’s a library. But there’s the office, and the bus home, and each and every moment of forgetfulness. And one minute after taking it out, I’m at it again. It’s probably among the top five things I’m preoccupied with, 24/7. Maybe I should join my friend for those yoga classes. I really don’t know.


If anything it’s gotten worse, and I’m frightened about losing my dental brace/night guard again or of being somewhere without gum. Whether I’m at the movies, reading the newspaper or using the computer, I continue to chew. I saw Milk last night and dove for my handbag and the brace in the middle of the film when I noticed that I was biting my cheek again. (I hope nobody noticed, since this dental brace is as sexy as an eighty-year-old’s false teeth). And of course there’s always reason to chew, since the skin doesn’t get a chance to heal.

I browsed through other people’s entries and found one person who tried a funny way of modifying her behavior… she apparently pretended to be both a dog (chewing something bad) and the dog’s owner (training the dog). ;-) But how exactly does that work? I have a hard time being self-aware when reading, for instance.

So, still no other plans ideas about what to do about this, only the plan to wear this dental brace as often as possible.

a new year and still!

Happy to have my dental brace back (I lost the old one). Those last three weeks without a brace were bad. The dentist still doesn’t fully understand that I don’t wear it at night at all, but in the daytime; but he did say: “See, you can talk normally when wearing it”. Yeah, right. So, 2009, been doing this for like ten years, have developed terrible lines, and now I’ve become dependent on dental brace too… great! ;-) And were there always so many people, 304, with this goal? There has to be some way of helping us, other than the “calm down, stop worrying” approach – nice enough, but how?

Terrible right now.

My last hope (well, besides therapy and a major life change), the dental brace, is only a few feet away from me in the next room, but I forget to use it – and all of a sudden I discover that I’m chewing away. It’s terrible.

let's see

I don’t think chewing gum, which I’ve tried, really does the trick, because it keeps my mouth and tongue in motion – I don’t think that’s good. Therefore I’ve decided to wear the plastic nightguard thing (or whatever this dental care device is called in English) during the day. I will try this for a month… It’s possible to talk almost normally, so it’s fine… as long as phone conversations or speeches aren’t required. ;-)

some progress, thanks to chewing gum

I’ve deposited boxes with chewing gum in the kitchen (where I read the newspaper, so exciting, need to chew, aargh!) and on my desk at home as well as in the office. Whenever I catch myself biting my cheeks, I’ll grab some gum. Or, to be honest, a candy bar/walnut/raisin/chocolate bar… – I’ve turned into a squirrel… but I think that’s better than chewing!

Alas, I’ve not been able to REALLY quit. And my weird wrinkles won’t miraculously disappear, which is a real drag.. But I’m not so ashamed anymore of seeing my dentist.. yes, there might be hope yet.

Linnea has gotten 19 cheers on this goal.


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