Can Anxiety Cause Jaw Tension?

Facial therapy expert Veronica Massa shares some thoughts around anxiety and jaw tension and gives some helpful tips to help with this - attend her workshop on 26th August for more info!



Can Anxiety Cause Jaw Tension?

Do you relate to that?


Becoming aware of your body and how it feels, helps connecting with the feelings/emotions that are causing that tension. Acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself to let them go replacing them with new, positive and expansive one.

Where does it starts with you?

We tighten our jaws when we feel stress or anxiety. It becomes a habit to tighten our jaws, each time we feel emotions or an urge to share something. The jaws can be a major place for physical stress to accumulate. Just as the neck, shoulders and back, the jaws are a hotspot for mental unease to build up.

Why at the jaws?

Because we were told to do so!

“Shut your mouth!”

“Don’t cry, stiff upper lip”

“Don’t answer back, bite your tongue.”

Have you ever been told any of these sentences when you were a child and the years that followed? Probably as we grew up we were told many times to shut our mouth, to swallow our emotions and to tighten our jaws. So, we did and became very good at it…. just hold it in, don’t show your anger, don’t express your feelings. And we bravely keep them inside, attach to them and can’t let them go. We can hide them, but they are still present and active, manifesting through tension, tightness and pain, ultimately holding us back. And every time a situation triggers that feeling, here it comes again, we clench our jaw!

What if, instead of repressing it, denying it and hold it back, we connect deeply to that feeling and accept it as a part of us, we become comfortable with it, we feel it, experience it, see how our body responds to it, and then we come back to our centre, ground with a deep breath and let it go. Doing so we learn to detach and look at things objectively and ultimately let go of those feelings causing the tensions and be pain free.

So when you feel that tension building up and the pain raising, ask yourself:
How am I feeling? What am I feeling?
Which emotion am I hanging on to?
What is it that upset me? And why does it make me feel that way?
Am I feeling upset? Guilty? Fearful? Angry? Anxious? And why?
Which vibration is making me contract those muscles?
Which thought?

Anxiety, what is it?


The fight or flight response is your body's natural reaction to danger. Your brain sends messages to your body that you're in danger, increasing your heart rate (so that you can run faster), causing you to sweat (to keep you cool), and so on. At its core, this fight or flight system is critical for your life and safety.