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Coping with TMJ Disorder

TMD brings about many changes in your life, but there are some positive coping skills that will help you to manage those changes:

  • Take an active approach to your problems. What is an active approach? It is defining the problem and deciding on what outcome you want. Your energy should be used to take steps toward the solution. Admitting that you can’t do something is very often the first step in solving a problem realistically. Dreams don’t have to change..but your approach to them may need to. Remember that there may be things that you can’t do alone.
  • Seek help.  It is not a sign of weakness. You need to understand when you need help, and learn to be graceful when accepting it. Be as kind to yourself as you would be to another when it comes to asking for help.
  • Have Realistic expectations. Ask yourself “What can I do right now on the basis of how I feel at this moment in time?” You don’t have to surrender all your goals, you just have to achieve them in smaller increments of time.
  • Learn to deal with your anger.  Think about why you are angry and whether or not it is the appropriate response. You will save a lot of stress and energy if you deal openly with your anger.
  • Put positive energy back into the world. Use your talents, your compassion, your knowledge and experience in a way that can help others. You have a lot of great qualities….give yourself credit for them. Illness has a way of making your social world smaller, and sometimes you may think that there is nothing you can do for others. WRONG!  Talk to organizations that are concerned with your illness, ask for specific ways that you can help them. Ever wonder why so many people volunteer?  Because it feels good!
  • Live in the here and now. If you only look back you are giving up on yourself emotionally. Stop looking at your losses…they are not good reasons for living a full life. Stop considering how things were and how they compare to now. Don’t punish yourself for something you can’t change.  At the same time, don’t torment yourself with future images of what should be. Manage today. Live the moment.
  • Be thankful for the good times.

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