Dealing with a tight jaw or tension headache? Whatever your challenges, we’ve got facial tension exercises to leave you a puddle of relaxation. Your blissful feeling of zen starts in 3…2…1. Hands up who’s feeling overworked, tired, or stressed? If you’re like most people, you’ve got your arm up right now. In fact, according to recent figures, a whopping 70% of people feel physical or mental stress. But with so much worry in the world, it’s easy for stress and tension to creep into your body. It’s common to separate the mind and body, but they’re more linked than you may realize. The more stressed you feel the more your muscles will tighten to protect you from injury and pain. This leads to constant tension headaches, stiff necks, and sore facial muscles that feel like they’ve been locked in a vice all day (you know the feeling).
The solution? Exercises to relax facial muscles.
At Face Yoga, we’ve developed a community of 300,000 women and men using gentle, natural facial exercises to melt away stress and induce feelings of calm. And since gentle facial stretches and poses can send calming signals to your brain to alleviate mental and physical stress, we’re going to share 5 of our favorite stress-busting facial exercises. Ready to be relaxed? Let’s launch into the list.
Facial Tension Exercise #1 – The Jaw Release
One of the first places that tension shows is your jaw. Take a second now to focus on your jaw. Is it tight? Are you clenching? Can you relax your lower jaw and release the tension? When life is stressful or uncertain, you may find yourself tensing your jaw for hours (even if you don’t realize it). This can lead to serious tension headaches. Worse still, you’ll suffer from wrinkles by keeping the skin around your jaw tense and wrinkled. To counter these unwanted wrinkles, try bringing the tip of your tongue to the highest point of the roof of your mouth. You should feel resistance in trying to reach this high point (that’s a good thing). This relaxing facial exercise pose will help you unclench your jaw and work out the skin of your cheeks for a movement that’s calming and wrinkle-busting. Psssst. Check out these 4 exercises for a gorgeous and sharp jawline (you’ll love #2)
Facial Tension Exercise #2 – The Relaxed Jaw Release
OK, we just covered a facial exercise to relax the muscles of your jaw, but since your jaw can hold serious stress we wanted to dive even deeper! This facial exercise pose is slightly more advanced, so if you feel you’ve comfortably mastered the previous pose, move on to this exercise. You’ll want to start by resting the tip of your tongue against the back of your top teeth. Once your tongue is in place, start to slowly lower your bottom jaw. Now, gently open and close your mouth while keeping your tongue pressed firmly on those top teeth. For best results, keep your jaw entirely relaxed during this movement.
Facial Tension Exercise #3 – The Gentle Jaw Massage
With so many amazing exercises for relaxing the jaw, we had to slip just *one* more in (you’ll thank us when you wake up with smooth skin and a relaxed, serene jawline). Holding tension in the jaw typically leads to deeper lines and wrinkles around the mouth, and even in your neck area, so these jaw-release facial exercises help by reducing stress AND improving the appearance of your skin. Of all the exercises to loosen jaw muscles, this is one of our personal favorites. Here’s how you perform this popular exercise to loosen the jaw. First, form your hands into loose fists and place your knuckles just under your cheekbones. Maintain gentle pressure against your skin while slowly opening and closing your mouth. This will feel like a soft, soothing massage against your cheeks, so continue this for 60 seconds. Although this Face Yoga movement may feel like a calming massage, you’re helping to activate the muscles of your jawline to reduce tension, stimulate lymphatic drainage to remove toxins and bring nutrients to the skin and leave your jaw free of stress and tension. That’s a win-win-WIN!
Facial Tension Exercise #4 – The Surprised Eyes
After the jaw, tension can quickly find its way to your forehead. And when you’re constantly furrowing your brow, wrinkles can easily form. To counter these wrinkles and drain the stress from your forehead, try widening your eyes to expose as much of the whites of your eyes as possible (without causing any pain). Aim to hold this expression until your eyes begin to water and you need to close them. This facial relaxation exercise activates the muscles around your forehead and helps counter the effects of constant scowling and stress by performing the opposite action.
Facial Tension Exercise #5 – The Anti-Crow’s Feet
When you feel stressed, your skin shows it. In fact, studies show stress has x impact on the skin so those feelings of anxiety and discomfort aren’t just getting in the way of being productive, they’re actually harming your skin and making you appear older than you are. To relax the muscles of your eyes, try winking with your lower eyelid only. Sounds tough, right? (Don’t worry, with practice you’ll be a pro at this facial relaxation exercise). To start, try lifting and releasing your lower eyelid WITHOUT moving any other facial muscles. You may find it easier to use a fingertip to assist with this movement at first, but be careful to avoid dragging your skin as the skin around your eyes is up to 10x more delicate than the skin on the rest of your face. Over time you’ll find you can control your lower eyelid, and by ‘winking’ with the lower lid, you’ll help this delicate skin stay firm and stop folding into itself – which causes stress-related wrinkles.
Keen to wipe out even more eye wrinkles? Try these 4 x 100% natural beauty hacks for maximum results.
Looking for More Exercises to Relax Facial Muscles?
If the thought of regulating your anxiety and stress levels (not to mention unclenching that tight jaw that leaves you feeling stiff and sore) is appealing, then we’ve got great news for you. We’ve created a short (and fun) quiz that takes a couple of minutes but creates a 100% custom Face Yoga program suited to your goals, skin, and lifestyle.