Of all the resets we teach at Pressing RESET workshops, there is always one I tell people to make sure they get because it is so ridiculously simple and easy to miss, but perhaps the most transformative: holding the tongue on the roof of your mouth. Believe it or not – no, you should believe it – how you hold your tongue inside your mouth matters. A lot.
You tongue is meant to rest on the roof of your mouth, behind your front teeth. This “resting” position is a powerful neurological switch for your body. Without going into too much detail, it simply just makes your body perform better. Yes, tongue position is a performance enhancer, just ask Michael Jordan. It can help you breathe better, stand taller, jump higher, and sleep better. I know it seems crazy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. I’ll tell you what I tell everyone in a workshop: Learn to keep your tongue on the roof of your mouth. It can change your life. It is THE RESET underneath all the other resets. It’s the foundation of the foundation. And, it is powerful.
Holding your tongue on the roof of your mouth can help restore your body and help you maintain your health, which means it can help you live your life better; on many levels.
Holding your tongue on the roof of your mouth can also restore and improve your relationship with others. For example, Let’s say you and your spouse get in an argument about the trash. Tempers can easily rise over the most trivial (stupid) things, but egos are blinding. Anyway, in such “conversations” it is really easy to say something to put your spouse in their place and “win” the conversation. But the truth is, if you win, you lose. And, is the trash really worth hurling an arrow at your spouse, the person you love? What good can will come from that?
What if instead, in such a situation, you kept sight of the big picture and simply held your tongue on the roof of your mouth, and took the trash out with optimal posture and solid reflexive strength?
Oh come on! That was a little clever, right?
The point is, it’s all too easy to let our tongues fly and let others know exactly what we are thinking or how we are feeling. Our tongue is every bit as fast as our brain, but our brain gets caught up in the moments and often looses sight of good wisdom and “the big picture” in these moments. I mean we often say things in haste, or in the moment, that we really don’t mean but we are speaking out of offense, hurt, pride and maybe ignorance and arrogance (i’m not sure there is a difference there).
Anyway, when we let our tongues fly we often send out words like arrows intended to wound their target. The real problem with unleashing this arsenal is that often the intended target is the heart of the person closest to us, the last person we really want to hurt. So naturally, we hurt them. Makes sense, right?
Can you imagine how your life might be, if you never misspoke a word out of frustration, anger or pain? It stretches the brain, right? Learning how to hold your tongue will absolutely change your life. But it takes practice. Holding your tongue in social interactions is using restraint. Restraint is holding back, it’s resisting that powerful urge and surge of venom that wants to come out of you. Engaging in resistance on purpose is strength training 101. We get stronger and more efficient through consistently exercising against resistance. In other words, we must practice not speaking the first thing in our minds during “less than optimal” social interactions.
Unfortunately, holding the tongue is woven with many other variables, like those mentioned above. Things like pride, impatience, fear, arrogance and ignorance also play a part. Often, the inability to hold the tongue is actually a vision problem; we fail to see others because we are stuck only seeing ourselves. But that’s a book not a blog.
To bring this home, you were made to live a life with strength and health. Strength and health are not just found in the internal, physical design of your body. They are also found in the external, communal design of your existence. Strength and health are influenced by our social interactions with others. Ponder for a second, people are like emotions. They can rise and fall with the right, or wrong, spoken word in any given moment. Words can lift and boost health or they can wound and cause the decay of bitterness. The words you speak matter. The words you hear matter. It all matters, and it all affects your health and the quality of the life you live, especially as that life is woven with every other life around you.
Give yourself the best foundation you possibly can to live your life with health, strength and happiness. Learn to hold your tongue. Learn when to keep it on the roof of your mouth and when to let it create and release health to another. The tongue really is the most powerful muscle in your body. But, as Uncle Ben once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”