So, I had this grand idea to conduct a psychological experiment on myself. You see, within the past year I have started grinding my teeth a lot at night and clicking my jaw in and out of place. It has resulted in a never-ending jaw popping, pain and discomfort, and the inability to eat my favorite chewy foods such as bagels or steak. Therefore, I decided I would take Pavlov’s operant conditioning experiments and apply them to myself.
Let me tell you how this has worked for me.
Rob hears me clicking and grinding my jaw at night. So, I decided that it was my subconscious that needs to be trained into noticing when I am doing it and making it stop. I told Rob that every time he hears it happen in the middle of the night, to pinch my cheek. This way, I would be applying positive punishment. Soon enough, my brain would relate the grinding of my jaw to the pain associated when Rob pinches my check and then when I would start to grind my jaw, my subconscious would automatically make it stop.
Granted, this is not a very controlled experiment and there are tons of variables. But I was still expecting some relatively good results.
Last night, apparently I was doing a lot of crazy things with my jaw because I got a ton of pinches. And my first thought when I am pinched is not, “Oh, I need to relax my jaw more.” It’s “Rob, why are you pinching my cheek?! Stop doing that!” So I scream and smack his hand and roll back over to go to sleep.
Maybe I need to refine my experiment a little more. Any further suggestions would be thoroughly appreciated.
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