By: karengray | June 17, 2020

We experience tension in all sorts of ways both physically and emotionally. Physically, tension can manifest as tightened muscles, aching joints, a pounding heart, and more. Emotionally, tension can cause sadness, anxiety, boredom, lack of focus, agitation, and impatience.

 

Have you ever held a rubber band and stretched it out as far as it will go to see how long you could hold it there? If you have, you might have noticed that your fingers get those indentations on them, and if you hold it long enough they’ll probably get tired. If you hold that tension too long or too tight, the rubber band may even break.

 

The same fatigue and strain happens in our minds and bodies when we hang on to our tension for too long. There are simple strategies you can use to relieve that tension, free yourself from the emotional build-up, and prevent that pressure from becoming too high in the future.

 

We respond both physically and emotionally to things that happen around us. Sometimes those emotions feel uncomfortable, sad, or even painful. When that happens, we may push those emotions and feelings away, packaging them up neatly and ignoring them. We don't feel like we’re in control when we are in the middle of experiencing strong emotions. Pushing back those strong emotions is a lot like stretching out that rubber band, increasing the tension and adding more strain to our already busy lives.

 

Emotions are continuously vying for our attention. When we make a habit of suppressing those emotions, they build up and are more difficult to ignore. You may notice that your moods become more erratic, or that you are having a difficult time focusing. You may feel tired, irritable, or that you have emotional responses that are out of proportion to what you are experiencing. You may even eventually shut down, detach, and begin to feel hollow or empty.

 

Wouldn’t it be great if you could release some of that tension and take the strain off your body and mind? What would life be like if you felt more relaxed and able to fully access all your strengths and resources?

 

Releasing Tension in Your Body

Loosen up

Take a moment right now and start with a deep abdominal breath. Exhale slowly and pull your shoulders away from your ears. Now sit back and take a few slow, deep breaths in and out.  If it’s safe to do so, close your eyes for a moment and just allow your body to loosen.

 

That made a difference, didn’t it?  Repeat this short exercise at regular intervals during your day.  Taking a few moments to yourself is vital to prevent and relieve tension.

 

Stretch it out

Stretching is one of the most wonderful things you can do for your body!  The daily impact of our lives causes muscles to bunch up.  Take a few moments at the start and end of your day for some gentle stretching. Yoga, Pilates, and even just a nice, simple stretch will lengthen those muscles and help to release tension.

 

Soak the tension away

Warm water will help to ease muscle fibers and relax your body to release tension.  Try adding essential oils or Epsom Salts to the water to further aid relaxation.

 

Releasing Tension in Your Mind

We know that our mind and body are part of the same system, and when we relieve tension in one, we ease tension in the other. Mental tension can contribute to physical tension, so let’s look at some ways to ease that mental tension.

 

Just Breathe

Abdominal breathing, when done correctly, stimulates the vagus nerve and turns off your body’s stress response, relieving tension and calming your mind. Abdominal breathing begins with pushing your stomach muscles out as you take a deep breath in. Hold that breath for just a moment, and let it out slowly.

 

Using abdominal breathing lets your lungs expand fully and sends a signal to your brain that it is safe to relax. Learn more about abdominal breathing techniques here: https://www.greenmountainhypnosis.com/blogs/post/Your-Guide-to-Abdominal-Breathing-to-Relieve-Stress/

 

Guided Imagery

Using guided imagery is like taking a short vacation in your mind. It allows you to shift your focus away from stressful thoughts that are increasing your tension, so that you can clear your mind.

 

Sit in a safe, comfortable position and take a few abdominal breaths. Let your eyes close comfortably and let yourself remember a time and place when you felt really relaxed. It might have been a vacation, or a time with family and friends, or even just relaxing on a beautiful day. Just bring to mind a time when there was nothing much to think about or worry about.

 

As you focus on that memory, let it become more vivid, almost as if you’re there again now, seeing it through your own eyes, hearing the sounds around you in your own ears, and feeling those great sensations in your own body. Continue to focus on that memory, bring up more and more detail so that it really is as if you are there again right now. Just enjoy those feelings for a few moments and notice when your body begins to relax and your mind begins to quiet down. After a few moments, you can take another deep breath and open your eyes.

 

Do Hypnosis

It’s a lot like installing an update on your phone or computer. When the operating software isn’t working as well as it could, or when a better version becomes available, the update deletes the old programming and installs the new version. Everything runs a little smoother, without you having to consciously do anything.

 

Your subconscious mind is your internal “operating system.” All your behaviors, reactions, habits, and everything you don’t do consciously comes from your subconscious mind. The process of hypnosis allows you to change habits, reactions, and behaviors that aren’t working for you anymore by updating your “operating system” with new patterns, reactions, and behaviors.

 

Try this week’s free audio program “Releasing Tension” and experience the benefits of hypnosis for yourself!


Tension can increase your overall stress and leave you feeling strained and worn out. Begin to practice these techniques and experience the positive changes you can create in  your life as you release tension.



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Karen Gray is a Certified Hypnotist, Registered Nurse, and the Director of Green Mountain Hypnosis. For more information on how you can use hypnosis to change your life, email karengray@greenmountainhypnosis.com, or call (802) 566-0464.

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