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Upper body tension is often related to stress and poor posture. And sometimes, anxiety can lead to poor posture, and poor posture can also lead to stress. I work in the office in my day job and often find myself hunched over my desk all day. And if you drive a lot for work, you may feel uncomfortable and stifled.
As we know well, stress equals tension. When stressed, notice how your shoulders tend to creep up towards your ears. The areas where you’re likely to feel stress or anxiety-related tension are your neck and shoulders. Over time, this can lead to chronic pain and other health issues.
When you experience a stressful event or a spell of anxiety, observe how your muscles sometimes contract, even forcefully. This is an automatic or reflex reaction. It’s known as a stress response or “fight or flight” response. It’s your body’s way of facing a perceived physical threat that you’ll need to fight off or run away from. Along with muscle tension, you may also notice other physical symptoms when you’re stressed or anxious, such as a fast heart rate, quick and shallow breathing, cold skin, and sweating.
Although your body’s stress response is designed to help you deal with physical threats, your body responds the same way when the threat isn’t physical. That explains why your muscles may tighten up when you’re stuck in traffic or dealing with pressure at work.
Your muscles and other organs may only relax again once the perceived threat has passed. If stress persists, meaning the stressful situation doesn’t seem to have a clear end, your body may stay in a heightened state of readiness to face a threat. As a result, your muscles may remain tense and tight for much longer than they need to.
Preventing stress-related neck and shoulder tension isn’t always easy to do, especially in today’s hustling culture.
Fortunately, muscle tension in your neck and shoulders responds well to the dynamic relaxation exercise, which I will guide. This exercise is ideal for those dealing with neck, shoulder, and back tension. It can help relieve muscle tension and ease pain and discomfort.
In this episode, I’m guiding you to release the tensions in your upper body.
Listen to this episode for:
- relaxing neck, trunk, and shoulders
- relieving back stiffness
- stress release