I had a significant deadline looming this week, and I could feel the tension coursing through my body as I scrambled to get it done on time. Muscles were tense, and my heart was pounding like a drum for a good couple of days!
Body tension is your body's protective mechanism at play when you're stressed. It's designed to divert energy to parts of your body that help you flee from a bad situation. That's all very nice when it's needed, but sometimes this fight-or-flight response gets a tad misguided!
Here are some quick things you can in just a couple of minutes to help reduce tension and get your body back into a relaxed state.
1. Stretch Your Body
Take a few minutes to step away from whatever you're doing and give your body a good stretch. If you can try to focus on stretching out those muscles where you're feeling the tension most. Common places are the neck, shoulders, and back.
You may need to do this a few times across the day but your body will thank you for it. And that tension, good riddance!
2. Write it Out
If you're troubled or feeling overloaded get out some paper or a journal and write it out, or add it to a todo list. Just that process of getting it out of your head can help release tension. That's because when trying to retain it in your brain, it's just another job for your brain to keep on top of. Give this a try and see if it helps.
3. Smell Something Relaxing
Our sense of smell has such a connection to wellbeing. There are certain smells that help you to feel more energized and others more relaxed. Lavender for example, is well-known for its calming properties.
So if you're at home and feeling tense, try diffusing some lavender oil or if you don't have a diffuser, mix some with water in a spray bottle and spray some around. Or pop some on your on the cuff of your sleeve so that you can smell it on the go.
4. Breathe it Out
Another thing you can do is to breathe it out. Try this, take a slow deep breath in and then as you exhale, imagine that all the tension in your body is leaving in that breath. Try this a couple of times as a relaxation technique or between activities. As a double bonus, you'll be nourishing all of your cells with oxygen a the same time.
5. Take it Outdoors
And last but not least, if it works for you, try getting outdoors, if there's some sunshine that's an added bonus, but just some fresh air can do wonders for the mind and the body too.