Physical Tension Release

Aside from identifying your various emotional states, can you identify your
physical states? Naturally, you know when you are tired or when you are excited,
but can you discern the level of your energy when the difference is not so extreme?
You usually also know when you are sick, but can you discern the subtler changes in
your physical health? Can you recognize any tension in the various parts of your
As an exercise, begin identifying your current physical state to a partner. Then let
your partner do the same with you. Now consciously scan your whole body while
sitting in your chair. Describe to your partner any areas of physical tension, strain or
poor posture. When you discover an area, stay in the area with your conscious atten-
tion for a few minutes and describe any feelings that come to you while you are doing
this. Now reverse the roles, and let your partner do the same thing. Since your per-
sonality can change with a change in physical posture, being more mindful of how
you sit, stand and walk during the day might also bring about more positive changes
in the way you act. Even the way you hold your facial muscles affects your person-
ality. Those suffering from multiple personalities often have different prescription
glasses with each personality, because their facial muscles are held differently in each
personality! Even smiling and laughing more can make a big difference.
As an exercise when tense, tired or headachy and while standing or sitting, bend
your knees slightly and place your hands high on your thighs. Draw your neck in
like a turtle with the chin forward and up. A slight contraction will be felt at the base
of your neck. Now draw your shoulders upward as if to touch them to your ears.
Push down with the hands to draw the shoulders higher. If done correctly, a
vibration will be felt in the neck, shoulders and head. Avoid breathing during the
exercise and hold this vibration for a comfortable period. Then release and relax your
muscles, beginning with the fingertips and working upwards. The vibration will
release built-up tension and you may resume a more normal energy level.
Tension, stress and even depression can be overcome by the following exercise:
Place the shoulder blades as nearly together as you can without strain, then breathe
out gently and fully. Pause, then inhale with a deep, slow, gentle breath until the
lungs are comfortably filled. Breathe out slowly through the nose with a long sigh
and without altering the position of the shoulder blades. Do this a dozen times and
your tension should disappear. Why? Because you have just supplied the brain with
positive, stimulating oxygen.