How To Relieve Muscle Tension From Anxiety
Muscle tension stemming from anxiety is not unlike muscle tension caused by other issues . While anxiety itself will need to be addressed in order to prevent future muscle tension issues, once the muscles have already become tense, there are things a person can do to help the muscles relax and gain some relief from the tension. For example:
Depending on the type and severity of the muscle tension, trying each of these strategies could prove helpful in relieving muscle tension. Even though the tension is caused by anxiety, which is a mental effect, the physical body is affected, including the muscles. And while there are various approaches to soothing some of that muscle tension, it is also important to address the underlying cause, and learn to manage and control the stress and anxiety.
Stress causes the muscles to contract, and the tension that that causes on muscles can make them feel stiff, achy, and painful. That same tension can also cause behavioral changes that also contribute to aching muscles. Certain exercises can reduce the tension, while addressing anxiety keeps it away.
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Develop A Positive Self
The way you talk to yourself matters. Harsh self-criticism, self-doubt, and catastrophic predictions aren’t helpful. If you’re constantly thinking things like, “I don’t have time for this,” and “I can’t stand this,” you’ll stress yourself out.
It’s important to learn to talk to yourself in a more realistic, compassionate manner. When you call yourself names or doubt your ability to succeed, reply with a kinder inner dialogue.
Positive self-talk can help you develop a healthier outlook. And an optimistic and compassionate conversation can help you manage your emotions and take positive action.
Do Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Years of research have found PMR helps reduce anxiety and calm breathing. Lie down and relax, and then tighten, hold and then release each muscle in your body, one at a time, starting with your toes and moving up to the crown of your head. Do this slowly and methodically, and dont forget the muscles of your face. It may be more relaxing to listen to someone else walk you through the exercise. Visit this link to find audio, video, and scripts that you can record and then playback to yourself.
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Best Tips For Relieving Nighttime Stress
There are numerous strategies for relieving nighttime stress and anxiety before bedtime. If youre feeling too stressed to sleep, these approaches can help you relax. Some sleepers use only one or two of these relaxation strategies while others practice a combination of them. If stress and sleep are a chronic concern, your physician can help you determine what the best approach is for you.
Go Ahead And Stress Bake
Baking checks so many stress-reduction boxes: It can be a sensory experience it is a project that requires planning, concentration, and mindfulness, which activates your brain and if you enjoy it, its fun. Kate Merker, Good Housekeepings Chief Food Director, loves this amazing blueberry sweet roll recipe, but if youve had enough sugar, move on to a healthy pizza recipe. It feels comforting and you can literally put anything on top of pizza dough, she says. My kids help shape the dough, which is just fun, and they get a kick out of me twirling it in the air. And if youre stressed by the fact that no eats the same thing in your house? Everyone can pick and choose their own topping, Merker adds.
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Why Relaxation Is So Important Posted By Justine Clarabut On 15 April 2019
Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax Mark Black
This is such an inspiring yet simple quote! At times, we get so embroiled in our hectic lifestyles with deadlines to meet and work-life pressure that we actually forget to relax! Yet relaxing for just 5 minutes periodically by stepping away from what is causing our stress levels to rise, can give us the energy we need to tackle our workload or problem we are facing.
Stress isnt all bad! A certain amount of stress is necessary to deal with difficult situations in our everyday lives. Physical changes in our bodies occur enabling us to take action, which fades quickly once the problem encountered has gone. However, if we stay in a state of high stress for too long, it can be damaging to our health.
Stress can affect our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and how we react or behave!
Being over stressed for long periods of time can also cause fatigue. According to mentalhelp.netByproducts of stress hormones can act as sedatives . When such hormone byproducts occur in large amounts , they may contribute to a sustained feeling of low energy or depression
We are not always able to avoid stress but learning to manage stress is key!
Refresh throughout our day!
- Focus on your breathing
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Give Yourself A Squeeze
You know how your cat will go all rigid for a second, tensing all those kitty muscles and then relaxing them? That looks kind of good, right? Well, you can try it too or a version of it anyway.
Progressive relaxation involves tensing and releasing muscles, body part by body part. You may not have time to do your whole frame in five minutes, but just arms, shoulders, neck, and head will suffice.
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Highly Effective Tips For Relieving Stress
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all option when it comes to stress relief, however. What works for one person might not work for another.
And what works for you at home might not be an option when you’re at work or in the community .
So it’s important to have a variety of stress relief tools at your disposal. Then, you’ll be able to pick a strategy that works best for your current circumstances.
Muscle Relaxation Exercises To Get Started
There are two main steps in doing progressive muscle relaxation intentionally tensing muscles and then intentionally releasing that tension.
Heres a quick exercise to give you an idea of how progressive muscle relaxation feels.
Clenched Fist Muscle Relaxation Exercise
Clench your right hand to make a fist while flexing it upward at the wrist.
Hold tight for 10 seconds then release, letting your hand go limp.
Do this a few times.
You should notice that your right hand now feels more relaxed than your left.
Most progressive relaxation technique exercises start with the feet and work their way up to the head, but some do the opposite.
Heres an example of a typical full-body progressive muscle relaxation sequence.
Full-Body Progressive Muscle Relaxation Exercise
Get comfortable, seated or lying down.
Take a few deep relaxing breaths.
Start by focusing on your right foot.
Slowly tense the muscles in your right foot, squeeze hard and hold for 10 seconds.
Relax your right foot and notice the tension flowing away.
Thinking to yourself relax or letting go can help.
Repeat with your left foot.
Work your way up your body, tightening and releasing groups of muscles, alternating between your right and left sides.
Concentrate on these groups of muscles in this order:
- arms and hands combined
- shoulder, neck, and face combined
You can do this mini-exercise in a minute or two anytime you want to de-stress quickly.
Using PMR as a Relaxation Warm-Up
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Ways To Reduce Chronic Stress
When your child is cranky or you’re running late when the report you’ve worked on all day suddenly disappears off your desktop or you’re stuck in a traffic jam you experience stress. Stress is a normal part of life and a part of our body’s way of helping us respond to critical situations.
However when you experience extreme or chronic stress those same mechanisms can take their toll and cause a host of emotional and physiological problems.
1. Know complications
The American Psychiatric Association details some of the physical and mental problems that can be caused by chronic stress. Physically a person can experience symptoms like muscle aches and pains high blood pressure insomnia and more sicknesses from a weakened immune system.
Chronic stress can also contribute to heart disease and obesity as people attempt to alleviate stress by turning to comfort foods the APA explained. Other possible complications include depression and anxiety. Sadness inability to focus irritability and fatigue are also caused by chronic stress as well as a higher likelihood of becoming addicted to drugs.
Unfortunately we can’t always remove the source of our stress. However there are certain coping behaviors and strategies that we can use to help us reduce the uncomfortable feelings and physiological effects of stress.
2. Set limits
3. Get better sleep
4. Try belly breathing
5. Do one thing
6. Get professional help
How To Practice Deep Breathing
- Sit comfortably with your back straight. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
- Breathe in through your nose. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should move very little.
- Exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.
- Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Count slowly as you exhale.
If you find it difficult breathing from your abdomen while sitting up, try lying down. Put a small book on your stomach, and breathe so that the book rises as you inhale and falls as you exhale.
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Tips For Starting A Relaxation Practice
Learning the basics of these relaxation techniques isnt difficult, but it takes regular practice to truly harness their stress-relieving power. Try setting aside at least 10 to 20 minutes a day for your relaxation practice.
Set aside time in your daily schedule. If possible, schedule a set time once or twice a day for your practice. If your schedule is already packed, try meditating while commuting on the bus or train, taking a yoga or tai chi break at lunchtime, or practicing mindful walking while exercising your dog.
Make use of smartphone apps and other aids. Many people find that smartphone apps or audio downloads can be useful in guiding them through different relaxation practices, establishing a regular routine, and keeping track of progress.
Expect ups and downs. Sometimes it can take time and practice to start reaping the full rewards of relaxation techniques such as meditation. The more you stick with it, the sooner the results will come. If you skip a few days or even a few weeks, dont get discouraged. Just get started again and slowly build up to your old momentum.
Get more help
Body Scan Meditation by Jon Kabat Zinn Follow along with a full body scan meditation led by Jon Kabat Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Recommended resources that require a fee
How To Do Muscle Relaxation Exercises
If you are like most people, you are probably dealing with too much stress! Our bodies were designed to deal with stress by girding us up for battle. As one part of this stress response, we experience an increase in muscle tension.
This excess muscle tension is a waste of energy, contributes to fatigue, and can result in chronic pain. Think about boxers they dance around the ring as a way to keep their muscles loose so that they can concentrate all of their power when they want to land a punch.
The good thing is that there is a great workaround for the problem of being tense all of the time. Muscle relaxation exercises are simple techniques for calming your body in response to life stress. Learning to systematically relax the muscles in your body will keep you better equipped to deal with your day to day challenges. These exercises may be of particular value if you have a health problem that is worsened by stress, such as irritable bowel syndrome , fibromyalgia, or chronic pain.
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Relax Mentally And Emotionally
Your experience of stress involves your thoughts and emotions. You may think that you can’t adequately handle the stressors you’re facing , and experience fear as a result. These can accompany and even perpetuate your stress response. Often, reexamining your thoughts can help you to relax emotionally.
You can better understand your thoughts and alter this cycle if you learn how to relax as you face your stressors. Techniques to achieve this include:
- Changing negative self-talk to positive
- Learning how to reframe thoughts so that the way you perceive potential stressors in your life is less stressful
- Determining your cognitive distortions, such as all-or-nothing thinking, overgeneralizing, jumping to conclusions, focusing on the negative, labeling, and “should” statements, as well as how to correct them
- Working to develop greater optimism
Connect With Your Breath
Youre probably already breathing unless youre holding your breath. We tend do that when were in a tizzy. Whether youre holding in your air, taking shallow sips of it, or hyperventilating, you might be adding to the stress response in your body.
The good news is that taking slow, full breaths can calm you. Try a quick breathing exercise to get back to a more relaxed state.
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Chomp Some Chewing Gum
Maybe youre stuck in annoying traffic, frantically cleaning the house before your in-laws show, or hammering out that final term paper. Chewing gum is an easy way to keep the stress monster at bay while potentially boosting your mood and productivity Allen AP, et al. . Chewing gum: Cognitive performance, mood, well-being, and associated physiology. DOI: 10.1155/2015/654806 .
Quick Ways To Reduce Stress
Taking care of your long-term mental and physical health is an important part of stress management. However, there isnt always time to take a nap, hike a fourteener, or read a novel. Thus, here are 25 ways to reduce stress in five minutes or less. From eating chocolate to meditating, there is a quick stress-relieving tactic for everyone.
1. BreatheSlow, deep breaths can help lower blood pressure and heart rate. Try pranayama breathing, a yogic method that involves breathing through one nostril at a time to relieve anxiety. The technique is supposed to work the same way as acupuncture, balancing the mind and body.
2. Listen to Music No matter what the song, sometimes belting out the lyrics to a favorite tune makes everything seem all right. If youre in a public place, just listening to music can be a quick fix for a bad mood. Classical music can be especially relaxing right before bedtime.
3. Take a Quick Walk When youre feeling overwhelmed or having trouble concentrating, go for a quick stroll around the block. Youll get the benefits of alone time, physical activity, and a few minutes to gather your thoughts.
4. Find the Sun If its a sunny day, head outside for an easy way to lift your spirits. Bright light can be an effective treatment for people who suffer from depression, and can even cheer up otherwise healthy people.
8. Rub Your Feet Over a Golf Ball You can get an impromptu, relaxing foot massage by rubbing your feet back and forth over a golf ball.
12. Be Alone
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When Chilling With Cannabis Its Best To Start Low
Its no secret that cannabis is an effective relaxant. In fact, when you ask cannabis consumers what marijuana does for them, relaxation is the most common answer.
A survey published by Yahoo News-Marist in 2017, revealed that 37 percent claimed stress relief as the reason for using the herb. And with more American adults consuming cannabis as legalization spreads, so is the number of people who enjoy its stress-relieving qualities.
Stress is a killer literally. According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death:
More than 75 percent of all physician office visits are for stress-related issues. Health professionals agree that stress affects your brain, suppresses your thyroid, causes blood sugar imbalances, decreases bone density and muscle tissue, raises blood pressure, reduces your immunity and ability to heal, and increases fat deposits around your abdomen that are associated with heart attacks, strokes and elevated bad cholesterol.
Its no wonder, then, that cannabis as a way to chill at the end of the day is growing in popularity. But the latest science makes it pretty clear that when it comes to cannabis and relaxation, less is more. Thats right: For maximum relaxation, a low dose goes a long way.
Entourage Effect: Thc And Cbd Work Best Together
The WSU researchers discovered that one puff of cannabis high in CBD and low in THC was optimal for reducing symptoms of depression. Two puffs of any type of cannabis reduced symptoms of anxiety. Ten or more puffs of cannabis high in CBD and high in THC produced the largest reductions in stress.
A lot of consumers seem to be under the false assumption that more THC is always better, Cuttler told Science Daily. Our study shows that CBD is also a very important ingredient in cannabis and may augment some of the positive effects of THC. .
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