Most people who find their way to my practice find the twin devils of muscle tension and anxiety plague their lives. In this blog post I hope to explain why these “devils” often come together, and offer you help for muscle tension and anxiety.
When you feel anxious your body gets ready to leave the situation
This means your muscles get tense. And, they are getting tense because you are feeling unsafe. Wanting to flee is one of the big Fight, Flight, Freeze reactions your brain creates when it thinks you are in danger! It tells your body to LEAVE the situation now and you feel nervous or anxious. Meanwhile your muscles are preparing to quite literally run away!
Most anxiety and muscle tension doesn’t come from real danger.
Muscle tension and anxiety are a great response when you are truly in danger and need to get out now. Think if you were in an Uber and realized your driver was drunk. Your anxiety and muscular reaction would help you assess the danger and devise a plan to escape. But most of our anxiety doesn’t come from real danger. It arises from habits of fear we hold from past experience, chemical reactions to things like sugar and caffeine or just being overwhelmed with too much stimulation or information.
So, how do we relieve that muscle tension and anxiety?
If you are always feeling anxious and tense it may take some time but it most certainly can be done. Your body needs to learn how to feel safe. This is not a mental or even emotional process. It’s a physical experience.
How can we feel safe knowing it will help muscle tension and anxiety?
You can begin to feel safe and relieve chronic muscle tension and anxiety by bonding with or yielding to gravity. Ideally, we all did this as newborns. Maybe it will feel familiar to you. Try this quick experiment. Sit on a chair and feel your feet touch the floor. If they are hard to feel at all, roll them on a tennis ball for a minute or give them a quick massage.
Now begin a practice to help muscle tension and anxiety.
Notice where your feet touch the ground. Now imagine their volume or weight. Just realize your feet are filled with bones and blood and soft tissue so they have volume and weight. Kind of like a water balloon. Or a newborn. They will feel like they are sinking into the floor and you won’t have to push them.
How to know if you are meeting gravity.
Do you feel more grounded? Has your breath slowed down? Have your thoughts slowed down? If so, congratulations! You are on your way to bonding with gravity and getting safe. Overtime, this will relieve your muscle tension and anxiety.
Do you want to learn more?
Our personal fears and tensions often need a compassionate and experienced person to guide our bodies in how to become safe again. learn to be safe again. You can make an appointment for a discovery session with me. I am available world-wide via zoom or in person in Western Massachusetts . You can also find more anti-anxiety videos on my YouTube playlist and watch the one below.
The good news is that you can feel free in your body and that will help you troubled mine and unsteady emotions.