Relaxation learning stems from needing to free the body of our mental and emotional trigger points. You are the only person who can identify your trigger points. Keep a written record of the situations that may you tense. Notice yourself getting tense sometimes before anything has happened.
By learning simple physical exercises, you can combine these with mental and emotional techniques to begin calming yourself during your tense times. Stress is directly proportional to your letting go of all the experiences over which you have no control.
If you know the God of your understanding, letting go is much easier than holding on to resentments or control issues. But, even if you haven’t made the commitment about God, you can practice the following exercises.
My physical tension center is my neck and upper shoulders. If I ignore my discomfort, the tension only gets worse. I practice these:
- Sit on a chair and slowly allow your upper body to lean toward the floor and then slowly sit upright again. This can be practice anywhere you have a chair.
- Always do neck exercises slowly and gently. Slowly rotate your neck to the left and right. Ease yourself into the discomfort you find there. After rotating your neck, you may choose to bend your neck from left to right and then reverse it.
- A third exercise to roll your neck slowly in a circular motion being very careful to do it slowly. I do a few rotations clockwise and then do a few counterclockwise.
- To help strengthen and relax your back, sit on a chair and slowly clasp your hands behind the chair. You will feel tension in your upper arms also.
- Also for the back, you may practice the shoulder shrug by lifting your shoulders up and then slowly lowering them.
Often times, poor posture can aid the tension that you feel. To evaluate your posture, stand with your body facing away from the wall. Ease yourself gently toward the wall to see which part of your body touches the wall first. Then practice bringing your body aligned better without arching your back.
The upper back needs to be strengthened daily in order to help the neck and back. One exercise to help the upper back is to lie face down on the floor. Gently raise your upper body from the floor. Be careful to be gentle with yourself and repeat this stretching exercise several times.