Are you shouldering excess stress?

Quick: Where are your shoulders?

You’re probably thinking: Duh. Under my neck and off to the right and left.

Yep. But are they hunched up? Are you carrying tension in your shoulders without even realizing it?

I mean, you’ve got plenty of responsibilities and stresses in your life. A few could be budgets, bills and bosses… family friction… deadlines and demands… taxes and traffic snarl-ups… noisy neighbors and honking horns.

Are your shouldering burdens?

Are you shouldering burdens?

Yikes! Let’s check your shoulders for tension.

Shoulder tension: Find out in 10 seconds flat

  • Notice where your shoulders are right now. Notice how they feel.
  • Take a slow, deep breath, so deep that your lower belly expands. Take a slow, deep breath out. Maintain this slow, deep belly breathing.
  • Let your shoulders feel heavy. Let them sink down. Consciously allow your shoulders to “let go” of stored tension.
  • Notice where your shoulders are right now. Notice how they feel.

If you’re like most folks, your shoulders released down. Not only that, you also released stored tension. YAY!

Carrying excess tension in your neck and shoulders can lead to tension headaches, tight muscles, and more. That’s sooo not good for you.

Deep belly breathing can help you relax and release excess tension.

So can tai chi, according to the medical experts at Harvard Medical School, the Mayo Clinic and elsewhere.

Be wild (as a horse)

One of my favorite tai chi postures is called Wild Horse Flings Its Mane.

When you do this posture, you can imagine that you are a horse running wild and free across the meadow. Feel yourself releasing cooped up tension and stress as you move and stretch.

Even just imagining releasing stress can help. 

Don’t keep shouldering excess stress!

wild horse

Release excess tension and move freely!


Your turn

What’s your favorite way to let go of stress? Leave a comment below!

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  1. loverawfood says

    I love horses and I love the sound of the Wild Horse Flings Its Mane tai chi exercise. Just the feeling of it is liberating. Thank you for sharing the tip. Easy and fun!


  2. says

    This article is so timely. I recall a time when I would consistently be dealing with tense shoulders. It was just a day or two ago that I noticed that my body feels so relaxed. I remembered thinking to myself, I must be in a good place in life and wouldn’t you know it – I’m the happiest and most confident I’ve ever been!

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