It seems more people than ever are wondering how to release tension. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of it these days – all you need to do is check your favorite news website or simply turn on your television and you’ll see why. But tension doesn’t have to be a way of life. There are several ways you can get rid of it, including exercise.
Tony Horton wants to help you minimize tension wherever you can. Exercise is not only a great way to stay healthy, it can also help melt away stress and leave you feeling refreshed. Even better, many types of exercises that reduce tension won’t wear you out to the point of exhaustion or put you at a risk for suffering an injury.
Here’s a look at how exercise can help get rid of tension, whether it’s in your neck, your shoulder, or anywhere else in your body. Once you can do that, you’ll be ready to take on whatever life throws at you.
Shake Your Way To Tension Relief: Tension Release Exercise
There’s a relatively new approach to relieving tension – appropriately enough, it’s known as tension release exercise or TRE. Psychologist Dr. David Berceli created TRE. Dr. Berceli came up with the idea after discovering that the body’s natural ability to stimulate tremoring, or shaking, might help reduce the need for medication in people suffering from certain stress-related disorders.1
In a nutshell, TRE involves seven different exercises that help trigger tremoring. You perform some of these exercises while standing. Others typically involve lying down on something comfortable, such as a yoga mat.
Most of the TRE exercises are relatively simple. There might, though, be a couple that some people could find difficult. To be on the safe side, talk to your doctor first before trying any of them.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
If you have muscle tension, progressive muscle relaxation is a way to potentially get rid of it. Although it might sound counterintuitive, you actually perform this exercise by tensing a certain muscle group and taking a deep breath. You then relax those muscles as you breathe out. Here’s how to perform progressive muscle relaxation exercises.2
- Lie down on something comfortable, such as a yoga mat, and stretch out.
- Breathe deeply while tensing a muscle group, such as the muscles in your left shoulder, for instance. Do this for about 10 seconds.
- Exhale while immediately relaxing that muscle group.
- Wait about 10 or 20 seconds, and then work on another muscle group, such as your back muscles.3
Even A Yoga Pose May Help Release Muscle Tension
What better way can there be to release tension than practicing yoga? This revered form of relaxation may help eliminate tension throughout the entire body. Yoga can help relax the hip flexor muscles, also known as the psoas, which supports your lower spine. It’s also responsible for pulling up your thigh as you walk. The psoas runs from your belly down to your thighbone.4
You can use a yoga pose known as the “wind-relieving pose” to relax the psoas. Here’s a quick look at how to do it.
- Lie down on your yoga mat and bend your knees.
- Keep your feet on the floor near your pelvic area.
- Clasp your hands around one knee and move it toward your chest.
- Stretch the other leg until it’s straight on the mat.
- While you’re doing this, also relax your shoulder blades, jaw, eyes, hips, belly, and back. Focus on only your breathing.
- Hold this pose for 2-3 minutes, switch legs, and repeat.5
Stressed Out? Exercise Could Be A Huge Help
Whether you’re suffering from neck tension, the tension in your shoulder blades or you’re basically just feeling stressed out all over, exercise may help support your mood. Something as simple as walking around the neighborhood can be just as effective as a 45-minute gym session in helping lighten your mental load. Even better, the effects can last for several hours.6
There is even evidence that regular exercise might help support your mood. But that doesn’t mean exercise is the answer for everyone. Some people see no benefits, while others only see mild benefits.7
There is one thing that all experts agree on – there is no doubt exercise helps your physical health. That’s reason enough to start a workout regimen if you haven’t already.
Can Meditation Support Your Nervous System, Provide Stress Relief, And Deliver Other Health Benefits?
Getting into a resting state can really help reduce muscle tension. Meditation is one of the best ways to achieve this state. There’s a body of impressive evidence that shows it can not only lessen tension but also provide other benefits. For example, study participants with cardiovascular issues who practiced meditation had a significantly lower number of cardiovascular incidents compared with those who didn’t.8
Simple Breathing Exercises Can Alleviate Physical Tension
Another great way to possibly lower tension is to try some deep breathing exercises. Deep breathing tells your body to “chill out,” so to speak, and relaxes your entire body. Do you feel some tension in your neck or shoulder blades? Do you experience muscle tension in other areas on a regular basis? Then you might want to give deep breathing a try. There are a lot of options out there to check out. Here are three you might want to consider.
The numbers in this exercise refer to different breathing counts. Here’s how you do it.
- Start by taking in a deep breath while counting to four.
- Then, while holding your breath, count to seven.
- Breathe out gradually while counting to eight.
- Try this up to seven times and see how you feel.9
This deep breathing exercise is also easy to do.
- Place your left hand on your stomach. Put your right hand on your chest.
- Inhale through your nose until your belly starts to move your left hand.
- Exhale through your mouth slowly until your left-hand moves back down.
- Try this between eight and 10 times.10
There’s even a breathing exercise designed specifically for the first thing in the morning. It’s extremely easy as well.
- Stand up as soon as you get out of bed and bend forward. Let your arms hang toward the floor and keep your knees slightly bent.
- Breathe in gradually while slowly standing up straight.
- Hold your breath for a few seconds.
- Return to your original position while exhaling slowly.11
Exercise To Ease Tension
No matter what type of relaxation technique you try, hopefully, you will find success. After all, just about everybody could use a little less tension in their lives, right? Just remember to never try any sort of strenuous activity until a doctor tells you it’s completely safe to do so.