Tense shoulders can be a sign of stress and it’s one of our body’s protection modes.
Here are 3 easy ways to relax your shoulders and how doing so can help other parts of your body.
Many of my clients find their shoulders unnecessarily hiked up and I give them 3 exercises to become more aware of their body language and relax their shoulders. The key is building awareness about your body and then working to relax or correct it. Here are easy to implement steps:
• Tune into your body 3 times a day to see if your shoulders are relaxed or tense
• When you catch them hiked up, follow these breath and body movements.
Take note when you catch your shoulders hiked.
• Are you stressed or up tight about your situation?
• Are you in a defensive thought?
• What small steps can you do in this situation to feel more in control?
Steps to take:
1. Take a deep breath in as you hike your shoulders up to your ears and exhale as you shrug your shoulder-blades back and down into your “back pockets”.
2. Inhale as you shrug your shoulders up to the ears and exhale as you lower your shoulders forward and down.
3. Repeat 2 more times… inhale as shoulders go up to the ears, exhale as shoulders go back and down, inhale up to the ears, exhale forward and down.
4. Lift your shoulders up to your ears on the inhale and quickly release the shoulders straight down as you exhale to the final resting position.
Think of when you are cold. You hike your shoulders up to increase warmth. Your muscles get tense and it can take a while to release or relax the muscles. This is a common position when we are stressed, cold or in a defensive mode.Your body sees this as a type of danger even if we don’t think of it that way.
Many times this is an unintentional position we take which becomes a habit and leads to consistent postural problems.This leads to increased back and shoulder pain. This posture causes us to tense many other muscles in our body and postural imbalances and can even cause strain to our internal organs.
The first step in changing your posture and mind is becoming more aware of your body. I encourage you to check in with yourself to see how you are handling your environment. Are you tense while driving? Can you relax before bed? Your interpretation of your environment drives how you react physically. Your body wants to protect you. Help your body by helping your mind.
Here is another great article on how posture can help with your health and with things like gout https://thegoutkiller.com/blog/gout-hangout/better-posture-helps-gout/