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Melting Tension

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hey! Welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. We've made it to day five, which means we're more than halfway through the program. Yesterday, we explored stepping out of our minds, stepping out of our thoughts and ideas and dropping into our bodies. But sometimes when we do that, we notice that there's a lot of tension we're holding in our bodies. So today we're going to explore some strategies to help relax and soften that tension.

This topic makes me think of, when I was in high school. I must've went four years in high school with my shoulders up like this, without even realizing it. I remember I went to a yoga meditation class in college and the instructor said, why don't you practice just relaxing your shoulders? And then, my mind said, what are you talking about? They are relaxed. I didn't realize how much tension I was holding. And she said, I'll show you something.

And she walked me through what's called progressive muscle relaxation. Where instead of just trying to relax, she said, actually tense the shoulders even more. So tense them even more. She said, now relax, and I went like this [sigh] — my shoulders dropped like three inches. It was amazing.

And it was the first time that I realized just how much tension my body was holding. And it's, it's true when we're holding stress or when we're experiencing stress, the body accumulates a lot of tension subconsciously. So, I want to walk you through a few progressive muscle relaxation strategies that you can do. We'll start with the shoulders, since that's often the most obvious one. So all you, all you need to do is just practice, bunching the shoulders up like this.

We're going to squeeze for three, two, one and, then release. Feel the contract there? This is what tension feels like. This is what ease feels like. It's important to start to train the body to know that. Let's do it with the face.

This one's interesting. Oh, hopefully nobody's looking. We're going to bunch the face up. So punch it. Squeeze the eyes, squeeze the nose, squeeze the mouth, the cheeks, holding for three, two, one, and then release.

Feel the blood flow, relaxing the face. Cool. And let's do it now with the hands and the belly. We'll link those two together. So squeezing the hands together into, into a fist and then also squeezing the belly.

So squeezing one, two, three, and then relax. Ah. You feel some of the ease that can come with that? A lot of times, since we're so used to walking around in a state of tension, we need to tense the body more and then relax so that we can feel the contrast. This is a simple strategy you can use throughout the day. Something before a tense presentation, or after you get out of a difficult conversation, or maybe in the shower in the morning, when you want to help release and melt away some of that tension.

You could do it with the entire body all at once, or you could do a body part to body parts, starting at the head, dropping all the way down to the feet. But the more you do this, the more you're practicing, releasing that tension. We'll do some more practices in the meditation today to help release some of this bodily tension. But the progressive muscle relaxation is something you can take into your day immediately. As always, thanks for your practice.

I'll talk to you shortly, and take care.

Cory Muscara

4.6

Melting Tension

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hey! Welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. We've made it to day five, which means we're more than halfway through the program. Yesterday, we explored stepping out of our minds, stepping out of our thoughts and ideas and dropping into our bodies. But sometimes when we do that, we notice that there's a lot of tension we're holding in our bodies. So today we're going to explore some strategies to help relax and soften that tension.

This topic makes me think of, when I was in high school. I must've went four years in high school with my shoulders up like this, without even realizing it. I remember I went to a yoga meditation class in college and the instructor said, why don't you practice just relaxing your shoulders? And then, my mind said, what are you talking about? They are relaxed. I didn't realize how much tension I was holding. And she said, I'll show you something.

And she walked me through what's called progressive muscle relaxation. Where instead of just trying to relax, she said, actually tense the shoulders even more. So tense them even more. She said, now relax, and I went like this [sigh] — my shoulders dropped like three inches. It was amazing.

And it was the first time that I realized just how much tension my body was holding. And it's, it's true when we're holding stress or when we're experiencing stress, the body accumulates a lot of tension subconsciously. So, I want to walk you through a few progressive muscle relaxation strategies that you can do. We'll start with the shoulders, since that's often the most obvious one. So all you, all you need to do is just practice, bunching the shoulders up like this.

We're going to squeeze for three, two, one and, then release. Feel the contract there? This is what tension feels like. This is what ease feels like. It's important to start to train the body to know that. Let's do it with the face.

This one's interesting. Oh, hopefully nobody's looking. We're going to bunch the face up. So punch it. Squeeze the eyes, squeeze the nose, squeeze the mouth, the cheeks, holding for three, two, one, and then release.

Feel the blood flow, relaxing the face. Cool. And let's do it now with the hands and the belly. We'll link those two together. So squeezing the hands together into, into a fist and then also squeezing the belly.

So squeezing one, two, three, and then relax. Ah. You feel some of the ease that can come with that? A lot of times, since we're so used to walking around in a state of tension, we need to tense the body more and then relax so that we can feel the contrast. This is a simple strategy you can use throughout the day. Something before a tense presentation, or after you get out of a difficult conversation, or maybe in the shower in the morning, when you want to help release and melt away some of that tension.

You could do it with the entire body all at once, or you could do a body part to body parts, starting at the head, dropping all the way down to the feet. But the more you do this, the more you're practicing, releasing that tension. We'll do some more practices in the meditation today to help release some of this bodily tension. But the progressive muscle relaxation is something you can take into your day immediately. As always, thanks for your practice.

I'll talk to you shortly, and take care.

Cory Muscara

4.6

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