Our fifteen year old daughter has her learner’s permit and is learning to drive. As she drove home from the soccer field, with her dad, a car made a U-turn in front of her. The care did not see her and her view was blocked by a large truck. She hit the brakes, blew the horn and swerved to miss the car. Her dad said she responded perfectly with defensive driving. The two of them stopped at the gas station. When her dad got out to pump the gasoline, he noticed that our daughter continued to grip the steering wheel. He invited her to get out of the car to loosen up. She was shaking and admitted that she had trouble moving. Our daughter experienced a very common response to an obvious stressor. Getting out of the car allowed her to shake off the tension and to return back to normal. Muscle tension is a result of the stress reaction.
Individuals who experience chronic stress, also experience chronic muscle tension. Shoulder, neck and back muscles are often tight with tension. Tense muscles are prone to strains and pulls. The muscle tension may go unnoticed because individuals rarely consciously take note of the sensations of their bodies. We notice specific parts of our bodies when we experience discomfort or pain; however, muscle tension is not necessarily painful. It is important, for the purpose of relaxation, to have an awareness of each body part and consciously release the tension in the muscle groups. There are simple exercises that help to build this awareness. To receive a free awareness exercise, check the appropriate box on the sign up form. Post a comment or send me an email to let me know if this is helpful information. Marcyline
“I take care of those who take care of others.”