There is a simple way to measure stress, and I will speak about it a little later.
No one wants to live in stress; however, most people do.
We all know that stress has a bad impact on the physical body, on the emotions and on the mind.
When in stress, we involuntarily tense our body. This is an unhealthy thing to do that creates tension and wastes one’s energy.
At times, you might believe you are at peace, but your body and muscles say something else. They are strained and tense. This is a sign that you are under stress, though you might believe that you are not.
This is a sign that lights a red light, alerting you that you are under stress.
A Simple Exercise to Check How Strained Your Body Is
Let’s try an exercise.
- Stop what you are doing and pay attention to your body.
- Try to relax your body. You will most probably discover that it is very tense and contracted.
- Relax it, and you will discover that in a few seconds it gets tense again.
It’s a good idea to repeat this exercise several times a day, in different situations, at work, at home, while walking, eating, reading, or in any other situation or place.
In time, you will be more aware of the tenseness and contraction of your body and muscles, and would automatically relax them.
An Exercise to Release the Stress in Your Body
Below, you will find a simple exercise to release stress and bodily strain, which you can practice at any time and at any place you wish. It is actually the same exercise mentioned above, but with a few more details.
- You can do the exercise while sitting down or lying down.
- You can do it at work.
- It’s possible to practice it while walking.
- You can practice it while standing in line.
- You can practice it at any time or place.
How to Practice the Exercise for Releasing Bodily Stress and Strain
- Stop what you’re doing for a minute or two and pay attention to your body.
- Feel how tense and contracted your body and your muscles are.
- Fix your attention to your scalp and relax it for a few seconds.
- Next, pay attention to your face and feel how tense your face muscles are, and then relax it. If you keep straining them there will be more wrinkles. If you wish to avoid them you have to be very attentive to how much you are straining your face so as to avoid wrinkles.
- Now, pay attention to your neck, and slowly move on to your shoulders. This is another place where there’s a lot of tension.
- Continue in this way, all the way to your toes. Pay attention to the tenseness and then relax it.
- After relaxing your body in this way for a minute or two, go back to your scalp and start this procedure over again.
Repeat this exercise several times a day whenever you have a few minutes free to do it, but don’t get angry or frustrated if your body gets tense again and again. It’s a habit of years and it takes time to undo it.
When your body is relaxed, your mind and your emotions relax too.
Going through this exercise will show you clearly how tense your body is.
Relaxing Tension and Strain Are Most Important
You are most probably not completely aware of how tense your body is. Since your attention is always busy with the external world, you are not consciously aware of tension in your body, but this does not mean that you are not affected by it.
It is when you stop looking outside, when you become aware of the tension within your body.
This tension aggravates stress and anxiety, makes you feel unhappy and unsatisfied, and it makes you more nervous and impatient.
Relaxing the tension and strain in your body and muscles is most important for experiencing calmness and a peaceful mind.
Stress wastes a lot of your energy. You can prevent this waste of energy by learning to relax your body as stated earlier in this article.
Relieving the strain and tenseness in the body and in the muscles is actually an exercise in mindfulness. This exercise helps you become more mindful of your body and your muscles and how tense they are.
It’s also a good exercise for the mind, since you make your mind focus the attention in accordance with your will.
Paying attention to the tension in your body, and becoming aware of it, enables you to deal with it, calm it down and get rid of it.
When the body is calm and free of tension and stress, the mind follows suit and becomes relaxed too.
A Relaxed Body and a Calm Mind
Leading a stress-free life, relaxing the tension in the body, and enjoying a calm mind, undisturbed by the outside world, are treasures that everyone should seek. They are essential for a healthy, happy, and peaceful life.
There are of course many other ways to relax the body, and whatever method you choose is fine, as long as you practice it and reap positive results.
Meditation and mindfulness are great. It’s a good idea to practice the relaxation technique mentioned above before sitting down to meditate.
Good sleep, healthy eating habits and getting enough sleep are important too. Breathing fresh air and doing physical exercise should also not be ignored.
If you wish to go into more detail, and learn how to relieve stress, avoid it, and have a peaceful mind, I recommend that you check the following books available on this site.