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Stress, Shoulders and Sabre Tooth Tigers

Posted by vivhudson on March 14, 2015 at 8:30 AM

Next time you stop at a restaurant, cafe, wait in line or are on public transport, do some people watching and see what their bodies are saying. 

Notice people who seem older than their years. People who are in their 40s, 50s and older. Their bodies have had many years of 'holding' themselves in a certain way. Maybe their shoulders are high and hunched over slightly, perhaps their chest is puffed out.

If your body has endured years of dealing with your fight and flight response otherwise known as stress, chances are your body will show it. When your body is in this mode, your shoulders raise up and hold tension. This response was to make you look bigger in case of attack to frighten your threat away. This instinctive response was necessary years ago when there were woolly mammoths to hunt. 

Nowadays this same response can come from just thinking about deadlines, stress of daily life and time pressures. Not from becoming prey to a sabre tooth tiger.

The end result is shoulder and neck tension and a stiffening of movement in the head and shoulders. This can affect your posture and breath. It becomes difficult to breathe deeply as the air catches in your upper chest.

So whilst you are people watching, notice what your body is saying. Where are your shoulders? Take a deep breath down into your belly and let your shoulders drop down. Think of a string in the top of your head, like a puppet, pulling you up and let your body 'fall' this way.

When you experience tension in your shoulders and find them raised up around your ears, reflect on what 'threats' are occurring and consider if it is that sabre tooth tiger. Do a body check now, become that puppet on a string and sense how you feel your tension ease, how much smoother your breath is and how much straighter you stand. Now what is your body saying?

 If you would like to learn more about how you can use your body to change your life, contact Brain, Body and Business to find out more.

Categories: Body

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