… even if you’re not aware of it. You might think that it’s all a lot of fuss about a little bit of tension that you happen to be carrying around. After all, you weren’t even aware of it. How harmful could it be?
Just because you’re unaware doesn’t mean you’re unaffected.
Catch that Tension!
Try this little experiment –
Choose an occasion when you’re alone, and about to do something that might take you about 15-20 minutes. Set an alarm for 15 minutes and then start working. It could be anything – making a cup of coffee, reading the paper, answering your mail…any simple, routine task will do.
When the alarm goes, stop, and check –
What do your neck and shoulders feel like?
Are you holding on to your lower back?
Are your eyes tired and tight?
Most people pick up all or a combination of these. If they’ve been standing, there’s discomfort in the feet and legs. This is underlying tension because until they paid attention to themselves, they didn’t pick it up.
We think this is normal, that it’s how we have to be when we’re at work. And we’re wrong. It’s possible to be easy and relaxed when we’re working, even if the work involves some amount of effort.
If we habitually take this tension into our daily movements, we’ll end up (most of us) having some form of back pain, knee problems, trouble in the lower back and similar difficulties.
In addition, if we happen to be in physically challenging professions like sport or performance arts, or if we need to work at the computer for several hours at a stretch, we can pretty quickly develop problems like back, neck and shoulder pain, voice loss or burnout. Not bad for a ‘little bit of extra tension, right?’
Learning to let go of underlying tension doesn’t just prevent problems. It gives us increased energy, power and control. That’s a good bargain, I think!