Ever been told you ‘carry the weight of the world on your shoulders’? Or heard someone say it to someone else? Maybe felt it?
Why is that?
Aside from the physical tension we build up in our shoulders from too much texting, scrolling, sitting hunched at a desk, holding the phone between your cheek and shoulder when chatting and busying your hands elsewhere in true multi tasking fashion, our shoulders can carry a hell of a lot of emotional tension too.
When we are emotionally stressed, we tense up, and usually around the shoulders. Financial worries, kids, work stress, relationship woes – they all build up in tension in the shoulders.
For women, we can shift roles from full time businesswoman to full time mother, to carer, and more (… yes admittedly some men do this too, but it’s largely the women that go through so many emotional changes within their role of a family because of our inherent need to nurture – that’s science, not sexism)… and that can add to shoulder tension too.
The inability to let go is another way shoulder tension can manifest – when you want to control an emotional situation you physically start to cling on – to your phone as you send repeated texts, to the steering wheel as you road rage your way around the roads and to the treadmill as you try and release stress on a run.
And negative talk – angry noises come out your throat and usually from a stressed and tensed chest that pushes the volume and the vengeance physically as the words come out of your mouth.
In short – it’s not just bad posture that affects the neck and shoulders – it’s stress from all those crazy emotions too.
So what can we do to relieve this stress? How can we make it go away?
Firstly – breathe, and try and let go, don’t hold onto the stresses that affect you – turn your phone off, tell your partner not right now – save the discussion for tomorrow.
Secondly through a number of yoga poses, like:
- Seated neck and shoulder rolls
- Seated twist
- Forward fold
- Downward dog
- Extended puppy pose
- Thread the needle
- Extended side angle
- Triangle pose
(And many many more!)
Thirdly through you can also try these:
- Earthing / grounding – take your shoes off and take a walk in nature and see how that relaxes you
- Chanting – clear the throats chakra and have a little sing song – music is soul food
- Massage – literally does what it says on the tin – my preference is a deep tissue sports massage!
Find some love for your shoulders and make sure you pay them some respect, because they carry a hell of a lot of weight that you don’t even realise.