In my last article I introduced you to thinking about the muscular system and how to lower the stress response by observing your jaw behavior and the jaw behavior of others.
If you have been following this blog along, you’ve got a few of your own stress relieving skills by now.
You can see to it that you are taking a few slow, easy belly breaths with a full exhale, and you can let your jaw relax and be sure your teeth are not touching.
In this article, I am taking these stress reduction tips even further by looking at another way to deal with stress that you may not even realize is getting you ready for a fight!
#5 Sign of Stress: Where Are Their Shoulders?
Just like jaw behavior, this telltale sign of stress is also easily observed.
When you look at others, do they have their shoulders pulled up, or do their shoulders seem relaxed and lowered or dropping?
Look at children again.
How do shoulders look in a child that is feeling free and easy…without a care in the world?
This shoulder tension way of dealing with stress dates back to man’s early, early days.
When you think of the stress response in humans, (and other animals in the kingdom for that matter) consider this way of handling stress as a battle preparation process.
Protect At All Costs…Survive
The throat is a very vulnerable area and if injured in battle could be serious business….think air, food, blood traveling through here.
Therefore, dealing with stress and protecting the throat for “battle” generally involves the body pulling the shoulders up to limit access to the throat or forward to deflect an attack.
So look around at folks in your world.
Are their shoulders pulled up or forward?
If so, you can know their body is perceiving danger and one of the ways to deal with stress is to go into protection mode.
When are their shoulders pulled up?
Any idea why?…what may their stress be?…or is it merely a habit?
Stress Management Tip: Head and Shoulders Check
Our next stress reduction tip is to do a “head and shoulders” check.
Have you just landed on the battlefield with people preparing to fight?
(Whether they recognize it or not…) or are you in a “safe” zone?
#6 Sign of Stress: Where Are Your Shoulders?
I’ve shown you how to look for some of those signs of stress that others are preparing for battle.
How about you?
Observe where your shoulders are positioned.
Notice what happens to your shoulders when you are feeling stressed.
When you are feeling calm and doing a good job of coping with stress, what are your shoulders doing?
Stress Buster Habits…
Some of you may notice that even when you are feeling calm, your shoulders may still be pulled up.
This generally represents a habit developed over time where your body feels the need to protect you…even when your mind is having a calm period.
The good news is that this bad habit can be replaced with:
1. Conscious awareness
2. Learning and applying new and healthy stress relieving habits for your body!
Stress Management Tip: Kick the Habit
If you’re wondering how to lower stress, it includes lowering your shoulders!
This simple and easy stress management technique is all about kicking the habit of protecting your neck and throat from imagined threats…of course if you are REALLY in a life and death situation, protecting your throat is a good idea!!!!
If you are not really in imminent danger…then help your body get out of battle preparation mode!!!!
You can do it!
I’ve helped thousands of people do the same thing!
And I know you can too!
Want to learn how to manage stress?
Take the first step!
Click here for my Special Report: Biofeedback Training- Discover the Power of Your Mind to Control Your Body
Author: Jinny Joy LaRock, RN, BCB Sr. Fellow