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Carrying tension

Recently I was on a call with a colleague who breathlessly asked if she could share "a really cool thing" and being curious I said “yes”. Here's a summary of what she talked me through.

First she had me get comfortable in my chair, feet flat on the ground, sitting upright and taking a few calming breaths.

Then she asked me to relax my face. And I was shocked about how much tension I noticed. My jaw was tight, my forehead, my cheeks, my tongue all held tension.

Then she spoke to me, taking my attention to scan the different parts of my face, starting from the top (scalp, forehead, eyebrows,) moving downward (eyes, cheeks, mouth, tongue) and to the bottom of the face (jaw, chin, neck and shoulders). By the end my face was slack and there was a notable change in my energy as I stopped carrying tension in my face and jaw.

Since then I've shared this with several friends and one shared another method

  • Start with a happy face. Make the biggest smile you can, hold and count to 5 and then relax

  • Next move to you jaw - let it fully relax and so your mouth hangs open

  • Wrinkle your forehead by arching your eyebrows as high as possible and then furrow your brow stretching the forehead.

The last two are my new favorites: squeeze your eyes tight shut and then let them open keeping your eyelids closed and finally

  • the nose scrunch

When you stop and feel your face... what a difference.

I'd love to hear where you have found tension in yourself, and the techniques you employ to reduce it!

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