How to make peace with tension.
The Make Peace with Stress method transforms every challenge into a catalyst for growth—even tension.
Learn how to apply this simple method. N.O.W. is an acronym:
N is NOTICE—step 1 is noticing your experience.
O is OPEN—step 2 is to open to the opportunity for growth.
W is WELCOME—step 3 is welcoming what you want.
Frequent muscle tension, tension headaches, and just feeling tense are all indications that you are not taking time to relax. If you’re struggling with tension, you probably know that. Or you try to relax, but struggle with that too. Because the body and mind work together, physical and mental tension feed each other.
NOTICE this: There are probably areas of your body that are always tense like the shoulders. One way to release this chronic physical tension that can also ease mental strain is to squeeze and release with the breath. Inhale: squeeze or clench tense muscles. Exhale: release them. Repeat several times. Often.
Chronically tense people often harbor guilt about relaxing or making time just for themselves. You might feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders (no wonder they’re tense!), that your responsibilities are too great to let yourself take time for you. This is exactly why you need to do just that.
OPEN to this: You can’t show up for your responsibilities if you’re not taking care of yourself. And your chronic tension is trying to tell you that you’re tipping the scale of putting too much pressure on yourself. Starting with just a 3-minute mindful check-in is enough to start giving your tension the attention it needs.
When you’re tense most of the time, you’re prone to restlessness, frustration, and even angry outbursts. This is probably not the way you want to be or behave, but it’s important to recognize it’s because you feel anxious, strained, and on edge inside. Getting some of this tension out will help you be more intentional.
WELCOME this: An effective way to offload some of the mental load you may be carrying is to do a brain dump. Get a blank piece of paper, set a timer for 5-7 minutes, and list every single thing that’s on your mind without editing, formatting, or organizing. It doesn’t have to make sense, just get it out of your head.