Relaxing Your Body and Mind

Posted by Annie Keough on September 21, 2022


You may notice when you're feeling an overwhelming emotion- whether it’s stress, anger, sadness, etc.- there is a physical reaction your body makes. Intense anger can cause a headache, chronic stress can make you tense or nauseous, and grief can leave an empty feeling in your chest. 

Emotional tension and trauma can often manifest themselves in physical discomfort and/or pain. When you have a lot going on in your life or you’re going through something stressful, many of us tend to internalize that stress and “bottle it up.” Repressed feelings don’t just disappear, though. 

According to the American Psychological Association, anxiety-inducing experiences can make our muscles contract in a stress response. Those muscles only relax when the perceived threat is gone. In cases of chronic or ongoing stress, however, that perceived threat remains and our bodies continue to stay in a tense state.

The main areas of your body that hold that repressed stress are your neck, shoulders, jaw, and back. Fortunately, there are exercises that focus on releasing bodily tension so that you can relieve tension in your mind.

Here are some practices and exercises you can try to release tension:

Yoga. Yoga is a very effective way of relieving stress-related tension in your body. One study found that those who participated in 9 weeks of yoga experienced significantly lower tension in their back and neck. Try out a few simple and relaxing yoga videos here.

Scan your body. Take a few minutes a couple of times a day to scan your body and see where you're holding tension. Release and relax your stiff muscles, focusing on your neck, jaw, shoulders, and back. Check out 10 neck and shoulder stretches you can do daily here.

Massage. Massages are the most popular form of tension release and relaxation for good reason. Massages relieve tightness by increasing blood circulation to your muscles, as well as increasing the temperature of soft tissue through friction. If you can’t get to a professional masseuse, you can try a few self-massage techniques.

Warm compress. Applying a warm compress (heating pad, warm towel) to areas with high tension can increase blood flow and reduce pain. You can also try taking a warm bath with a few drops of aromatherapy oil.


Wellzesta recognizes that for our users to experience emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness, their mind and bodies need to be released from tension.

Wellzesta Life’s daily wellness content offers educational videos that target beginners in yoga, meditation, and body scanning. Wellness articles also include information on stress relief and resources to manage stress-related tension in your body.

Life also offers Events and Groups to those interested in practicing these exercises with other like-minded people.

Click here to learn more about how Wellzesta can help your community.