Stress.....what a pain in the neck.
Kids are screaming, the empty milk container in the fridge mean its MacDonald's again for breakfast today, you've just spilt coffee down your shirt for the second time as you close the front door, and as you start the car you can't remember if you brushed your teeth today or not, and its not even 7am.....This was my life only a few years ago. I ran on adrenaline, fuelled by stress, rushing from pillar to post in order to get everything done. What that manifested into was headaches, fatigue and constant pain and tension in my neck and shoulders.
With the fast paced society we live in, there is no surprise that stress is a major factor for pain and tension in the body, especially the head and neck. Regular headaches, tinnitus, stomach pains, eye strain and jaw pain are all signals you are not coping with stress.
So why does it end up in our neck and shoulders?
1. Changes in our Breathing Pattern
When we are stressed, we stop taking long deep breaths from the belly up and instead take short , sharp , shallow breaths from the top of our chest - fatiguing our upper body muscles which are working overtime and robbing our bodies of oxygen.
2. We clench our jaws
Whether you are conscious of it or not, we do it. That constant clenching then feeds tension into the muscles of the neck and shoulders and remains there.
3. Our posture changes
Think about the last time you were happy - you stood upright, head up, shoulders back....when we are stressed we collapse through the belly and slump causing a shortening through our chest area, which creates tightness and tension and restricts our breathing further.
So what can you do today to improve the way your neck and shoulders feel at the end of the day?
In my next post I have a video to share, that will feature a couple of releases you can do in the body in order to relieve the tension you have built up through out the day.