When you experience stress, there are a number of responses that occur in our brain and body. Our brain releases certain chemicals into the brain that impact the way we think and feel. What many people do not realize is that when we are faced with a stressful situation we also have a physical reaction to the situation. We tense muscles, our breathing patterns shifts, our blood pressure changes and the tension often get held in the body. So even when the stressful situation is behind us, stress has left its mark.
There are a few common places where most people carry stress in their body. Understanding where these stress hotspots are can help you find the best way to eliminate the tension and live with lower stress levels. Here are a few of the most common locations you hold stress in your body.
Stress Hotspot #1: Your Neck, Shoulders, and Back
Neck pain is a problem for a lot of adults. This is due, in large part, to the fact that when we encounter stress many of us tense many of our major muscle systems. One of these is our necks. The tension in your neck can lead to pain throughout the neck, back and shoulders, as well as chronic headaches.
Stress Hotspot #2: Your Jaw
When many people experience a troubling situation their first response is to unknowingly clench their teeth. This can lead to tension in your jaw. Chronic stress can lead to pain and discomfort from this clenching motion.
Stress Hotspot #3: Your Stomach
Another resting spot for stress responses is in your stomach. People who live with high levels of stress will often complain of a variety of stomach ailments. Anything from heartburn to nausea or diarrhea to stomach pain can be the results of tension buildup.
Stress Hotspot #4: Your Head
Here we are not talking about your mind, but your head. The tension you might have in your neck and shoulders can creep up and affect your head. Headaches, lack of clarity and focus, and soreness in your eyes can all occur as a result of tension building.
Stress Hotspot #5: Your Hips
If you asked people to guess where they carry stress in their body it is unlikely that their hips and pelvis would be a common response. But almost any yoga instructor will tell you that the hips play an important role in the stress response. There is a strong correlation between tension in the jaw and the hips. While the relationship is not fully understood, we do know that stress settles in the hips.
When you identify where you carry the majority of your stress physically, it can be a first step to reducing the tension. This can help increase your feeling of well-being. By achieving lower rates of physical tension in the body you can also help alleviate stress and tension in your mind.