How To Relieve Tension In Neck And Shoulders From Anxiety
Anxiety is something that affects everyone at some point in their lives. If you suffer from chronic anxiety or panic attacks, you might want to try these simple relaxation techniques to ease stress and improve your overall health.
Anxiety disorders affect over 40 million Americans. This condition causes excessive worry and fear, often leading to avoidance behaviors.
Anxiety can cause muscle tension in the neck and shoulder area. This tension can lead to headaches, back pain, and other issues. Relaxation exercises can help reduce tension and increase flexibility.
If you are suffering from tension in your neck and shoulders due to anxiety, and want to stop it, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, we are going to look at some tips and tricks that can help release the tension in your neck and shoulders.
How Are Anxiety, Neck Tension, And Shoulder Tension Linked?
You might be wondering how something you are feeling has physical effects on the body. Well, the answer is quite simple. When you are experiencing anxiety, your muscles can contract.
This is a reflex reaction of your muscles and some people refer to it as a flight or fight response.
So since your muscles tense up when you are anxious this can cause stiffness and tension in these muscles. There are many physical effects of anxiety, such as being out of breath or even sweating.
Ways To Release Tension In Your Neck And Shoulders
Now that you know how anxiety affects your neck and shoulders, let’s take a look at some ways to relax them.
Warm Shower Or Bath
One way to relax your neck and shoulders is by taking a warm shower or bath. The heat will open up your pores and allow for more blood flow. It also helps to loosen tight muscles.
You can use Epsom salt or baking soda in the water to make the experience even better.
A warm shower or a bath is a great way to help reduce stress and anxiety. The warmth can help you relax and can be quite soothing. In turn, you feel less stressed and anxious.
You can even make showering or taking a warm bath more relaxing by lighting some candles, listening to some music, or even using bubbles in the bath.
We would recommend that you massage your neck and shoulders when you are in the shower or bath. This will help to release the tension in your muscles.
It would also be a good idea to do some stretches for your neck and shoulders.
Stretch Your Neck
Another way to relax your neck is by stretching it. Stretching your neck can help to stretch out any knots or tightness in your muscles. Make sure to go slowly while doing this exercise so that you don’t strain your neck.
One neck stretch requires you to stand straight and tall. Then, you need to bring your left hand and place it on the top of your head with your fingers on the side of your face.
Slowly pull your head to the left side so you can feel your neck stretch. Repeat this on the opposite side.
You also should stretch the back of your neck. To do this you lean your head forward until you can feel your neck stretching. Hold your head in this position for a few minutes and then release.
There is also the option of moving your head side to side in a semicircle position to stretch your neck.
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Stretch Your Shoulders
Stretching your shoulders will also be able to release the tension in them caused by anxiety. One of the simplest shoulder stretches to do in order to release tension from your shoulders, is a shoulder roll.
All you have to do is keep your arms at your side and then roll your shoulders backward for a few seconds. Once you have done this, you roll your shoulders forward for the same amount of time.
Rolling your shoulders should help to loosen any tension that is in them.
Go To Yoga
Since stretching is so important for being able to get rid of shoulder and neck tension, doing yoga will help with this. If you repeatedly go to yoga this will help the tension in your neck and shoulders for longer.
Also, if you practice yoga regularly, you will notice that your body becomes stronger and healthier over time.
Yoga has been proven to help people who suffer from anxiety as well. Yoga isn’t just about stretching, it is also about meditating. The act of stretching and meditation can help to calm your anxiety.
When you do yoga, you focus on breathing. Breathing exercises can help to calm your mind and body. By focusing on your breath, you can take deep breaths which will help to clear your mind.
There are also specific yoga poses that are known for helping with anxiety and its symptoms.
Check Your Positions
If you notice that you get a lot of anxiety when you are doing specific tasks such as your job, then it is a good idea to make sure that your work area is comfortable.
You need to make sure that your laptop or computer is placed correctly so that your neck is not strained.
You can also check the seat is supporting your body to reduce the strain on your neck and shoulders. If you have a desk job it is important that you move around during your job.
Treat Your Anxiety
Whilst all of these tips will help to reduce your neck and shoulder tension, the best way to get rid of it is to start treating your anxiety. This means that you need to talk to someone about how you are feeling.
It could be a friend or family member, or a therapist. Talking to someone about your feelings will help you to understand what is causing your anxiety.
You may want to try and find the trigger of your anxiety, this could help you work out the best treatment for it.
There are so many ways to treat anxiety, so to start working on your anxiety, speak to a mental health care professional.
Anxiety is something that everyone feels every now and again. However, some people feel anxious more often than others.
If you are finding yourself getting stressed out more often than usual, then there are things that you can do to help.
Having physical effects caused by your anxiety can make you feel worse. However, there are plenty of ways to reduce the tension in your body.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you to learn how to deal with tension in your neck and shoulders. Please share this guide with anyone else who might benefit from reading it. Thank you for reading!
Author: Michelle Landeros, LMFT
Michelle Landeros is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT). She is passionate about helping individuals, couples and families thrive.
Last updated: November 29, 2023