How To Release Tension In Your Shoulders

Shoulder tension is a common symptom of stress and anxiety. Instinctually, muscles around our shoulders and neck contract when we're faced with a stressful event. This is largely due to our fight or flight response when we perceive an event or a part of our surroundings as a physical threat, via Healthline. While addressing stress and anxiety head-on can improve shoulder tension, there are immediate remedies that provide relief. In fact, stretching is recommended as one of the simplest, fastest ways to provide relief. For example, a deep neck stretch where you gently pull your head to each side for 30 seconds can help reduce tension down the sides of the neck and shoulders to improve flexibility. Child's pose is another stretch that can help release tension in the shoulders and back. Despite the fact that this pose is performed in seemingly every yoga class, it's a gentle stretch most people can do on their own at home. To this effect, many find the practice of yoga to help reduce bodily tension and calm the mind.

Other ways to reduce tension

While stretching can help reduce tension, there are other remedies to consider. Exposing tight muscles to heat can also help. You can accomplish this in a variety of ways, including taking a warm bath, applying a warm compress, or sitting in a sauna. If those methods don't sound appealing or aren't easily accessible, consider a DIY massage by using your own hands or a massage therapy tool (mechanical or electric) to massage your neck and shoulders. If you can't quite get the relief you need, you may want to ask a friend to help massage the area using shoulder-specific massage techniques, via University of Michigan Health. Many of these methods work by massaging deep into the muscle tissue to provide relief. Another factor that may contribute to shoulder tension is your work environment. Sitting with poor posture, or in chairs without proper ergonomic support, can cause tension and pain after prolonged periods of time, via Healthline. Opting for standing desks or chairs that promote healthy posture can go a long way to help ease tension.