6 Exercises to Relieve Tension in Your Body

You can take a moment at any time of day to relieve tension in your body – all you have to do is focus in on yourself, and work on relaxing every part of your body bit by bit.
6 Exercises to Relieve Tension in Your Body
Carlos Fabián Avila

Written and verified by Doctor Carlos Fabián Avila.

Last update: 11 May, 2022

Since stress and anxiety are the main causes of a range of different illnesses and ailments, it’s very important to find a reliable way to relieve tension in your body.

Daily life can be full of little moments of worry and stress. Situations like these can cause muscular tension which, as it builds up in your body, can end up causing physical pain, and even worse situations.

Why does stress cause muscle tension?

When the body finds itself in a dangerous situation, it provokes an immediate reaction designed to make us ready to deal with the threat. It prepares us physically and mentally to fight for our survival.

This reaction makes the muscles tense and contract, preparing the body to defend itself.

In fact, when we’re subjected to large amounts of stress, our body doesn’t know what specific type of dangerous situation we’re facing.

This is because the signals sent by our brains are usually the same, whether it’s a stressful work situation or a savage wild animal that is perceived as the threat.

6 Exercises to Relieve Tension in Your Body

6 exercises to help relieve tension in your body

There are ways to help relieve tension in your body. Let’s take a look at some simple exercises that can help get rid of pains and discomfort caused by accumulated stress and tension. 

1. Back tension

  • Stand up and stretch your arms up over your head.
  • Lean backward, with your spine arched.
  • Return to your starting position.
  • Repeat 5 times.

This exercise is a very effective way of relieving built-up tension in your back.

2. Neck tension

6 Exercises to Relieve Tension in Your Body

The neck is one of the areas of the body that is most affected by stress. We’ll look at one simple exercise that can help eliminate tension that builds up around this area.

  • Stand up with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Put your hands on your hips and move your head carefully and slowly forward and backward, as if nodding.
  • Repeat 8 times.

3. Tension in the head and face

6 Exercises to Relieve Tension in Your Body

At times, the head and face are areas where stress and anxiety build up. Check out this simple exercise to help eliminate it.

  • Stand up and stretch your arms up above your head.
  • Move your head from side to side.
  • To help you with this stretch, put your hands on your head to enable you to stretch your head further.
  • Repeat 8 times, 4 stretches on each side.

4. Tension in the muscles of the upper body

This exercise is perfect for relieving the stress that builds up in the back, the trapezius muscle, and the neck.

  • Stand up and stretch your arms up above your head.
  • Bend your neck from side to side.
  • To help you with this exercise, use your hands to help you stretch further.
  • Maintain the stretch for 10 seconds on each side.

5. Tension throughout the body

This exercise can help relieve tension that builds up around your waist, the lower back and the lumbar muscles.

  • Stand up and stretch your arms up above your head.
  • Bend your body towards the right, sliding your left hand down your right arm.
  • Return to the starting position, and repeat on the other side.
  • Do a total of 8 repetitions, 4 on each side.

6. Eliminating all types of tension

woman stretching at work

This exercise is perfect for people who suffer large amounts of physical, mental, and emotional stress.

If you’re prone to anxiety and fatigue, or you just feel exhausted after a hard day’s work, try out this exercise to relieve tension in your body:

  • Pick a tranquil, well-ventilated spot.
  • Stand up (although this exercise can also be done sitting down) and, with your feet firmly together, relax your eyes, letting them defocus, and breathe normally.
  • Your head should be in its normal position.
  • Let your arms hang freely at the sides of your body. If you’re sitting down, your arms should be resting on your legs.
  • Let your shoulders drop down towards your elbows. This will help tension move down towards your fingers.
  • Visualize the weight of your upper body moving downwards towards your pelvis.
  • Let your waist loosen up, and feel the strength and solidity in your feet.
  • Now, in a state of total relaxation, imagine your head reaching up to touch the sky, while your feet remain firmly planted in the earth.
  • If you feel that your body is perfectly balanced, retain this position and don’t do anything. Just let your body express itself and get rid of all that built-up tension.
  • Try to keep up this position for 5 minutes. Just let your mind relax and try to let go of your everyday worries.
  • After 5 minutes, rub your hands together and massage your face and neck.

These simple exercises will help you relieve tension in your body, which can often build up because of stress and the everyday worries that affect us all.

Don’t hesitate, try them out now – you won’t regret it!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.