Stressed, tense and need to relax? Try this

Stressed and tense and ready to explode
Do you identify with this?! Image courtesy of stockimages/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So it’s Friday afternoon and you’re worn out – again.

Your back is aching and your nerves are frazzled. You’ve had another week of interminable meetings where everyone has something to say (at great length) but no-one wants to make a decision; stroppy phone calls; preparing that report with the oh-so-imminent deadline; and the rest of the time you were hunched up at your desk, chained to your email inbox.

Yay, it’s Friday – it’s the weekend. But straight away the thought hits home: two days and then it’ll be Monday and it all starts over again, and again, and again…

You’re on a treadmill. You’re tired. You’re stressed. Your mind is constantly running away with all the things you need to do. You know something needs to change because you’re getting tension headaches and you’re starting to feel overwhelmed by life.

You’re not alone


This feeling is sadly all too common in our culture.  And the majority of people who come to my yoga classes and for 1-2-1s say they come because they want to relax; they need to unwind their tensed-up shoulders; they need solace from their busy day; their time on the mat is their much needed me-time.

I know first-hand: I’ve been there myself. That feeling of everything being too much; of not knowing where to start; of being so tense you’re almost holding your breath; the tightness in your shoulders; the knotted feeling of dread in your stomach when you get up in the morning…

Yoga helped me through it and I know it can help you.

You can take back control

First off, know that it doesn’t have to be this way.

You can take charge of your response to the stress factors your working day throws at you. You can do this with the simplest, and most powerful, tool you have at your disposal: your breath.

And if you add to this the power of your mind you have a wonderful way to take back control of the way you react to everyday challenges and your health and wellbeing.

Try this simple exercise

You can do this exercise at any time of day.

You can take 1 minute or 10. You can do it at your desk, stuck in your car on your commute, at home surrounded by candles and soft music, or in the middle of the night when you’re mulling over pesky work problems and your mind won’t switch off.

  1. Sit or lie comfortably. Lift your breastbone a little so you’re not slouching. Relax your shoulders and jaw.
  2. Breathe in and say to yourself a silent “let”
  3. Breathe out silently say “go”

It’s as simple as that. Repeat, repeat, and repeat again.

Do this as many times as you need until you feel the stress, anxiety or tension fading.

Say it like you mean it – let … go… If appropriate say it out loud!

Use your breath. Breathe in a sense of expansion, breathe out any tension. Breathe in relief, breathe out release.

Let… Go… Invite your shoulders to relax.

Let … Go… Feel your jaw unclench.

Let … Go… Allow your breath to calm your body and mind.

Know that you can cope

Whatever life throws at you, you can cope.

You can step back and connect to your breath to create a sense of space and ease and calm.

Affirm to yourself: “I let go of that which no longer serves me. I welcome calm and peace of mind ….”

Breathe, release, allow calm to wash through you.

And know that next time you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed that a breath and two little words can  help you through it.

Let… Go…


Over to you

Have you given this simple exercise a try? How did it feel for you? What circumstances in your life can you think of that this exercise could help you with? I’d love to hear how you get on in the comments box below.

What next?

If you’re finding stress at work is affecting your health and wellbeing and you want to learn practical techniques you can bring into your life every day to help you release stress and tension then click here to find out how to book a Relax and Let Go session with me.

This is a 75 minute 1-2-1 session to learn simple movements to release bodily tension, relaxation techniques to restore calm and equilibrium, and exercises to retrain your brain to create positive thought patterns.

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2 thoughts on “Stressed, tense and need to relax? Try this

  1. Fantastically simple, yet amazingly effective, I have tried this little excercise and feel immediately calmer. Thank you so much Stella, I am learning so much from you, through your yoga class and through your emails and blogs :-)

    1. Thank you Sarah for your lovely comments :) I’m so glad this – and my other posts – are helping you. Yes, this is a wonderfully simple yet brilliantly effective exercise isn’t it?. I love the fact that you can do it anywhere and no-one needs to know you’re doing it if you don’t want them to!! xx

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