Wed, Apr 26th, 2017

How meditation can ‘melt away’ tension once it’s felt with full mindful awareness

  • When stress is ‘delivered’ as awareness moves in, peace fills the void
  • This week it’s the Tension Release exercise from Mindfulness For Health
  • Aim is to pay attention to areas of tension, and then to breathe ‘into’ them

Nothing creates more stress than when you feel trapped by illness. Negative thoughts and worries leave you burnt-out and create tension in the body, aggravating illnesses and injuries.

Stress dampens the immune system and  shuts down the body’s self-repair mechanisms. Yet while it’s impossible to prevent stress arising, mindfulness can teach you how to deal with it.

After practice, you realise that stress (like pain) is a ‘message’ that melts away once it’s ‘delivered’ or felt with full mindful awareness. When this occurs, happiness and peace fill the void.

Such contentment  boosts the immune system, restarts repair mechanisms and improves quality of life.

This week’s meditation is the Tension Release, the final of three exercises taken from my book Mindfulness For Health:  A Practical Guide To Relieving Pain, Reducing Stress And Restoring Wellbeing (Piatkus).

The aim is to move your awareness around the body, paying attention to areas of tension, and then to gently breathe ‘into’ them. Follow the instructions below or download an audio track at

  • Either sit in a  straight-backed chair, upright but relaxed, or  lie down with your arms  at your sides.
  • Close your eyes. Allow your shoulders, neck,  back and face to soften. Feel the points of contact between your body and the floor or chair.
  • Be aware of your breathing. Feel the whole body expand and contract.
  • Guide your awareness to the first area of tension. Allow the breath to soothe and massage it.
  • Focus awareness on the next area of tension for a few minutes, and then the next, until you have explored the most tense areas of your body.
  • Open your eyes and gently move your body.

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