The bodily experience of emotions is almost instantaneous. It takes us only a few seconds to experience a negative emotion at the bodily level. When we are stressed, we automatically tense the muscles in the jaw and around the eyes and mouth, as well as the muscles in the neck and back. These muscles tense at the same time to prepare the body for a reaction, and then relax when the stressful situation disappears.
It’s a reflex response that protects us and isn’t really harmful, except when stress becomes a chronic condition. In this case, the muscles never relax, but remain in a state of constant tension.
Chronically stressed people suffer from shortening of the neck and shoulder muscles over time.
Sudden involuntary muscle movements (muscle spasms) are often very small, like a twitch or a kick, and they usually come and go fairly quickly. It can also be convulsions – long, pulling muscle pains, which are also considered a type of muscle spasms.
A large mental load causes an increase in muscle tension in the neck and shoulder areas, especially in people working at a computer.
Muscle tension reduces blood flow to the affected area, which reduces the supply of oxygen, contributing to the accumulation of lactic acid and toxic metabolites.
Shortening of muscle fibers can also activate pain receptors. Stress activates nerve structures, so it also lowers the pain threshold and makes us perceive it more intensely than it really is.
Since it is almost impossible to avoid stress, it is convenient to have a whole arsenal of relaxation techniques on hand to help relieve stress. If you are short on time, you can apply some relaxation techniques in a few minutes, but it is convenient that at least three times a week you apply other methods, such as SCENAR technology, which is very helpful for acute stress.