Release Tension Quotes

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As adults, we hvae many inhibitions against crying. We feel it is an expression of weakness, or femininity or of childishness. The person who is afraid to cry is afraid of pleasure. This is because the person who is afraid to cry holds himself together rigidly so that he won't cry; that is, the rigid person is as afraid of pleasure as he is afraid to cry. In a situation of pleasure he will become anxious. As his tensions relax he will begin to tremble and shake, and he will attempt to control this trembling so as not to break down in tears. His anxiety is nothing more than the conflict between his desire to let go and his fear of letting go. This conflict will arise whenever the pleasure is strong enough to threaten his rigidity. Since rigidity develops as a means to block out painful sensations, the release of rigidity or the restoration of the natural motility of the body will bring these painful sensations to the fore. Somewhere in his unconscious the neurotic individual is aware that pleasure can evoke the repressed ghosts of the past. It could be that such a situation is responsible for the adage "No pleasure without pain.
Alexander Lowen (The Voice of the Body)
BEFRIENDING THE BODY Trauma victims cannot recover until they become familiar with and befriend the sensations in their bodies. Being frightened means that you live in a body that is always on guard. Angry people live in angry bodies. The bodies of child-abuse victims are tense and defensive until they find a way to relax and feel safe. In order to change, people need to become aware of their sensations and the way that their bodies interact with the world around them. Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past. In my practice I begin the process by helping my patients to first notice and then describe the feelings in their bodies—not emotions such as anger or anxiety or fear but the physical sensations beneath the emotions: pressure, heat, muscular tension, tingling, caving in, feeling hollow, and so on. I also work on identifying the sensations associated with relaxation or pleasure. I help them become aware of their breath, their gestures and movements. All too often, however, drugs such as Abilify, Zyprexa, and Seroquel, are prescribed instead of teaching people the skills to deal with such distressing physical reactions. Of course, medications only blunt sensations and do nothing to resolve them or transform them from toxic agents into allies. The mind needs to be reeducated to feel physical sensations, and the body needs to be helped to tolerate and enjoy the comforts of touch. Individuals who lack emotional awareness are able, with practice, to connect their physical sensations to psychological events. Then they can slowly reconnect with themselves.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
Since the experience is different for each individual, the tension will reflect that experience. In some persons the whole lower half of the body is relatively immobilized and held in a passive state; in others the muscular tensions are localized in the pelvic floor and around the genital apparatus. If the latter sort of tension is severe, it constitutes a functional castration; for, although the genitals operate normally, they are dissociated in feeling from the rest of the body. Any reduction of sexual feeling amounts to a psychological castration. Generally the person is unaware of these muscular tensions, but putting pressure upon the muscles in the attempt to release the tension is often experienced as very painful and frightening.
Alexander Lowen (Fear Of Life)
In addition to its role in facilitating change, conflict serves a number of other constructive functions—as a releaser of tension, a promoter of growth, a regulator of distance between people, a path to intimacy and to personal gain, and a preventer of stagnation. The intention here is not to convince you to go looking for opportunities to argue at every turn, but rather to help you realize that what makes fighting so intolerable is the belief that it serves no useful purpose. It is extremely important when you find yourself embroiled in controversy to ask yourself what functions the conflict is serving.
Jeffrey A. Kottler
THE BASIC LYING-DOWN POSTURE Begin by lying on your back on the floor or ground—a comfortable surface (firm, but not too hard)—with your knees up, your feet flat on the floor, and a yoga strap tied just above the knees. The strap should be tied tight enough so the knees are just touching or almost touching. We’re creating a triangle between the knees, the feet, and the floor, so that you can relax your thighs, lower back, and pelvic area. Your feet should be comfortably spread apart so that you feel stable and can fully relax. You may also want something supporting your head, such as a folded towel, a sweater, or a small pillow, to raise it slightly. Cross your hands at or over your lower belly with the left hand under the right hand, little fingers down toward the pubic bone, thumbs up toward the navel. This gathers your energy and awareness toward the core of the body. Feel the earth under you and let your body sink down as if into the earth. The more you can allow yourself to feel supported by the earth, the more fully you will be able to relax. Check the comfort of your position. You want to be really relaxed, so your body’s not being strained in any particular way. You should be holding yourself so you can completely relax the muscles in the lower back and the inner thighs and so there’s no effort of holding at all. You’re really relaxed: the triangle of your knees, two feet, and the floor should be very restful for you. Then, put your awareness in your body, and just let yourself continue to relax. Soon after you begin doing these practices, you’ll notice that any time you lie down in this way, in the same position with the intention to do body work, the body responds very quickly. This is the one time in our life when our body actually becomes the focus of attention. We’re not using the body for something else. We’re simply making a relationship with it as it is. It’s the only occasion when we ever do this, including in our sleep. The body begins to respond, to relax, to develop a sense of well-being, even in just taking this position. So just take a few minutes, and let your body completely relax. As you’re just lying there, you’ll notice that your body begins to let go. A muscle here, a muscle there, a tendon here, a joint there: it begins to release the tension in various places. It’s a very living situation. You might think, “Why am I here? There’s not much happening.” That’s not true at all. As long as you’re attentive and you put your awareness into your body, there’s a very dynamic, very lively process of relaxation that the body goes through. But you have to be present. You have to be in your body. You have to be intentionally and deliberately feeling your body for this to work.
Reginald A. Ray (Touching Enlightenment: Finding Realization in the Body)
When a great deal of later inauthentic imitation has been sifted out, the most compelling of these accounts are more than just edifying guides to do-it-yourself sainthood: they preserve portraits of people in the most extreme of situations, the circumstances of which have released them to behave well beyond convention. Most surprising is the journal of sufferings written in the first decade of the third century by an unusually well-educated, spirited (and Montanist) North African martyr called Perpetua. One of the most remarkable pieces of writing by a woman surviving from the ancient world, its content caused problems to both its editors and to subsequent conventionally minded devotees because it was shot through with her determined individuality and self-assertion. She did not simply defy the authorities but went against the expectations of everyday society (including, of course, Christian everyday society) by disobeying her father, who desperately wanted her to abandon her faith: ‘Father’, I said, ‘for the sake of argument, do you see this vase, or whatever you want to call it, lying here?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I see it’. And I said to him, ‘Can you call it by any other name than what it is?’ And he said ‘No, you can’t’. ‘So’, I said, ‘I cannot call myself anything other than what I am – a Christian’. Merely hearing this word upset my father greatly. He threw himself at me with such violence that it seemed he wanted to tear my eyes out …18 In that charged encounter is a characteristic moment of tension for Christianity: how does one form of authority relate to another, and which is going to prevail? Perpetua was disobedient not just to her father but to the institutional Catholic Church which later enrolled her among its martyrs, because she was a Montanist. Some of the most remarkable passages in her account occur in her description of the second and third dreams or visions that she had in her prison cell.
Diarmaid MacCulloch (A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years)