Number 4 in the Tool Box: Releasing tension with mindfulness training online

Books, Releasing tension with mindfulness      Releasing tension with mindfulness training online

Feeling a little stressed about all the free mindfulness training online? So am I. A simple search for releasing tension has led me down the bunny trail for almost 3 hours of time, showing me information that really does not help and even a site that wanted to charge me $49.95 for a 9 series of 7 minutes meditation. Online? But wait, act now and get 3 free ebooks!

Everyone explained how we can live happier without stress and tension. I agree. Everyone explained the various ways to release the stress and tension. And I agree. In fact, I have tried several and they worked! Everyone talked and explained how to live without stress, without tension. And I disagree. Let me explain step by step:

  • Grandpa and his gravel roads
  • Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Guided meditations
  • Increasing the experience



Grandpa and his gravel roads

Grandpa advised me to relax and hold on. Usually he said this just before turning down a bumpy road and speeding up. No matter how I braced, what I clung to in desperation, I got shaken around, slammed from side to side and thrown all around. Grandpa just smiled and went even faster. One hand on the steering wheel, hand rolling a cigarette with the other and never looking at me. Nope, he was too busy looking for squirrels and birds.Releasing tension with mindfulness

Just like life itself. It is full of holes, loose gravel, and has sharp twists and turns. Trust me, the next bump will be worse than the last one. I grew to love those rides with my Grandpa. The tension building as we approached a dirt road, the stress of the ride itself and the incredible rush of the experience. Tension and stress play a vital role in our lives. Often, we are able to accomplish the impossible tasks because of the stress and tension.

They also play into our health and happiness. I think, to have life, we must have stress. To be able to enjoy the feeling of living we must feel tension. We have to have a way to release or we will be missing out on life. Switch attitude to the stress. Don’t just see the negative consequences of feeling stressed. Use mindfulness to think differently about the stress itself.  Accept the stress, knowing you cannot prevent it. Acknowledge and use the stress and tension but allow them to pass.

Whenever I went to visit, Grandpa would say, “I found a new road” or even better, “a shortcut!” Grandpa’s shortcuts were always even more thrilling than the paved road.


Thich Nhat Hanh

As we know, Thich Nhat Hanh has a simple breakdown of five exercises for mindfulness in everyday life. Number four in the list is Releasing Tension. “Breathing in, I’m aware of my body. Breathing out, I release the tension in my body.” With practice, you realize 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 have the oppuritunity to fill the void.

Stress builds up…and when we DON’T release stress we get sick, diseased, unhappy, and problems arise in life.

Relaxing music helps to lower blood pressure and decrease the level of stress hormones flowing through your body. This happens in part because the calming music helps you to slow down and pace your breathing, reducing your heart rate and pulse. Certain music also stimulates the relaxation response of your autonomic nervous system.

Guided Meditations

Remember, the tools in your tool box work best when used together. Some are essential, some may be only needed to “get in the flow” and some you use at the same time. Just as Rome took a couple of days to build, meditation does not emerge full grown.

I find guided meditations to be very helpful and can lead to a solid foundation for meditation and relaxation. I try to find meditations that are simple and short enough to give a taste without overpowering.  These are chosen to allow you to gain benifits without taking a lot of time. I use these and similar guides when I wish to go for a quick fix.

Meditation for release of tension    and/or Short meditation for tension

Why use meditation just to relieve tension? I believe tension/stress to be as much a part of our lives as happiness and contentment. It is the buildup, the execess of tension that is damaging. Before going into a situtation, take 5 minutes and grab some tools. Breath, Concentrate, be Aware. Set yourself for what comes next with a plan. We do not control the future, but we can influence it.

Releasing tension with mindfulnessScenario; My son gets into trouble at his high school. Because of his conduct, I, yes, I get called to the Principals Office. Do I walk in with Alice Cooper “No more Mr. Nice Guy” blowing up my headphones? Or do I walk in withJohn Lennon’s “Imagine”? Yes, exactly, Alice all the way! Make the principal wait till the song is over! With maybe a little George Thorogood And The Destroyers – Bad To The Bone  for an exit theme.

Increasing the experience

Were you aware that meditation itself can be stressful? Am I doing this right? I can’t stop the thoughts. How come I don’t feel the Joy? Do I have to sit a with my hands in a special position?  And on and on.

Remember Rome. Small steps on a solid path are more peaceful than running in the deep sand. And more productive. First, use guided sessions to get on the path and take small steps to progress. Once you feel comfortable, move up to small steps of just you meditating, no guide.

To enhance meditation, I use music. There are a lot of choices and you can build different playlists,  the supply is endless. I have my favorites, depending on what I wish to reach for. What works for me may not work for you, I suggest you sample different types and styles. One does not fit all.


To wrap it up

My Grandpa and Thich Nhat Hanh agreed that tension is, and always will be, a part of our daily life. I have learned thru life that no matter how much stress and tension I remove, more takes its place. Almost a Catch-22.

We now have 4 of the five basic tools. Let’s add Mindful Walking and gain harmony between our minds and bodies. Our toolbox is bginning tofill up. There is plenty of room for the speciality tools, the ones designed and made to address areas in our life. Just as there are different types of screwdrivers, there are different meditations for the different aspects of anxaity.

Mindfulness Walking is the next essential addition. Throw out the sitting, let’s get some movement into this. For now, we need some time to reflect and to practice what is working and to revise what is not.

Honest answer time. Can you remove ALL the stress and tension from your life, starting right now and going forward from today? How do you handle all of today’s stress and tension? Leave a comment, let me know what additional tools you would like in Your Tool Box.

Questions, comments are always welcome!

Walking the Path of Peace,






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18 thoughts on “Number 4 in the Tool Box: Releasing tension with mindfulness training online”

  1. These are some great tools to relieve stress and tension! One of my go to methods is meditation, like you’ve mentioned here. It helps me to breathe calmly and to remind myself of the bigger picture and that I don’t need to be so stressed. Another great stress reliever, to my surprise, has been exercise! I’ve had so many times where I’m stressed out of my mind and cannot get into a state where meditation works. In these times I exercise and by the time I’m done, my body is loose, my mind is, and I feel ten times better.

    • Thanks,  I also think of meditation as a way to allow the big picture a chance to develope and expand. To take a potentially stressful situation and utilize the stress in positive way. Understanding that in every negative there is a positive.

      Physical exercise is a great way to rid the body of stress and anger. The exercise can also be a form of meditation. Using physical exercise allows us to burn off the negative build up and allow our minds to reset to a happier state. Mindful exercise (being in the moment) is one of my next subjects.

      Walk in the Path of Peace,


  2. Stress is inevitable , because as humans we have to get things together to make a living. By so doing stress is also part of our lives. It is left to us to look for away that it won’t cause the unwanted in our bodies. The tips in this article are really helpful. Too straight to the point. Thank you

  3. I loved your post, especially because finally I found a person that sustain that stress and tension needs to be embraced in a different way, make them a resource for giving more in our life by controlling them.
    I ll definitely keep following your future posts!

    • Stefano,
      Thank you, so glad to meet you. Stress/tension is so much a part of our life that often we do not realize how much we deal with on a daily basis. Meditation can provide a healthy release and a understanding of the stress. I think of it as a Yin/Yang type of relationship with contentment. Without one, how can we have the other?
      Walk in the Path of Peace,

    • Dennis, Thank you. Music can and does open the mind to being more creative and productive. It can be used to quiet our inner voice and allows us to concentrate on our bodies, the surroundings and on areas we need to improve upon.
      Walk in the Path of Peace,

  4. Loved the post Sanders, especially the story with your grandpa. I’ve personally tried mindfulness walking and in my experience its something which comes only when your mind is already calm to a certain extent.
    What I mean is, if someone is already well versed in a meditation practice and has been following a routine for a while, then a walking meditation is fantastic.
    I’ve experienced both this as well the other side, which is when my mind isn’t calm and applying awareness to walking just seems like repeating a bunch of statements in my head.
    Anyway, just wanted to share my experience. Thank for the post!

    • Vivek,
      Thanks for the kind words. And you are right, walking meditation requires some preparation and a calm base to start. Mindfulness walking actually is my next tool I discuss and without going into too much detail (I do want you to visit again), it should be a natural and comfortable experience. Have you ever tried just the walking and allowing the mantras, the statements to just not be a part of the walk? I think you are going to be on autopilot one walk, and then be hooked.
      Till then, Walk in the Path of Peace

  5. Hello Sanders,
    Great article. I love Grandpa’s idea…it made me smile. I am a big fan when it comes to relaxation. I know that we do not live in a perfect world and things can get hectic – and I use these words loosely. LOL. I love nature and so there are times when I practice mindfulness in my nature walks. I find it so soothing just listening to the ‘nature sounds’ and the ‘silence’ when it happens. Yes, stress will be a ‘feature’ in our lives, but it does not have to take the ‘driver seat’.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hello Michelle, Grandpa would be pleased to know he can still make people smile. I am pleased to know you meditate and are active in Mindfulness. I have practiced my form of mindfulness for quite a few years, never realizing that my mix and match methods actually were a meditation in themselves. Nature walks are a perfect place to practice mindful walking, and the Silence…well, you know just how good it is.
      Continue on down the Path of Peace,

  6. To relieve tension and stress, I simply exercise. I listen to some positive affirmation CDs once in a while and that’s about it. I don’t let stress build up to the point that it is overwhelming.

    • Melinda,
      Positive affirmation cds can get the job done. I have used them also. Exercise is a great way to relieve the stress and tension. You are very lucky to be able to manage your stress with these methods and I think you have found the path for you.

  7. You have shared some great ways to relieve stress. I agree with you that stress is everywhere. It is inevitable. It occurs in our lives daily. We can’t avoid them altogether, but we can learn to relief stress. I like the tips you mentioned in your article. I normally find myself listening to relaxing music when I am stressed. And it works for me. I will keep your tips in mind. Thank you!

    • Hong, Thanks for stopping by. Stress can be a major factor in some peoples life. Having a way to deal with and understand what is going on is essential for remaining balanced. Relaxing music is a fantastic way to unwind and let go of a bad day. Try adding a breathing exercise and you will be amazed at the difference.

  8. Today, in the modern world, many people have stress. I admit I am one of them too. And I handle it with meditation. It does bring peace and relaxation. But it is a brief respite from the stress I face every day. Still, it is better to have some peace and relaxation than none.

    I have frozen shoulder for past weeks. Perhaps this is one of the physical manifestation of stress? I have tried to relief it through meditation (and of course acupuncture). It is slightly better now. I am thinking maybe I should try it with music. Cos I have been meditating without music. Do you know of any meditation with music that heals the body?

    • Timotheus,
      Stress and tension are widespread throughout this world. Meditation is and should be used wisely, and if you are faced with a demanding lifestyle, with a heavy load of stress, you should consult a mental health counselor. Many use meditation as a part of therapy and the benefits are great. Meditation should be able to help you develop the understanding and skills to cope. The amount of stress should also be addressed.
      Physical strains and pain should be checked out by a medical doctor. I am also not one of those. Meditation and acupuncture can have positive effects. Music for healing physical pain is not something I have tried but if you will go to see a medical doctor, here are a couple of suggestions to listen to as you go: (binaural beat and isochronic tone music therapy track that uses multiple binaural frequencies from 1.5Hz to 10Hz, length 1 hour) or (Whole Body Inflammation Pain Relief Binaural Beats Rife Frequencies, length 1 hour).
      See a medical doctor, my friend. Stress may not be the leading cause. Let me know how you are doing, please.
      Walk in the Path of Peace,


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