The Most Surprising Places You Hold Onto Stress

If you have ever felt anxious, pressure or tension mounting in your life, you just might be stressed. We find ways in life to treat the symptoms of stress by rubbing the areas that are hurting, applying heat or adjusting posture. This might bring about some immediate relief, but it might not get rid of it all. You might also be building up physical pain in unexpected places due to stress. Here are the most surprising place you are holding onto stress.


One of the most surprising places you hold onto stress is in your hips. Believe it or not, your hips are beat up by both emotional and physical stress. Things like sitting at your desk all day, running or exercising can really put tension on your hips.

The good news is that there are easy ways to release this tension. There are certain yoga moves that help your hips. Most yoga instructors will have you do a hip-opening pose and eventually a pigeon pose to help stretch and calm your hips.


Oftentimes emotional stress will cause us to physically tighten up, especially in our jaw. Clenching your teeth is a common unconscious way we deal with stress and that tightens up the muscles around your jaw. The tightness and pain can also trickle down your neck and into your spine.

If you find that your jaw muscles feel sore or tight, there are ways you can relieve this pain. You can start by yawning or stretching your mouth wide open. Try to remind yourself to relax your jaw when you are texting, scrolling through social media or becoming upset over something. If you happen to grind your teeth at night, ask your dentist if a mouth guard is right for you.


Hunching your shoulders and tensing up happens almost daily. We tend to lose our posture while we drive, sit in front of a computer, or when we are worried about something. Continual mental anguish and poor posture are likely going to cause trouble for your shoulders.

You’ve probably heard the old saying “the weight of the world on your shoulders,” and that is a good description of how our shoulders can feel under stress. In order to combat this, try yoga poses like eagle arms, to create a broad space across your back. You can do simpler moves like lifting your shoulders to your ears on an inhale, then slowly release your shoulder down and back on your exhale. It so easy and simple you can (and should) do this several times a day if you sit for long periods of time behind a desk.


Again it seems like computers are our nemesis. Your eyes might be feeling fatigued if you spend hours looking at a computer screen or your phone. While it’s true that staring at screens for too many hours can strain your eyes, anxiety and mental pressures can lead to the physical aches in this area as well. In fact, studies show that individuals with anxiety, depression, and stress were more likely to experience dry-eye disease. They symptoms of dry eye include burning, itching, redness, a feeling of something in the eye, as well as pain.

Of course the solution is to decrease screen time when possible. You can also try adding moisturizing eye drops to your eyes. If the pain becomes worse or unbearable, you may need to see your doctor. Especially if you are also noticing vision changes, it is probably time to seek medical attention.


It is not uncommon to experience digestive issues when you’ve been under pressure. Ever had to make a run to the bathroom before a big test, a big interview or other stressful event? This happens because when you feel stressed, your brain ignites the “flight-or-fight” response because it’s trying to avoid danger. In turn, your digestion slows and cause constipation or even the opposite, diarrhea and abdominal pain. If you experience chronic stress, it can even lead to ulcers or severe stomach pain without ulcers.

If you experience chronic gastrointestinal pain or other issues under stress, it is best to discuss your options with your doctor. You may need to find healthy ways to handle your stress, like exercise, meditation, or talking with a confidant.

Final Thoughts

Stress is something that happens to everyone. The response to stress can be vastly different amongst individuals, but there are placing you are holding onto stress that you might not even realize. Be sure to investigate the methods you can use to destress, stretch and take care of your body.

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