Sex & Life
Sex & Life July 21, 2018
Could not letting go of tension actually make us calmer?
Jamie Price, creator of the award-winning mindfulness app Stop, Breathe & Think, spoke at Entity’s Love Yourself Summit this July. The app aims to help people gradually build up the emotional strength to face whatever challenge they may encounter. Although the goal of this app may seem high-achieving, it operates under a concise, yet sophisticated theory.
“Asking that single question ‘how am I’ is an incredibly effective self-care tool,” Price explained. “So much so that we made building emotional awareness and the habit of checking in the foundation of our app.”
The exercise that followed did just that. As a long-form version of the question “how am I?”, Prince guided the audience through a more thorough check-in of their bodies and minds.
“Find a comfortable upright posture at edge of your seat, feet flat on the ground. Put your hands by your side or on your lap. Close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths.”
Price then instructed the audience to relax the muscles in their faces, shoulders, down into their arms, stomach muscles, and legs.
“Check in with your state of mind. How are you doing mentally? Your mind might be really busy like the 405, or it might be more peaceful and quiet like Griffith park. Just notice your state of mind, whatever that may be.”
This section I was familiar with. Having done several experimental theater classes in my time (some far weirder than others), being introspective was the foundation of my undergraduate education. Ironically though, I realized I basically never use what I learned. This exercise was not only enlightening, but quite humbling for me.
Why didn’t I use the tools I had been given?
“Check in with how you’re feeling with your bodies. Really just notice what’s there; it’s more out of curiosity than with the purpose of changing anything.”
Now this was different. Jamie Price wasn’t telling the audience to release their tension like in yoga classes, nor she was suggesting to imagine that tension floating out of your chest like a golden butterfly (or calming stream, silky ribbon, pick your poison). She was just telling the audience to let it be.
Her instruction to be kind and attentive to whatever you’re experiencing was unique. I’m not trying to make myself calmer? I’m not trying to let go of tension?
But that was exactly her point. In resting in the fact that you are stressed, in resting in the fact that you’re restless or hot or bored or sore, your body automatically begins to relax itself.
Once you stop subconsciously punishing your body for feeling the way it feels, unseen tensions will start to be released. And I don’t know how Jamie Price discovered this, but I was ready to download the app to experience that type of calm once again.
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