I am sure that I can’t be the only one who feels like this, but sometimes I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. Sure, in reality, I know that I’m not making life or death decisions every day, or decisions that impact nations. However, I do feel like there’s so much on my plate and so many people—some big, some little—that depend on me daily, that sometimes I feel overwhelmed and weighed down.
These feelings manifest themselves in different ways in different bodies. I notice that many times, the way it manifests itself in my body is in my shoulders. My shoulders will feel tight and tense. Often I find my shoulders shirking up to my ears because of the tension I feel in my mind and my heart.
Here’s a stretch to release the tension from your shoulders:
1. Stand tall with feet hips-width apart, your TVA (abdominal) muscles engaged, and your shoulders down and back with your ears directly above your shoulders.
2. Extend both arms out in front of you with your palms facing up. Bend your elbows so that your fingers are resting gently on your shoulders.
3. Bring your elbows down and around in circular motion, drawing invisible circles in the air with your elbows. Repeat 4-7 times. Then reverse direction, bringing your elbows up and around, for 5-8 repetitions.
While this move will temporarily release the tension in your shoulders and upper back, it’s even more important to release the tension in your heart. Remind yourself that Jesus was sent to earth for this purpose:
“For You will break the yoke of their slavery
And lift the heavy burden from their shoulders.”
Isaiah 9:4a (NLT)
Embrace this truth today by spending time with our heavenly Father, opening your heart to Him, and handing over your troubles to the One who created you and loves you. His heart’s desire is for you to lean into Him and allow Him to relieve you of those things that bog you down. Rejoice in the freedom that only He can provide!