Ask the ExpertFeelings

Releasing the Tension

by Courtney Loughney, M.Ed, RYT

There are things in life that are simply out of our control. It doesn’t matter how many books we read or specialists we sit down with, we cannot possibly have control over everything. When we cannot control a situation, tension rises, emotions fly high, and we physically hold onto this tension. Tension manifests itself into the physical body, making for shrugged shoulders, tight hips, and bitter mamas. Have you noticed that when your mind is racing, your body tightens up and your breathing becomes rapid? You have the ability to let go of this tension, to let go of the things you cannot control. Here’s how:

  • Acknowledge the situation that is out of your control. Know that the situation is out of your control, but that you are not out of control.
  • Take it head on. For example, you cannot control your milk supply and that sucks. Notice what emotions you feel when you think of that situation, and label each one.
  • Let the emotions ride. Think of each emotion as a wave. A wave begins, peaks, and subsides. Stay with your emotion for the whole ride, despite wanting to shut it down. When the waves subside, know you will return to a calm body of water.
  • Cross the bridge. Once you have allowed yourself to feel your emotions for what they are, use your breath as the bridge to connect mind and body, bringing yourself into the present moment. Breathing in, say to yourself, “I am…” Breathing out, say, “here.” Close your eyes and practice this for one minute.
  • Accept it. Accept the situation you cannot change. This doesn’t mean that you will never think about it again, or that you will never feel the emotions associated with it, but you don’t have to carry the tension around with you.

Above all, know that you are already the perfect parent for your child. One situation does not define who you are, or change your ability to raise a happy and healthy baby. Take time to honor yourself and the fabulous job you are doing as a parent.


About Courtney:

Courtney has been a yoga instructor for ten years and is the owner of Le Petit Yogi. Courtney says, “I teach yoga and mindfulness to new mamas and to youth so they can learn how to identify stress in their lives and to manage it effectively and sustainably. With these tools they are able to live a long, healthy, and happy life.”

Following the birth of her first child, Courtney found herself struggling and unprepared. Currently she is helping mamas prepare for the “Fourth Trimester,” supporting them through this time of transition.

Learn more: