Tension and a 'knot' in my stomach

Tension and a 'knot' in my stomach

by Headspace_HQ » Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:25 pm


I have a knot in my stomach which I don't seem able to ease. I am able to get rid of physical tension, but becoming aware of the knot just seems to make it tighter, not looser. Any tips please?

Andy's Answer:

Most people have a knot somewhere. Yours happens to be in the stomach, but it can be anywhere. Sometimes people are aware of it beforehand, but for many people it comes into sharper focus when they begin to meditate. Just to be clear, it is not the meditation causing the knot, but rather the meditation providing a clearer lens through which to see it.

Now when we first discover this knot, the temptation is to resist it in some way, after all, who likes the experience of tension? Whilst a very natural tendency, the problem with this approach is that every time we resist it, we create that much more tension, driving a cycle of resistance in the mind and tension in the body. So we need to find a way to observe it without resistance and to step out of the cycle.

The first thing to do is to recognise that meditation is not about getting rid of stuff or changing things. Instead its about understanding things, seeing them more clearly and, through that process, becoming more at ease with them. So try to observe the knot with a genuine sense of interest and curiosity. What is it? Where is it? How does it feel? What is the quality of it? What shape is it? Is it static or does it move? Is it hot or cold? Is it always there or just sometimes? If you can work with it this way, almost as though it is a friend you are learning more about over time, then I suspect it will slowly begin to change.

Most important of all though, this curiosity and objective interest changes our perspective and has the potential to fundamentally change our relationship with discomfort.
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