For many, being too tense is the thief of whatever joy, pleasure, and focus they might otherwise be having. But surely there are good things about being too tense as well as bad things, right?

So, what are the upsides of being too tense? Feel free to shout out your answers so I can hear them.

Hmmm…I’m not hearing anything. Oh, wait, I think I just heard someone say that when you’re too tense it gives you a good excuse for other things going wrong. Well, there you go. Anything else? Nope. Sounds like that’s the only upside…and a pitiful one that is.

What about the downsides of being too tense? Oh my, the answers are coming fast and furiously now - I can hear you. I’ll repeat them so everyone can hear:

  1. You’re nervous.
  1. Anxiety permeates your thoughts.
  1. You feel a sense of uneasiness.
  1. You’re stretched to the limit - and feel taut, really.
  1. You get sick.
  1. Small things seem even worse than they are when you’re already worked up and tense.
  1. The emotional strain takes a toll on relationships.
  1. Your creativity is lessened because everything is seized up.
  1. People around you are walking on eggshells all the time because they’re afraid you might snap.

Sounds lovely. Thanks for sharing those. Here are two more to consider:

  1. One definition of tense is “feelings of hostility that are not manifest.” And since hostility is old anger, then this kind of tension is wreaking havoc with our health and well-being and with our relationships. And when you’re hostile, you’re not staying positive.

Recently someone I’ve known all my life (literally…so that should give you some clues) commented that lately, it seems like people like him. He said it with surprise. When I asked him more about it, he said his customers, people at the drive through at Arby’s, folks at the grocery story, neighbors, and the like all seemed to smile and want to talk to him and just, he said, “act like they like me.” I had to honestly say that because of a major transformation in his life of late, he is a different person - and it’s because the anger and hostility that used to radiate off of him aren’t there.

Instead, now his smart, funny, kind, charismatic self is what’s emanating. I even told him that although I’ve always loved him, I haven’t always liked him - and that was because of the hostility that just rolled off of him in waves.

So…think about your own tension and see if by any chance, you are bottling up anger. If so, it’s not pretty and you can be sure that you and those around you aren’t feeling too positive when you’re around.

  1. An additional downside to being too tense, is that you are usually physically rigid - as well as being emotionally and mentally rigid. Rigid, unyielding, unbending anything is more likely to break. Talk to an engineer about that if you need the specifics. Adabella Radici said,

“If your teeth are clenched and your fists are clenched, your lifespan is probably clenched.”

Recognize that his rigidity is not just hard on your physical self, it is hard on your inner self. As Edward George Bulwer-Lytton said,

We live longer than our forefathers; but we suffer more from a thousand artificial anxieties and cares. They fatigued only the muscles, we exhaust the finer strength of the nerves.

Tension wreaks havoc on your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual self - and reduces your ability to stay positive in a freaked-out world.

SPIAFOW_largeAnd if you are well aware that you - or those around you - are freaked-out to one degree or another and you can see that it is taking a toll, then you’re invited to join the Staying Positive Society where you can access tools for yourself or your team. Here’s where you can find out all about it:

We have a positive group and would love to have you join us.

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