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Tense-Fist Experiment
by Dr. Beverly Potter

 Not aware of stress

Much of the time we are unaware of our stress levels - our degree of activation. The following experiment illustrates.

Tense-Fist Experiment

Step One: Make a very tight fist with your left hand and hold it tightly for 60 seconds.
Study the sensations:
What do you feel? Where you feel it?
                How intensely you feel it.

                Notice how the intensity of sensation quickly declines.

Step Two: While still holding your left hand in the tight fist, make another very tight fist with your right hand.
Compare the way that your right hand feels with how your left hand feels.
We don't feel the stress
When you first made a fist in your left hand the sensations of tension were very strong but the sensations dropped off in only 60 seconds of holding your hand in a tight fist.

The contrast becomes evident when you made a fist with
your right hand. The sensations were much stronger in the right hand than in the left one.

This illustrates that our muscles can be very tense, yet we can be unaware of the tension because the sensations have dropped off.

Copyright © 1980, 1993, 1998: Beverly A. Potter, from "Overcoming Job Burnout: How to Renew Enthusiasm for Work", Ronin.  All Rights Reserved. This article man be down loaded for person use.  Any other use requires written permission from docpotter.

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