Ever put your tongue in neutral? It’s a simple way to blow a raspberry to stress – literally disengaging your head from your brain chatter. Practise it any time to reduce stress
I learned this technique in a training session when I was doing my diploma in coaching and I have shared it with hundreds of people since – it is super-helpful. Your tongue is a muscle that is constantly reverberating as it is engaged with the brain and is an important part of the language-formation process.
When we focus on relaxing the tongue in a neutral position it has the effect of inhibiting the language-formation process, resulting in stopping our inner verbal talk
Place your tongue in a position in your mouth where it does not touch anything (teeth, gums, roof, floor of mouth). You might need to drop your jaw open a bit and you may need to push your tongue forward (I have my wisdom teeth – although I am none the wiser for them!! so I have to drop my jaw to put my tongue in neutral). You need to elevate your tongue to the position that is right for you and then just notice how calm you become. Your mind goes quiet, you are aware but you have some serious chill time from a busy mind.
It doesn’t mean you become a zombie and lose hours, days and weeks as your tongue is a muscle so it will naturally move and you will then be back to being engaged with your brain. It gives you time out and can be practised anywhere and any time (probably best when you are not talking to your boss or loved one!).
Shelley Edwards, yoga teacher and life coach
Shelley teaches regular hatha yoga classes at The Hub.