Much of my life the concept has been drilled into me that Tension is a sign of weakness.

“Why are you tensed?”
“I am not tensed, of course!”

Everyone goes to any length to deny that they are in tension. If their child is sick, their exam results are expected, the wife is in labour room, … oh no, there is no tension, of course.

A number of years ago, I too used to be deeply offended if anyone accused me of being ‘tensed’ over something, and would deny it in all ways possible. It took me a while to realise that tension is the mind’s mechanism to get me up on my two firm feet and get me to do something effective, to handle the situation that caused tension, and is not a weakness of the mind.

Have you seen babies screaming in fury when they start crawling? When they try to do it but can’t, they scream and push with all their might, their nose to the ground. It is a sign of perseverance – that I won’t give up. There is an urge within them to crawl, put in all their might and do it, it is this urge that drives them.

One needs this urge, the drive, to achieve something in life.

When you are tensed, be aware that you are tensed. Take a deep breath and think how you can make yourself at ease.

To be tensed and do nothing is definitely a weakness. To be tensed and tide over a situation definitely is the greatest triumph.

So why be afraid to acknowledge tension?
If you are tensed, acknowledge it, and don’t be tensed about it.