The upper chest and shoulders are one area where many people with anxiety-
related problems maintain tension in their body. They constantly have raised
upper chest and shoulders. For two reasons - first, this is a defensive posture
(I would raise my shoulders if somebody went to strike me) - second, it stems
from conditioning associated with the body's attempt to relieve tension naturally
... sighing (letting out a deep breath) is a natural way to relieve tension.
Many people with these problems hold their breath a lot (especially before going
to sleep) in order to sigh. This can lead to conditioning the body to have the
chest and shoulders raised and also the development of breathing from the
chest rather than the diaphragm.
Try this:- throughout the day notice how high your shoulders are and drop them
down (as in Yoga - 'roll them over and back').
When your shoulders are lowered – do you feel ever so slightly more relaxed?
Do this a number of times throughout the day (4 or 5 times) and when you are
in bed before you go to sleep.