Relax!

relaxation techniques often can help people with stress, anxiety, depression and sleep problems.

progressive relaxation

This technique is often most useful when you use a guided tape or CD, or you can tape these instructions yourself by reading them slowly and leaving a short pause after each one. Then you have your own guided relaxation!

  •  Lie on your back, on a firm surface – bed or floor.
  • If you can not lie, you can do it in a chair, but it is more effective lying down.
  • Do not cross your ankles and keep your fingers open and your arms and hands loose.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Take a deep breath and hold it, tighten your whole body, as tight as you can, squeeze every part, hold it…. And blow out the breath and let your body go soft.
  • Do this again, take a deep breath, hold it, tighten your whole body, as tight as you can as if you are squeezing the last drop of water out of your body….. and breathe out and let go.
  • Now feel your feet. Sense their weight. They feel heavy, very heavy. Consciously relax them and sink into the bed or floor. Start with your toes and progress to your ankles.
  • Feel your knees. Sense their weight. They feel heavy, very heavy. Consciously relax them and feel them sink into the bed or floor.
  • Feel you upper legs and thighs. Feel their weight. They feel heavy, very heavy. Consciously relax them and feel them sink into the bed or floor.
  • Feel your abdomen and chest. Sense your breathing. Consciously will them to relax. Deepen your breathing slightly and feel your abdomen and chest sink into the bed or floor.
  • Feel your buttocks. Sense their weight. They feel heavy, very heavy. Consciously relax them and feel them sink into the bed. Whole body sinking into the bed, or floor.
  • Feel your hands. Sense their weight. They feel heavy, very heavy, whole body heavy, sinking into the floor, or bed. Consciously relax them and feel them sink into the bed. Your hands are heavy.
  • Feel your upper arms. Sense their weight. They feel heavy, very heavy. Consciously relax them and feel them sink into the bed or floor.
  • Feel your shoulders. Sense their weight. They feel heavy, very heavy. Consciously relax them and feel them sink into the bed or floor.
  • Feel your neck. Sense its weight. It feels heavy, very heavy. Consciously relax it and feel it sink into the bed or floor. Turn your head from side to side, relaxing it, feeling it heavy, sinking into the floor, or bed.
  • Feel your head and skull. Sense its weight. It feels heavy, very heavy. Consciously relax it and feel it sink into the bed or floor.
  • Feel your mouth and jaw. Consciously relax them. Pay particular attention to your jaw muscles and unclench them if you need to. Feel your mouth and jaw relax and sink into the bed. Take a deep breath, you might feel like yawning, have a big yawn and relax your face and mouth and jaw.
  • Feel your eyes. Sense if there is tension in your eyes. Sense if you are forcibly closing your eyelids. Consciously relax your eyelids and feel the tension slide off the eyes.
  • Feel your face and cheeks. Consciously relax them and feel the tension slide off into the bed or floor, whole body heavy.
  • Mentally scan your body. If you find any place that is still tense, then consciously tighten and then relax that place and let it sink into the bed or floor.

 

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