For progressive muscle relaxation, you can either sit or lie down. Just make sure that you are warm enough, and that you are comfortable. Let your hands rest loosely on your lap, or by your side. Now close your eyes.
Become aware of your breathing, and notice how your abdomen rises and falls with each breath…
Now take a long slow deep breath in through your nose, all the way down into your stomach. Hold the breath for just a moment, and then exhale through your mouth. Allow your breath to carry away all stress and tension as the air floods out of your lungs.
Feel that your body has already undergone a change. The tension in your body has begun to loosen and subside.
During this relaxation, I will ask you to tense various muscles throughout your body. Please do this without straining. You do not need to exert yourself, just contract each muscle firmly but gently. Try to breathe normally and don’t hold your breath. If you feel any pain in a particular muscle, please don’t push too hard when you contract this muscle.
Bring your awareness to your feet and toes. Gradually curl your toes down and tense the muscles in the soles of your feet. Hold it for 5 seconds and then release the muscles in your feet. Feel the tension in your feet wash away. Notice how different your feet feel when tensed and when they are relaxed.
Don’t hold your breath. Continuer breathing normally. Feel yourself relaxing more and more deeply with each exhale. Your whole body is becoming softer, and more relaxed as each moment passes.
Now bring your awareness to your lower legs…to your calf muscles. Point your toes up towards your knees and tighten these muscles. Hold for 5 seconds, and then let those muscles go limp.
In a moment you will tense the muscles in the front of your thighs. If you are lying down, you can do this by trying to straighten your legs. You’ll feel the muscles pulling your kneecap upwards. If you are seated, you can tense these muscles by pushing your heels down onto the floor.
Tense the muscles in your thighs. Hold for 5 seconds, and then release everything. As you do this, the flow of blood to your muscles increases, and you may notice a warm tingling sensation. Enjoy this feeling of soothing relaxation in your thighs.
Gradually tighten the muscles in your buttocks. Hold this contraction for 5 seconds, and then release. Feel the tension leaving your muscles. Feel them relaxing completely.
Take another breath, and this time, gradually tighten all the muscles in your legs, from your feet to your buttocks. Do this in whatever way feels natural and comfortable to you. Hold it for 5 seconds…and now release all these large strong muscles. Enjoy the sensation of release as you become even more deeply relaxed.
Now bring your awareness to your stomach. Tighten your stomach muscles. Imagine you are trying to touch your belly button to your spine. Hold it for 5 seconds and let your muscles relax. Notice the sensation of relief that comes from letting go.
Bring your awareness to the muscles in your back. As you slowly breathe in and out, arch your back slightly and tighten these muscles. Hold it for 5 seconds and let your muscles relax.
Now give your attention to your shoulder muscles and the muscles in your neck. Pull your shoulders up towards your ears and squeeze these muscles firmly. Hold it for 5 seconds and allow your contracted muscles to go loose and limp.
Very gently slowly turn your head to your right and feel how the left side of your neck is stretching. Hold it for 5 seconds and release. Now, Very gently slow turn your head to your left and feel how the right side of your neck is stretching. Hold it for 5 seconds and release.
Feel the heaviness in your body now. Enjoy the feeling. Feel yourself becoming heavier and heavier. Feel yourself becoming more and more deeply relaxed.
You are calm, secure, and at peace.
Now it’s time to let go of all the tension in your arms and hands. Let’s start with your upper arms.
Don’t hold your breath, breath normally. Raise your wrists towards your shoulders and tighten the muscles in your upper arms. Hold that contraction for 5 seconds and then gently lower your arms and release the tension. You may feel a warm, burning sensation in your muscles when you tighten them. Feel how relaxing it is to release that tightness and to breathe away all tension.
Now, tightly clench your fists. hold for just 5 seconds, and then release. Notice any feelings of buzzing or throbbing. Your hands are becoming very soft and relaxed.
Take a couple of nice long slow breaths now, and just relax. Feel yourself slipping even deeper into a state of complete rest.
Now tighten the muscles in your face by squeezing your eyes shut and clenching your lips together. Hold it for 5 seconds and relax all your facial muscles. Feel your face softening.
Now bring your awareness to the muscles in your jaw. Open your mouth as wide as you can. Feel your jaw muscles stretching and tightening. Keep it open for 5 seconds and allow your mouth to gently close.
And that’s it!
Now, You are completely relaxed from the tips of your toes to the top of your head.
Do this exercise twice a day, and you will see the difference. Your body will be relaxed, and your mood will improve.
If you have any questions or feel that you may need a help with dealing with stress, please contact us or book a free initial session with us.
Initial free session is 15-20 minutes long, and it is conducted over phone or video conferencing