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Progressive Relaxation

 

Techniques Managing Stress > Progressive Relaxation

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Find somewhere comfortable to lie, such as a bed a sofa or a thick rug on the floor.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath and, as you exhale, sink gently into the floor (, bed, etc.).

Now start at the top of your head and think of it relaxing, then move down to your face, relaxing forehead, eyes, cheeks, nose, mouth, chin, ears and so on.

Then move down to the neck, spreading the relaxation down and around your shoulders and then down the arms, sweeping through the elbow, lower arm and into the hands and out into each finger.

Next go back to chest and relax this, letting it sink. Let the back relax too. Then move down the torso, releasing any tension held in your abdomen and around to the lower back.

Then move through hips and buttons, down the legs, knees, lower legs and around and along the feet.

You can do this whole slowly, relaxing each part with each breath out, if you like, if you find this does work for you.

It can help to repeat this several times, increasingly sweeping out tension, like smoothing paint out on a wall.

Discussion

Progressive relaxation is a gentle method that can be used in a range of situations. You can also do this standing sitting down anywhere, although of course you will have to sustain your structural position. Balancing the skeleton rather than sagging it can be helpful here.

In focusing on one small area at a time, you are more likely to be able to let this little part go, rather than trying to relax and relieve stress all in one go.

With practice, you will be able to this more quickly, flushing out the tension as if you are washing your body, standing under a shower and letting the grime flow away.

See also

Progressive relaxation in hypnosis

 

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