Do you have anxious feelings that crop up and sometimes turn into panic attacks? Does your body feel tensed up and you find it hard to relax?
This simple 16-step method will help you to release the tension in your body and release the anxiety. Breathing is a crucial part of the process as you release the tension through your breath and you work through all the muscle groups.
As you become comfortable with this method, you can start to learn additional techniques that can lead you into an exercise routine that is relatively easy and will work all the different muscle groups and lead you into being fit.
Ultimately, regular exercise will help to relieve anxiety and stress in the long run. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals that help you to relax naturally.
This method is a first good step to healing your anxiety and stress.
Have Anxiety? Here’s How Progressive Muscle Relaxation Can Help
Do you often have anxiety? Here’s a great tool to use to cope with and prevent future anxious feelings and/or panic attacks.
What is Progressive Muscle Relaxation? It is a technique that involves tensing specific muscle groups and then relaxing them to create awareness of tension and relaxation. It is termed progressive because it proceeds through all major muscle groups, relaxing them one at a time, and eventually leads to total muscle relaxation.
Here’s how to do it:
Assume a comfortable position in a quiet place. You may lie down; loosen any tight clothing, close your eyes and be quiet.
Assume a passive attitude. Focus on yourself and on achieving relaxation in specific body muscles. Tune out all other thoughts and begin to take abdominal breaths, exhaling slowly each time. As you exhale imagine that tension throughout your body begins to flow away.
Tense and relax each muscle group as follows:
1. Clench your fists. Hold for 7 – 10 seconds and then release for 15 – 20 seconds.
2. Tighten your biceps by drawing your forearms up toward your shoulders and “making a muscle” with both arms.
3. Tighten your triceps – the muscles on the undersides of your upper arms by extending your arms straight and locking your elbows.
4. Tense the forehead, Wrinkle your forehead, try to make your eyebrows touch your hairline for 7 -10 seconds. Imagine your forehead muscles becoming smooth ad limp as they relax.
5. Tense the muscles around the Eyes – Close your eyes as tightly as you can for 7 – 10 seconds. Imagine sensations of deep relaxation spreading all around the area of your eyes as you release. Relax for 15 -20 seconds.
6. Tighten your Jaw – Open your mouth as wide as you can, stretching the muscles around the hinges of your jaw for 7 – 10 seconds. Relax for 15 -20 seconds.
7. Tighten the muscles in the back of your neck by pulling your head way back, as if you were going to touch you head to your back but be gentle. Hold for 7 – 10 seconds and relax for 15 -20 seconds. (Can repeat more than once) Tune into the weight of of your head sinking into your pillow.
8. Shoulders, press the shoulder blades together behind you for 7 – 10 seconds. Relax for 15 – 20 seconds.
9. Tighten the muscles of the chest by taking a deep breath. Hold for up to ten seconds and then release slowly. Imagine excess tension in your chest flowing away.
10. Tighten your stomach muscles by sucking your stomach in. Hold and then release. Imagine a wave of relaxation spreading through out your stomach.
11. Tighten your lower back by arch your back off the floor for 7 – 10 seconds. Relax for 15 – 20 seconds.
12. Tighten your buttocks by pulling them together. Hold for 7 – 10 seconds. Relax for 15 – 20 seconds. Imagine the muscles in your hips going limp.
13. Squeeze the muscles in your thighs – Tighten your thigh muscles down to your knees tightly as you can for 7 – 10 seconds. Relax for 15 – 20 seconds.
14. Tighten your calve muscles by turning your toes toward you (flexing carefully.) Hold for 7 – 10 seconds. Relax for 15 – 20 seconds.
15. Tighten your feet by curling your toes downward. Hold for 7 – 10 seconds and relax for 15 – 20 seconds.
16. Mentally scan your body for any residual tension. Imagine a wave of relaxation is spreading through out the body and penetrating every muscle group.
Remember, people respond differently to various activities. Some feel pleasant or refreshed, and others feel calm and relaxed after an activity like this one. Some people notice little change the first time, but with practice, their control increases – as well as the benefits.
How often? This entire sequence should take about 20 minutes. They recommend a daily practice of this as it will increase your relaxation and overall level of anxiety.
SOURCE: alexaraestone on RockAHealthyBody.com