Friday
Sep232011

Self-Care Quest Day 8: 3 Minute Muscle Relax

Day 8 of the Anxiety Slayer Quest is about fitting mini relaxation breaks into your day, we've talked about how to use your breath to help you relax, now we're looking at a physical relaxation technique. Progressive muscle relaxation is a simple exercise where you work around your body tensing and relaxing one muscle group at a time.

 

When we feel tense it can be hard to relax without some form of release. Progressive muscle relaxation works by first increasing tension and then releasing it suddenly when the muscle is rested it becomes more relaxed than it was before your tensed it.

 

Here's a mini-version of the Progressive Muscle Relaxation exercise, see if you can fit it into your day a couple of times today:

 

  • Sit down and clench both of your hands into fists

 


  • Notice the tension the tension in your hands and feel the tension travel up your arm

  • Squeeze even harder, as hard as you can

  • Now close your eyes and feel the tension fully

  • Take a deep breath in and hold the tension

  • Now release your breath and relax your hands

  • Let your breath out through your mouth as you uncurl your fingers and feel the difference between tension and relaxation in your hands.

  • Now sit a moment with your eyes closed, taking deep steady breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth and feel the sense of relaxation spreading through your loose and relaxed hands and up your arms. Invite it into your shoulders as you let them drop and soften.

  • Let your face relax, your chest, your stomach, your legs

  • Imagine that you are releasing tension from your entire body

  • When you are ready, take a deep breath and stretch, shrug your shoulders, and carry on with your day.

 

 

Relaxed Muscles and a Peaceful Mind

Once your muscles begin to relax, your body triggers the relaxation response which is it's own natural stand down state - the exact physiological opposite of the stress response.

Your breathing and heart rate will steady and slow down, your blood flow becomes sedate and richly oxygenated, and you begin to feel calm and relaxed all over. For maximum benefit try our Natural Release Guided Meditation mp3 designed to relax your body from head to toe. 

 

Guided Progressive Muscle Relaxation download 

Natural Release 

Muscle tension goes hand in hand with stress and anxiety. Discover how to quickly release tension and become more relaxed with this guided progressive muscle relaxation.

Running Time: 15 minutes | Price: $3.95


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