Progressive Muscle Relaxation. Let’s Get Tense! (and Relax)

Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a two step process where you (in a specific order) tense up and relax your muscles.

Doing this exercise on a regular basis is supposed to get you familiar with how complete tension and complete relaxation feel like in all the muscles of your body.  By understanding this completely you are then able to stop tension when it starts.

*Note:  This is the sequence that you should follow
Right foot
Left foot
Right calf
Left calf
Right thigh
Left thigh
Hips and buttocks
Stomach
Chest
Back
Right arm and hand
Left arm and hand
Neck and shoulders
Face

*Start by getting comfortable.  No tight fitting clothes.  Shoes off.
*Take a few relaxing breaths (deep breaths like in deep breathing)
*Focus on your right foot (see the above list of muscles and their order)
*Tense the muscle slowly in your right foot.  Squeeze it tightly while slowly counting to ten.
*Relax the foot.  Try to visualize the tension flowing out of the muscle you just squeezed and the feeling of the foot as it begins to relax.   Keep this relaxation in the foot and continue to breathe deeply for a few moments.
*Continue on with the rest of the muscles in the list, in order.  Repeating the same technique as you did with the right foot.  Move slowly and don’t skip steps.

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