Practice It: Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Friday, November 30, 2012

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  1. Sit in a comfortable chair or lie comfortably on your back and close and relax your eyes.

  2. Feel all 10 toes. Wiggle them gently and then consciously relax all 10 toes one at a time. Now, feel your feet. Sense their weight. Consciously relax them and feel them release. Progress to your ankles, knees, and thighs.

  3. Feel your abdomen and chest. Sense your breathing. Deepen your breathing slightly and feel your abdomen and chest relax on the exhale.

  4. Feel your hands. Sense their weight. Consciously relax them and feel them release. Progress to your upper arms, shoulders, and neck.

  5. Feel your mouth and jaw. Consciously relax them. Pay particular attention to your jaw muscles and unclench if you need to. Feel your mouth and jaw relax.

  6. Feel your eyes, cheeks, and forehead. Sense if there is tension. Consciously relax your eyelids and the skin on your cheeks and forehead, and feel the tension release.

  7. Mentally scan your body. If you find any place that is still tense, then consciously relax that place and let it release. Repeat again as needed—starting with the tips of your toes and then working upward. 

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