Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that involves tensing specific muscle groups and then relaxing them. It is termed “progressive” because you relax all major muscle groups, starting at the head and working your way down to your feet, relaxing them one at a time. In only 10 to 15 minutes you can achieve total body relaxation.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a particularly effective relaxation technique, because it focuses you on your body tension. There are many other relaxation techniques that can help you reduce your anxiety, but this technique may be most helpful for people who have body complaints that often accompany high levels of stress and anxiety, such as headaches, stomach problems, or muscle pain. When you are ready to try this technique, find a place where you won’t be disturbed or distracted for at least 15 minutes. Recline in a comfortable chair or on a mat and take a few deep breaths to begin the exercise. Use the following audio to help you learn this technique. This audio was recorded at the McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois and will guide you through your progressive relaxation. You can follow the link and play the audio right from your computer. Time: 12 minutes
You can also download the audio to your computer as an mp3 file by right clicking on the screen and selecting “save as.” You can then attach your smart phone or music player to your computer and copy it to a playlist. After listening for a few times, you can practice this relaxation technique without the audio if you wish, but remember to relax for at least 10 minutes.
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