Progressive Muscle Relaxation systematically relieves muscle tension and helps you feel more relaxed within minutes. Try this:
- Lie down on your back on a firm surface.
- Take a moment to feel the support beneath your body.
- Breathe in and out deeply and fully 2-3 times, imagining yourself melting into the surface beneath you with each out breath.
- Starting with your toes and gradually working your way up to your head, slowly tighten then hold for 5 seconds and then relax your various muscle groups.
- Do this with your feet, legs, abdomen, buttocks, back, shoulders, arms, hands, neck/throat, and face.
- As you release, think to yourself, "These muscles are now relaxed."
- Feel the heaviness in your body as the relaxation deepens.
- Repeat to yourself, "I am more and more relaxed, peaceful, calm and safe."
Listen here to relaxation exercises provided by the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Counseling Center
- Progressive Relaxation Exercise:
- Combination Relaxation Exercise:
Or, for an introduction to mindfulness meditation that you can practice on your own, check out the free guided meditations offered by the UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center.
Complete Meditation Instructions:
Breathe, Sound, Body Meditation:
Meditation for Working with Difficulties:
Loving Kindness Meditation:
Body and Sound Meditation: