Before practicing progressive muscle relaxation, consult with your doctor if you have a history of conditions that may be aggravated by tensing muscles.
Progressive muscle relaxation usually begins at the feet and work your way up to the face. Our goal is to reduce and manage anxiety.
- Wear loose clothes, no shoes, and get comfortable.
- Take a few minutes to relax, breathing in and out in slow, deep breaths.
- When you’re relaxed and ready to start, shift your attention to your right foot. Take a moment to focus on the way it feels.
- Slowly tense the muscles in your right foot, squeezing as tightly as you can. Hold for a count of 10.
- Relax your right foot. Focus on the tension flowing away and the way your foot feels as it becomes limp and loose.
- Stay in this relaxed state for a moment, breathing deeply and slowly.
- When you’re ready, shift your attention to your left foot. Follow the same sequence of muscle tension and release.
- Move slowly up through your body, contracting and relaxing the muscle groups as you go.
- It may take some practice at first, but try not to tense muscles other than those intended.
We get better when we practice, whether at work or in sports or games. This is true with muscle relaxation, the more you practice the more you will reduce and manage your anxiety.