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STRESS MANAGEMENT: Progressive Muscle Relaxation - Melt Stress Away For Good

Updated on May 13, 2016
Permanently tense muscles lead to tension headaches and chronic back pain
Permanently tense muscles lead to tension headaches and chronic back pain

Your body responds to stress with muscle tension. This tension in turn, increases the experience of stress and anxiety.

This vicious circle never stops until you make a choice - learn and implement some stress management routine into your life.

Most of you are so used to tense muscles (stress in your life) that you even do not realize which of your muscles are chronically tense.

Permanently tense muscles lead to tension headaches and chronic back pain and they themselves can cause stress, anxiety and worry.

Besides that constant tension causes fatigue which depletes your already few coping resources.

Its easy to think you are relaxed but there could still be many tense areas in the body.

The only way to know you are totally physically relaxed is to go systematically through each area and relax it.

Deep muscle relaxation is an effective stress management, stress relief and stress prevention technique.

Progressive muscle relaxation is not only very easy to learn and practice but also extremely effective destress technique: it reduces physiological tension and is incompatible with anxiety, panic and worries.

If you can relax you can control stress. Guaranteed!

It is simply impossible to be anxious when you are relaxed and your muscles are soft and relaxed.

Highly Recommended - My Personal Relaxation Refrence Book

Learn Progressive Muscle Relaxation

  • Choose a quiet room, lay down or sit in a comfortable chair. If you want to, you could play soothing, relaxing music in the background or use essential aromatherapy oils to enhance the relaxing experience.
  • Make yourself as comfortable as possible. Use extra cushions if need be or loosen any tight clothing.
  • Take a deep breath, letting it out slowly.
  • Tense each muscle or muscle group from five to seven seconds and then relax for twenty to thirty seconds.
  • After tensing and relaxing your entire body, close your eyes and sit quietly for at least five minutes. Breathe deeply and concentrate on a pleasant thought or peaceful scene.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Sequence

  • 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

When you start practicing progressive muscle relaxation it may seem that some muscles just do not want to relax.

Be patient.

It takes time to change bad habits. Spend a few extra minutes on those muscles each day. If it is your hands, flex and unflex the fingers and then try to relax the entire hand.

About the Author

Dr.Inese Millere , M.D. is wellness and mindful eating coach for busy women after 40 who want to be Fit, Balanced and Ageless: to manage stress, stress eating, have a healthy and joyful relationship with food and enjoy healthy living and longevity.


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