Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is a technique that focuses on relaxing and decreasing stress in the muscles of your body. Most of us are aware of muscle tension in our bodies but are not aware of the amount of tension that we carry. We are also unaware of the effect chronic muscle tension has on our overall health.
By tensing and relaxing different muscle groups, we become aware of the sensations and differences between a state of tension and a state of relaxation.
PMR is a relaxation technique that can help you slow down when you are stressed. When you relax, you can think more clearly and improve stress management. PMR includes a scan of each muscle throughout the body. Begin the exercises in a quiet area and start with relaxing deep breathing exercises. As you inhale, begin by tensing the muscles in your feet for a few seconds. Exhale while releasing the tension in these muscles.
PMR will include a repetition of this exercise for each part of the body by focusing on one muscle group at a time. The actual exercise will help dissipate pent up tension as though we are fighting or fleeing a situation. This is a great way to relieve tension in your mind and body.
While sitting, tighten your hand into a fist and notice the tension. You should feel that your muscles are strained and sometimes may shake. Hold this tension for a few seconds. Release the tension in your hand. You will notice that your hand may feel lighter and a sense of relief and clarity.
Notice the difference between how it felt when your hand was tensed, and the sensation you felt as the tension was released.
You should progress these exercises to each of the muscle groups throughout your body. No matter which muscle group you are focusing on, you will always tighten, release, and notice the tension. This relaxed state can help you improve your breathing techniques over time.
ichoiceRelax includes helpful guides that are easy to follow. Practicing 20 minutes a day will help benefit from the PMR.