Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques can help if you are on edge, stressed out, feel you have no time or you have forgotten how to relax. 

When you are grieving it all sounds too self absorbed to be thinking about relaxing. However, if you are grieving your body is under great stress and if you do not take the time to ensure that you relax, you may be heading for health problems.

For a relaxation technique to be effective it is best to spend some time undisturbed in a quiet and comfortable location. It may not always be possible to find the time or appropriate location. However, with a little practice and determination you can develop relaxation methods that will work for you at any time in any situation. 

Relaxation techniques, especially meditation, can help to reduce the potential for psychological and/or physical ill health.

You can use relaxation techniques to prepare yourself for a meditation session, to prepare yourself for the day ahead, a meeting or an event. Keep your relaxation methods handy for whenever you sense that your muscles are tensing up, that your mind is running amuck and you are practically wearing your shoulders as ear rings.

Develop a package or suite of relaxation techniques that you can carry around with you and draw on at any time. Start with something that you are already familiar with or has worked for you in the past. Then try out and add other relaxation techniques to give you a range of activities that work for you and that you can draw upon easily and quickly. Some Relaxation Techniques include:

  • Mindful breathing
  • Meditation
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation (see below)
  • Massage
  • Yoga
  • Thai-chi
  • Pilates
  • Walking meditation
  • . . . . . . . . . . . . what else can you do to relax

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Technique

Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a form of meditation which focuses on the physical body. You may be surprised how much tension you may be carrying within your muscles. You may like to record the instructions for the Progressive Muscle Relaxation exercise and follow the instructions from your own voice recording.

  • Sit or lie comfortably. As far as possible keep your body in a straight line, shoulders back and down, chest open. Close your eyes.

  • Focus your attention on your breath.(see mindful breathing),Take three long, deep, smooth breaths

  • While still being conscious of your breath move your focus through your body and use your breath to dissolve any tight spots or uncomfortable areas.

  • move your focus to your toes and you feet. Notice any tension in your toes and feet. Tighten these muscles and hold for 10-20 seconds

  • On your next breath out make it a long, gentle, slow breath out and release any tension in your toes and feet. Relax and feel your toes and feet soften fully and completely.

  • move your focus to your legs up to your bottom. Notice any tension in this area. Tighten these muscles and hold for 10-20 seconds

  • On your next breath out make it a long, gentle, slow breath out and release any tension in your legs up to your bottom. Relax and feel this area soften fully and completely.

  • move your focus to your bottom and stomach. Notice any tension in this area. Tighten these muscles and hold for 10-20 seconds.

  • On your next breath out make it a long, gentle, slow breath out and release any tension in your bottom and stomach. Relax and feel this area soften fully and completely.

  • move your focus to your to back, chest and shoulders. Notice any tension in this area. Tighten these muscles and hold for 10-20 seconds. Make sure you keep your back straight, shoulders back and down, and your chest out.

  • On your next breath out make it a long, gentle, slow breath out and release any tension in your back, chest and shoulders. Relax and feel this area soften fully and completely.

  • Straighten your arms beside you, move your focus to your fingers and all the way up your arms to your shoulders. Notice any tension in this area. Clench your fists and tighten the muscles in your fingers and all the way up your arms. Hold for 10-20 seconds.

  • On your next breath out make it a long, gentle, slow breath out and release all tension from your fingers up through your arms to your shoulders. Relax and feel this area soften fully and completely.

  • move your focus to your to back, chest and shoulders. Notice any tension in this area. Tighten these muscles and hold for 10-20 seconds. Make sure you keep your back straight, shoulders back and down, and your chest out.

  • On your next breath out make it a long, gentle, slow breath out and release any tension in your back, chest and shoulders. Relax and feel this area soften fully and completely.

  • Shrug your shoulders and lift them as high as possible, hold for 10-20 seconds drop them down, at the same time taking them back. Relax and feel this area soften fully and completely

  • move your focus to your neck, face and head. Notice any tension in this area. Tighten these muscles and hold for 10-20 seconds.

  • On your next breath out make it a long, gentle, slow breath out and release all tension from your neck, face and head. Relax and feel this area soften fully and completely.

  • Gently as you breath out turn your head to the left, hold for five seconds and on your next breath bring your head back to the centre

  • Gently as you breath out bring your chin to your chest, hold for five seconds and on your next breath bring your head back to the centre

  • Gently as you breath out take you chin up and head back, hold for five seconds and on your next breath bring your head back to the centre

  • Gently turn your head to the left, hold for five seconds and as you breath out bring your head back to the centre
  • Continue to focus your attention on your breath and take three long, deep, smooth breaths

  • Feel your body to be light and tension free.
    Set aside time each day for your progressive muscle relaxation practice.