This is a lovely little relaxation technique that involves tensing specific muscle groups and then relaxing them to create awareness of tension and relaxation. A great technique to use if you are beginning to feel a little anxious, or tense. With practice, your control will increase and your ability to relax quicker too.
1. Lie or sit in a comfortable position. If you are standing, stand with your feet grounded, hip width apart. Close your eyes, and find a point of stillness.
2. Take a breath in through your nose and out through your nose, and, if you can, breathe into the stomach area then the chest. If you can’t no worries, (that’s another blog post :)) just breathe gently and slowly if you can. Set the intention of achieving relaxation in your mind and body and focus on your breath. If your mind begins to wonder, congratulate yourself for noticing and bring it back to the breath, without judgement.
3. Tense and relax each muscle group as follows:
-Forehead – Wrinkle your forehead, try to make your eyebrows touch your hairline for five seconds. Relax your mouth. Relax.
-Eyes and nose – Close your eyes as tightly as you can for five seconds. Relax.
-Lips, cheeks and jaw – Draw the centers of your mouth back and grimace for five seconds. Relax.
-Hands – Extend your arms in front of you. Clench your fists tightly for five seconds. Relax.
-Forearms – Extend your arms out against an invisible wall and push forward with your hands for five seconds. Relax.
-Upper arms – Bend your elbows. Tense your biceps for five seconds. Relax.
Shoulders – Shrug your shoulders up to your ears for five seconds. Relax. Feel the calmness in your upper body.
-Back – Arch your back off the floor for five seconds. Relax.
-Stomach – Tighten your stomach muscles for five seconds. Relax. Feel the anxiety and tension disappearing.
-Hips and buttocks – Tighten your hip and buttock muscles for five seconds. Relax.
-Thighs – Tighten your thigh muscles by pressing your legs together as tightly as you can for five seconds. Relax.
-Feet – Bend your ankles toward your body as far as you can for five seconds. Relax.
-Toes – Curl your toes as tightly as you can for five seconds. Relax.
4. Focus on any muscles which may still be tense. If any muscle remains tense, be kind to it, send it love, tighten and relax that specific muscle a few times, visualise it and breathe into it.
5. Take a snapshot of this feeling in your mind.