focuses on tensing and gradually relaxing muscle groups progressively throughout your body
This interactive contains two methods for achieving relaxation: autogenic relaxation and progressive relaxation. Both of these techniques can help you reduce anxiety and relieve stress. Select a technique to begin.
Typically, one begins doing this exercise a number of times a day for a few minutes each time. Eventually, when mastered, this technique can be done twice a day for 20 minutes each time.
Autogenic relaxation is a process by which you work to bring your body to experience particular sensations. This not only improves your sense of mindfulness, but gradually relaxes your entire body.
You will need a quiet space in order to perform this technique.
The exercise in this interactive is meant to be introductory in nature, but you may create your own routine as you become more skilled.
in the solar plexus
in the extremities
The process involves saying a series of statements aloud (e.g., “my hands are beginning to feel heavy”) while imagining yourself feeling that sensation. Note that you shouldn’t force these sensations—relaxation is something that you allow to happen more than you force it to happen.
Autogenic training works its way through six components:
Before starting, make sure you have secured a quiet space and you are resting comfortably in a sitting position.
When you are calm and ready, click “Next” to begin.
Let’s begin. You will be counted down to a series of statements. You should read each statement aloud as you imagine your body experiencing the sensation described in the statement.
You may return to the beginning of the exercise, or return to the main menu if you would like to attempt progressive relaxation.
The process is complete. You may use this process as many times as you like, and can design your own routine as well. To maintain relaxation after completing the process, use imagery to bring yourself to a calm, relaxing space.
Focus on the muscle group and become aware of the tension present within it.
To complete this technique, you will need a quiet space for about 20 minutes. The best way to complete the technique is lying down, so that you have complete control over all of your muscles.
Focus on the relaxation; concentrate on what that relaxation feels like as you imagine the tension draining from that muscle group.
For each muscle group, you will be asked to do four things:
The idea behind progressive relaxation is that, at any given moment, there is tension present within your muscular system, and that relaxation is achieved when all of that tension is completely released.
and contract the muscles, and hold for a few seconds.
Let go of the tensing of the muscles.
Upper cheeks and nose
Dominant upper leg
Chest, shoulders, and upper back
Non-dominant upper leg
Dominant hand and forearm
This technique focuses on 16 muscle areas in the following order:
Non-dominant upper arm
Dominant upper arm
Non-dominant hand and forearm
Before starting, make sure you have secured a quiet space and you are resting comfortably lying down.
Let’s begin. You will be counted down to a series of muscle areas and guided through the tensing and relaxation process.
non-dominant hand and forearm
non-dominant upper arm
upper cheeks and nose
chest, shoulders, and upper back
non-dominant upper leg
dominant upper leg
dominant hand and forearm
dominant upper arm
relax the muscle, allowing tension to release
focus on the muscle and observe the tension
focus on the experience of the release of tension and the relaxation of the muscle
tense the muscles and hold
You may return to the beginning of the exercise, or return to the main menu if you would like to attempt autogenic relaxation.
My legs and hips feel heavy…
My hands feel heavy…
My hands feel warm…
My legs and hips feel warm…
My feet, ankles, and knees feel warm…
My arms and shoulders feel heavy…
My breathing is slow and steady…
My breathing is calm and regular…
My solar plexus is warm…
My forehead feels relaxed…
I am in a calm, quiet, and relaxing place…
My arms and shoulders feel warm…
My forehead feels cool…
My whole body feels quiet, comfortable, and deeply relaxed…